Native Nations Now: An Exhibition of Contemporary Native Art
May 17 – October 29, 2018
Plains Indian Museum, Buffalo Bill Center of the West partnered with the Creative Indigenous Collective to curate this groundbreaking exhibition from Plains Indian artists Robert Martinez, John Isaiah Pepion, Holly Young, Lauren Monroe, Louis Still Smoking, Gina Still Smoking, and Ben Pease.
Creative Indigenous Collective Scope and Objectives
“The Creative Indigenous Collective; hereafter CIC, formed to represent the education and promotion of Contemporary Indigenous culture and creativity. In many communities around the world, Indigenous art has been overlooked and compartmentalized by the Western paradigm. The CIC advocates that Indigenous Peoples are the original creatives who require respect via representation and exhibition of art. The scope of the CIC is to deliver representation in Native communities through event production, exhibition, conference, discussion, academic forum, collaboration and public engagement.
“The Indigenous viewpoint is important in virtually every culture across the world. The Contemporary Indigenous viewpoint is a facet that is most often overlooked or forgotten. There is a myriad of non-indigenous art about or depicting indigenous culture that focuses on stereotypical or romanticized imagery. We as the CIC look to provide awareness and intellectual creation to adjust the expectation of so-called “Indian” Art. This exhibit will focus on the Contemporary creations of beauty and resilience which our cultures have consistently implemented simply to continue existing. We seek to simply educate and share our unique perspective in both historical and contemporary society.”
The exhibition opened on May 17, 2018, with an opening reception that featured the artists in the Plains Indian Museum with their art as an opportunity for direct interaction and dialogue between artists and guests. The Native Nations Now works were featured on the “Contemporary Voices” panels (four panels, with 1–3 works on each panel depending upon size, and possibly sculptures) in the Plains Indian Museum, with additional works and information about the Creative Indigenous Collective in the new Native Arts Gallery on the lower level of the Plains Indian Museum. The exhibition introduced the Creative Indigenous Collective as a regional force of national significance—seven Native artists (from Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota) featured in the temporary exhibition. The event, and the exhibition, were the first of many future opportunities to establish the presence of Native art in the Plains Indian Museum with dynamic, emerging, and impactful contemporary Native artists. With the partnership of the Creative Indigenous Collective and other Native artists in the future, our goals are to explore the diverse media, messages, and relevance of contemporary Native art; and to provide dynamic outreach exchanges for audiences and artists.