Art in 2 Worlds: The Native American Fine Art Invitational 1983-1997
Throw out every stereotype concerning Native American art. The Heard Museum's contemporary art exhibition is about to redefine how you view contemporary Native American fine art.
Art in 2 Worlds: The Native American Fine Art Invitational 1983-1997, a provocative exhibition that compels visitors to rethink their definitions of contemporary Native American fine art, opened at the Heard Museum on Saturday, February 6, 1999. Generously sponsored by Philip Morris Companies Inc., Art in 2 Worlds celebrates the creativity and innovation of Native American artists, drawing from the dynamic contemporary work featured in the Heard Museum's seven Invitational fine art exhibitions from 1983 through 1997.
"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.
"Through its Invitational exhibitions, the Heard Museum has provided audiences with the opportunity to see important works by a generation of talented Native artists while helping the artists build their careers and gain exposure within the contemporary art world," said Stephanie French, vice president, corporate contributions and cultural programs, for Philip Morris Companies Inc. "We are pleased to continue our more than 40-year commitment to the arts through our sponsorship of this exhibition and look forward to partnering with the Heard on a food drive at the museum during July and August as part of Philip Morris' national initiative, Arts Against Hunger."
With the first Invitational exhibition in 1983, the Heard Museum created a forum for Native American artists working on the cutting edge of the Native American Fine Art Movement. 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.
The Heard Museum Invitational is the only museum exhibition that exclusively features Native American fine art in an invitational format, Archuleta notes. 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 Invitationals have also provided the opportunity for the development and growth of the museum's fine art collection. The Heard has acquired artwork from 41 of the 70 artists who have participated in the Invitationals, either through direct purchase or through gifts and donations. Currently, the museum's contemporary Native American fine art collection includes more than 3,600 20th-century paintings, prints and sculpture.
Images from top to bottom: G. Peter Jemison, Seneca, The Struggle between Good and Evil, 1984, mixed media on paper, George Longfish, Tuscarora/Seneca, Spitit Guide/Spirit Healer, 1983; Truman Lowe, Winnebago, Mnemonic Totem #3, 1989; Jean LaMarr, Paiute/Pitt River, Just Wanna Dance, 1984; Carita Coffey, Comanche, Southern Plains Child's Moccasins, 1985, ceramic, paint and metal; Bently Spring, Northern Cheyenne, Cocoon I, 1994, mixed media sculpture.
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