#1 Goal of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC–is to provide indigenous people the opportunity to interpret art made by their community, indigenous people. Who isn’t attracted to self determination ?
Currently the numbers of curators and museum directors, American Indian in heritage, are growing. Art by native peoples is currently exhibited on the walls of traditional art museums, no longer merely relegated to natural history institutions.
Rick Hill was quoted as having commented about native peoples “our tradition is innovation and change”.
One panel of mid-career indigenous artists characterized their two-fold artistic thrust as personal expression impacted by community (as in tribal) considerations.
One panel member shared “We don’t have a word for ‘art’ in my native language”. This could be why early indigenous art makers did not refer to themselves as artists or in some cases sign their work.
Most joyful and genuine was Kay Walkingstick‘s virtual keynote speech. She shared her trajectory as an artmaker who knew and knows the difference between correct guidance and less so. Persistence characterized her mantra. Believe in yourself !
When Stephen Yazzie was asked: What if anything would you have told yourself as a young person ? His hilarious answer was “get the url Yazzie.com !”
Fortunately, the Heard Museum’s symposium will likely be available virtually. Roughly 200 plus people attended this 2 day event. Once sessions are available online, notification will appear on this blog.
Savvy Collectors like to learn more about the makers of the objects they herald. Corinne Cain