Native art exhibit opens at History Museum





Native art exhibit opens at History Museum











Native art exhibit opens at History Museum
“Raven Dancer” by Shana Yellow Calf beautifully captures her blend of Native artistic styles and modern inspirations.


The Washington State History Museum’s highly anticipated 18th annual IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts exhibition is returning July 22 through Sept. 24. This juried exhibition features 36 original works by 26 Native American artists from across the United States. 

 

The curated exhibition features a diverse array of mediums including beadwork, painting, carving, glass, basketry, textiles, mixed media, and digital works. From traditional craftsmanship to innovative contemporary styles, the artworks showcase a broad spectrum of Native art today. 

 

Each piece on display will be accompanied by an artist’s statement, offering guests valuable insight into cultural context and influences. One particularly striking painting, “Raven Dancer” by Shana Yellow Calf (Enrolled Northern Arapaho), beautifully captures her blend of Native artistic styles and modern inspirations. 

 

“The merging of the mask of Raven with ballet stems from my granddaughters who both dance traditional Native style and also ballet,” she said. “It’s a combination of two worlds and the gracefulness of not just dance but the stories of Raven.”

 

Shana Yellow Calf has been producing art in various mediums since the 1990s. Her contemporary art reflects her plains heritage, her mother’s Chippewa/Metis ancestry, along with a Pacific Northwest Coastal influence from the Puget Sound area of Washington where she grew up. Shana is registered with the Department of the Interior Source Directory for Native American Artists. She appeared in “Indianz” magazine in November 2020 as one of their featured artists. The Soil Gallery in Seattle exhibited Shana’s art and carvings in November 2019. She is also a member of the Two Waters Art Alliance in Gig Harbor. 

 

The highlight of opening night on Saturday, July 22 at 5:30 p.m. will be the presentation of the 2023 IN THE SPIRIT Artist Awards. Guests will enjoy first access to the exhibition, light refreshments, and an awards ceremony with contributing artists. The awards categories include Best in Show, Spirit of the Northwest, Honoring Innovation, Honoring the Ancestors, and the Purchase Prize. Throughout the run of the exhibition, guests will have the opportunity to cast a vote for the People’s Choice Award. This event is free with registration. 

 

IN THE SPIRIT awards are carefully selected through a blind-jury process, adhering to pre-determined criteria. The jury panel consists of a rotating selection of Native artists and subject experts. The 2023 jurors include José E. Montaño (Aymara-Quechua), Paige Pettibon (Confederated Salish and Kootenai), and Tisa Matheson (Nimiipuu).

 

Montaño is a genuinely inspired designer, having designed many award-winning stylistically innovative projects including fine art exhibitions, television commercials, music videos, and live events. He has been nominated for two MTV Awards for best art direction and won for his design for R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion.” Pettibon is an artist based in Tacoma. Her work is in fine visual arts working with multiple mediums such as acrylics, oils, watercolor, fiber art, jewelry, digital design, and other media. Matheson currently resides in Spokane and is a passionate multimedia artist focusing on Columbia River Plateau cultures.

 

Each year, the Washington State History Museum works closely with a Native Advisory Committee to shape the exhibition and the accompanying IN THE SPIRIT Arts Market & Northwest Native Festival. The highly anticipated free indoor/outdoor community festival, held on Aug. 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., serves as a celebration of Native culture. The festival features an artist vendor market, cultural music and dance performances, art-making opportunities, and free access to the Washington State History Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, and Museum of Glass for the day. 

 

In appreciation to our active-duty military families, the Blue Star Museums program, and the Washington State History Museum offers complimentary admission for up to five family members with valid ID from May 29 through Sept. 4.

 

The IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts exhibition has been made possible, in part, through the generous support of Tacoma Venues & Events.

 

Get all the details for “IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts” exhibition and more at washingtonhistory.org.

 

Exhibitions and Events Dates and Links

 

IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts Exhibition

July 22 through Sept. 24

At the Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98405 https://www.washingtonhistory.
org/exhibit/in-the-spirit
2023/

 

IN THE SPIRIT Artist Awards and Opening Night

FREE with registration

July 22, 5:30-7 p.m.

At the Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98405 https://www.washingtonhistory.
org/event/in-the-spirit
artist-awards-2023/

 

IN THE SPIRIT Arts Market & Northwest Native Festival

FREE

Saturday, Aug. 12, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

At the Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98405

https://www.washingtonhistory.
org/event/in-the-spirit
festival-2023/

 



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