In April, the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) announced that this year’s Indian Market, the largest and most important Native arts market in the United States, would be postponed until 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. SWAIA has announced that it will partner with the Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists to produce a virtual market this summer.
For this series, we asked curators and members of the Native arts community to spotlight five artists whose work they were looking forward to seeing at the 2020 Indian Market, with the hope that this can play a small part in making up for some of the exposure lost from the postponement of this year’s market. Our goal is to highlight Native artists who have continued to make important work amid these trying times. You can find past spotlights here.
Karen Kramer is curator of Native American and Oceanic Art and Culture at the Peabody Essex Museum, in Salem, Massachusetts, where she has developed major exhibitions on Native American art, including the recent, critically acclaimed T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America and Native Fashion Now. She also directs the museum’s innovative Native American Fellowship Program, which provides training for rising Native American leaders in the museum, cultural, and academic sectors.
Keri Ataumbi (Kiowa Nation): One word comes to mind with Keri Ataumbi’s jewelry: exquisite. Under her Ataumbi Metals brand, she creates jewelry that leads a double-life on your body as wearable sculpture. Keri’s dark buffalo horn embedded with diamonds, silver cast elk teeth, and high-gloss, candy-colored semi-precious stones connect Kiowa imagery, materials, and ideas to her superlative jewelry-making skills.
Jeremy Frey (Passamaquoddy): Jeremy Frey’s baskets sing in symmetry, form, and precision. Jeremy channels eight generations of family and community history into each of his ash fancy baskets, an ornate kind of Wabanaki weaving. SWAIA Best of Show winner in 2011, Jeremy, who calls his style “cutting-edge traditional,” is always experimenting and pushing his techniques, shapes, and quality to the next level. The results are always dazzling.
Jason Garcia — Okuu Pin (Santa Clara Pueblo Tewa): Jason Garcia is a visual storyteller who communicates primarily through clay forms and printmaking. Cell phones, video game characters, rain clouds and Corn Maidens wearing dance tablitas find expression in his work. He gathers and hand processes his own clay and mineral pigments, along with firing his pieces using time-honored methods. A lifelong fan of comic books and graphic novels, Jason’s imagery draws from 21st century popular culture, superheroes, deep research into Pueblo historical events and sites, and by being an active participant in his community’s daily and ceremonial life.
Micah Wesley (Mvskoke(Creek) Nation of Oklahoma/Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma): Micah Wesley‘s expressive palette and powerful figuration often engage with history and pop culture. Time and space warp as his subjects emerge from — or melt back into — the canvas in an urgent and raw Francis Bacon-meets-Rick Bartow-and-Fritz Scholder-kind-of-way, but with his own unique Were Wulf (his DJ name) twist. Micah’s triumphant return to Market this summer follows a hiatus of several years, so I’m extra sorry to miss seeing his pictures in person.
Holly Wilson (Delaware Nation/Cherokee): Holly Wilson is a multimedia artist whose practice includes bronze cast sculpture, painting, and photography. Through her beguiling sinewy figures, both human and animal who sometimes wear masks, Holly tells narratives of identity and transformation that are at once personal and biographical, rooted in her cultural heritage and grounded in the universal. Whether handheld or a large-scale installation, there’s a dreamlike quality of her work that I’m infinitely drawn to.
This week, news outlets flock to TikTok, New York Times staff strikes, the problem with the phrase “late-term abortion,” and was the North Pole once a forest?
The 11,000-year-old wall relief discovered in Southeastern Turkey may reflect humans’ changing roles in the natural world during the Neolithic Revolution.
The Brazilian artist forced the museum to remove his work from a show about the Black experience, calling it “White man’s theater.”
In an era of fast fashion and sweatshop exploitation, the artist demonstrates how far an industry will go to keep workers out of the picture.
This adventurous theater festival returns in person with 36 artists and companies from nine countries performing at different venues across the city.
Both Don Ed Hardy and Laurie Steelink refuse to adhere to traditional artistic hierarchies, an attitude they have shared throughout their 30-year friendship.
It took over 37 hours to pull 1,900 miles of glass filament to create the garment, now on view at the Toledo Museum of Art.
Learn more about the New York-based, globally linked program and its upcoming discussions on art and society in the time of AI and data governance.
An insidious racism is at play in interviewer Henri Renaud’s attempt to groom Thelonious Monk for public consumption on French television.
The last few years at the museum have not been without controversy, and Decatur will inherit a record of workforce struggles.
The program, along with recently announced visiting critics, will provide long term funding, promote access, and safeguard experimentation for future students of color.
Refugees of the Moria camp in Lesvos, Greece are behind the camera in the film Nothing About Us Without Us.
Helen Molesworth’s true-crime sensation marginalizes the artist’s life and legacy.