First Major Exhibit of Native Women Artists on Its Way

First Major Exhibit of Native Women Artists on Its Way

The Minneapolis Institute of Art is holding an exhibition called "Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists." Curated by Jill Ahlberg Yohe and Teri Greeves, it will open in June 2019 and will include more than 115 objects including sculpture, photography, textiles, and digital art. The exhibition has been made in collaboration with 22 scholars from across the country, and is organized into three themes — Legacy, Relationships, and Power.

According to the museum's website, "legacy" is an examination of "the ways in which Native women artists acknowledge their lineage, making works that simultaneously embody the experience of previous generations, address the present moment, and speak to the future." "Relationships" is about the ways relationships transcend just interactions with other people and extend to things like the earth, animals, and weather. "Power" explores ways to empower oneself and others.

The objects on display have been taken from the Minneapolis Institute of Art's collection and from more than 30 other museums and private collections. The show's curators have also commissioned two new pieces: a wool tapestry that uses Navajo weaving techniques to depict a snowy Minnesota landscape, and a contemporary version of an Osage wedding coat.

It is the first large exhibition dedicated to Native women, and spans centuries of art, from ancient to contemporary work. The exhibition will also travel nationally to the Frist Center in Nashville, the Renwick Gallery in Washington DC, and the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Ahlbery Yohe released a statement saying, "Women have always been central to Native art, though their contributions have largely gone unrecognized. This exhibition challenges prevailing assumptions in Native art scholarship, which for the most part has considered women artists to be anonymous. By contrast, 'Hearts of Our People' delves into how the works on view are tied to the intricate personal and cultural histories of each individual artist."

Read more about the exhibition here.

Image via Minneapolis Institute of Art website