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Art in 2 Worlds: The Native American Fine Art Invitational

July 16 - October 16, 2005


(above: C.J. Wells, Arikara/Picuris, Winter Moon, 1985, oil on linen, 41 x 42.875 inches, Courtesy of the Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ, Collection of Mr.and Mrs. Albion P. Fenderson)


The Michener Art Museum in Doylestown is presenting Art in 2 Worlds: The Native American Fine Art Invitational, a contemporary art exhibition organized by the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, which redefines how visitors view contemporary Native American fine art. This provocative exhibition opened on July 16, 2005 and runs through October 16, 2005 in the Wachovia Gallery. Sponsored by Americans for Native Americans in Doylestown with additional support from a friend of the Michener Art Museum, Art in 2 Worlds celebrates the creativity and innovation of Native American artists, drawing on the dynamic work featured in the Heard Museum's seven Invitational fine art exhibitions from 1983 through 1997. (left: :Alvin Eli Amason, Aleut, You Took a Long Time, c. 1983, Heard Museum)

"Like the Invitationals it draws from, Art in 2 Worlds is not just an exhibition," says Margaret Archuleta, curator of fine art for the Heard Museum. "It challenges visitors, giving them the opportunity to expand their understanding and gain new knowledge about contemporary Native American fine art."

Among the artists whose work is featured in Art in 2 Worlds are painter Marty Avrett (Coushatta); sculptor and mixed media artist Nora Naranjo-Morse (Tewa); painter Norman Akers (Osage/Pawnee); painter Kay WalkingStick (Cherokee); and Winnebago artist Truman Lowe.

Contemporary Native American artists address social, political and artistic issues that parallel the complexity of Native American life in the modern world. Each artist makes a personal statement about these issues. One of the leading forces in the Native American Fine Art Movement since the early 1960s, the Heard Museum's recurrent Fine Art Invitationals offer emerging and established artists a prestigious and unique opportunity to exhibit their work in a museum setting.

A non-thematic exhibition that encourages innovative artistic expression and the creative process, the Invitational has worked to expand visitors' understanding of Native American artwork. "The Heard Museum Invitational has become incredibly important in promoting contemporary Native American fine art," Archuleta says. "These recurring exhibitions illustrate that Native American art is continually evolving and isn't just about pottery and baskets. It's also about painting, sculpture, and a variety of other media -- and each artist's individual expression."

The Heard Museum is a private, non-profit organization that was founded in 1929 by Dwight B. and Marie Bartlett Heard to house their personal collection of primarily Native American artifacts. Today, the internationally acclaimed museum is known for its extensive collections of Native American artifacts and fine art, unique exhibits, special events and innovative programming.

Americans for Native Americans (ANA), is a Doylestown-based non-profit organization and the lead sponsor for Art in 2 Worlds at the Michener Art Museum.  In connection with Art in 2 Worlds, the Michener Art Museum will present "Looking at Native American Art," a lecture by Victoria Weaver, Pennsylvanian fiber artist specializing in Navaho weaving and professor of art at Shippensburg University, on Tuesday, September 6 from 1 to 2 pm.

On Sunday, September 25 from 12 noon to 4 pm, the Museum presents "A Celebration of 2 Worlds," an afternoon celebrating contemporary Native American art and culture, with activities for all ages. Tuesday, October 11 from 1 to 2 pm, Lucy Fowler Williams will present NAGPRA and Beyond: Building Relationships with Native Americans at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, where she is the Jeremy A. Sabloff Keeper in the American Section.  (right: Linda Lomahaftewa, Hopi/Choctaw, New Mexico Sunset, 1978, Heard Museum)

More information and details on the exhibition and related programs is available at the Museum's web site. The exhibition and educational programs were funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Museum and Historical Commission. 


Editor's note: Please see these other articles concerning contemporary Native American art at the Heard Museum:

and these articles and essays:

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Copyright 2005 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.