Photo: Neal Ambrose-Smith (Salish, Metis-Cree, Sho-Ban), # Me Too, Waterless acrylic lithograph, 2017, Loan courtesy of Laura Millin & Craig Menteer. Promised gift to the Missoula Art Museum Contemporary American Indian Art Collection.
This is a survey of cart by contemporary American Indian artists from MAM’s Collection, organized by Nikolyn Garner during a curatorial internship at MAM.
Garner’s curatorial statement asserts “Too often, artworks by American Indian artists are subjected to the attempt to impose dichotomies upon it. Is the artist speaking to an authentic American Indian experience or are they responding to their experiences in the non-Indian world? Is their artwork traditional or contemporary? Is it art or is it craft? However, these polarizing tendencies oversimplify the voices of the artists. Many American Indian artists occupy spaces in between cultures. They have varied histories, and they draw from multiple art and craft traditions.
The artists featured in this show represent diverse tribes and life experiences, both on- and off- Reservations. They utilize many techniques in their artwork and have individual voices and means of expression. Yet, they also express the connections between cultures and the continuums that run through the contemporary experiences of all American Indians. This exhibition, Continuum, reflects the continually developing, adapting, and exploratory voices of contemporary American Indian artists.” -Nikolyn Garner (Kickapoo / Oneida / Cherokee), Curator