Juried show focused on contemporary Native American art

 "The Promises Were So Sweet," a digital print on poly satin created by Hulleah J. Tsinhnahjinnie.
"The Promises Were So Sweet," a digital print on poly satin created by Hulleah J. Tsinhnahjinnie.

The Great Plains Art Museum will present "Contemporary Indigeneity: The New Art of the Great Plains," an exhibition opening June 1 that focues on contemporary Native American art.

Twenty-six artists had their artwork accepted by jury out of almost 130 submissions. Artists adhered to the criteria of their artwork expressing some element of North American indigenous culture in the Great Plains region. With no media restrictions, the accepted works span a broad range of innovative as well as traditional materials.

Founded in 1980, the Great Plains Art Museum is home to a large collection of historical and contemporary works by native North American artists, and the museum regularly hosts exhibitions that focus on contemporary native identity as well as historical native issues. This is the first juried exhibition hosted by the Great Plains Art Museum and strives to convey the spectrum of contemporary visual art and fine craft in the Great Plains region, with a special emphasis on Native American culture.

Exhibiting artists include Gina Adams, Molly Murphy Adams, Douglas Paul Albrecht, Jeanne Apelseth, Susan Kay Mariska Bigham, Nacona Jay Burgess, Quanah Parker Burgess, Valery Killscrow Copeland, Gerald Martin Cournoyer, H. Kenneth Dalgarno, Bonnie Halsey Dutton, Clarisse C. Hastie, Leonard Joseph Novak, Mary Ruden, Arthur Jay Short Bull, Nelda Veronica Shrupp, Isaiah Russell Stewart, Brandy Warren Supernaw, Terri Talas, John Howard Thein, Cathy Ann Thompson, John Mark Tiger, Bart Lee Vargas, Laurie A. Whitehawk, Dwayne Wilcox and Monte Yellow Bird Sr.

The awarding juror is artist and scholar Hulleah J. Tsinhnahjinnie. Tsinhnahjinnie has been a recipient of the Eiteljorg Fellowship for Native American Fine Art, a Chancellor’s Fellowship at the University of California Irvine, the First Peoples Community Artist Award, and a Rockefeller artist in residence. She is director of the C.N. Gorman Museum at University of California Davis and assistant professor in the Department of Native American Studies at UC Davis.

Visitors to the exhibition can participate in the "Viewer's Choice" award which delivers a $300 award to the artist who receives the most votes from the Great Plains Art Museum audience. Votes will be collected from June 1 to July 6. Other awards granted by Tsinhnahjinnie include the Bobby Penn Award, sponsored by the Indian Center Inc.; Best Student/Nonprofessional Work; Most Innovative Use of Media; Best Two-Dimensional Work; Best Three-Dimensional Work; Best of Show.

In addition, there will be a Great Plains Art Museum Exhibition Award in which the winner also receives inclusion in a group exhibition or a solo exhibition at the Great Plains Art Museum within the next two years.

An awards ceremony is part of a First Friday reception from 5 to 7 p.m. July 6.

For more information, go to http://www.unl.edu/plains/gallery/gallery.shtml or call 402-472-0599.

— Amber Mohr, Great Plains Art Museum