The Eiteljorg Museum kicked off its 8th Biennial Contemporary Art Fellowship exhibition on Friday.
The event, which is officially entitled “Red: Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship 2013,” runs through February 2, 2014, and will feature the artwork of 5 contemporary North American indigenous artists, a dance party on Friday, and comedy improve acts on Saturday.
About the Artists
“The event honors 5 artists which have been chosen as exemplary artists in the field of contemporary native art,” says Eiteljorg Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, Ashley Holland.
One such artist, Julie Buffalohead of the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma, received a Master of Fine Arts from Cornell University in 2001. Her work attempts to describe the Indian cultural experience through personal metaphor and narrative, and often juxtaposes animal spirit and Coyote motifs. Her work blurs the boundaries between drawing, illustration, painting, bookmaking, sculpture and installation formats, and makes clever use of such materials as rawhide, porcupine quills and birch bark.
Artist Nicholas Galanin is of mixed Tlingit/Aleut and non-Native ancestry. His work is a mix of sculpture, video, installation and even new media, and is conceptual in nature as it attempts to addresses issues relating to the representation of Native Americans. An undercurrent of cultural idealism can also be found in his work.
Painter Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun is of Coast Salish descent, and one of two leading aboriginal artists from Canada who were awarded a $25,000 fellowship. Yuxweluptun earned a degree from the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in British Columbia, and is known for his personalized political perspectives. Surreal, colorful landscapes that feature Native iconography are prevalent in his body of work.
Meryl McMaster is the second of two Canadian-based artists to receive the $25,000 fellowship award. She studied photography at the Ontario College of Art and Design. Her work has centered on her bicultural identity as an Aboriginal-European of both Cree and Scottish descent. She examines perceptions, myths and the environment, among other subject matters.
Shan Goshorn is a Native American artist of the Eastern Band Cherokee. She has resided in Tulsa Oklahoma since 1981. Her work has been featured in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, among others.
Two live music acts performed at a party on Friday to celebrate the opening of the exhibit. The first of which, A Tribe Called Red, is a Canadian-based electronic group consisting of 3 DJs, Ian “DJ NDN” Campeau, Dan “DJ Shub” General and Bear Witness. Their style is a blend of several genres, including hip hop, reggae and dubstep. DJ Kyle Long of the Cultural Cannibals will take over DJ duty later that same evening.
Comedy improv includes The 1491s, Big Car and Know No Stranger on Saturday.
About the Program
According to Ashley Holland, “The program started in 1999 as a way to address a gap that occurred in native art, that there wasn’t any museum collecting contemporary Native American art as aggressively as the Eiteljorg saw a possibility for. And there wasn’t any institution giving to artists in the capacity that this grant would allow. And so since then we have had 8 exhibitions and awarded 45 fellows, over a million dollars in grants.”