A contemporary native arts exhibit opens next week at the Anasazi Heritage Center.
“Ancestral Homelands: Connection to Land, Space and Time” is being curated by the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. The artwork was created by current and past students, faculty, and staff.
An opening reception with refreshments will be on Friday Dec. 5 at 5 p.m. Artists will be present to meet and discuss their work. McKeon Dempsey, Ms. Navajo Nation, will give a speech.
“We are really honored to host this exhibit,” said Bridget Ambler, supervisory curator for the Anasazi Heritage Center. “The Institute has produced some of our nation’s most well known artists.”
Contemporary paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and jewelry are featured. The exhibit explores how contemporary native art is influenced by cultural ancestors and traditions.
The free exhibit is especially poignant, Ambler said, because the Four Corners is the actual ancestral homeland for Southwest tribes.
“That is the common thread for the artists, showing how they connect their heritage with art,” she said.
Especially riveting is a four-piece mural on Wounded Knee by special needs artist Aiden Ashley.
“Later in the year their will be a performance piece done by Ashley on his artwork,” Amber said, adding the artist will also be at the opening.
Ambler said the exhibit is a chance for students to curate, and provides a unique opportunity for the public to view modern Native American art.
“We have a tendency to think of native arts as something stuck in the past,” Ambler said. “This show debunks that stereotype. The artwork is very fabulous, refreshing and unexpected.”