Return of the Native
"Come expecting to be surprised," says Brion Clinkingbeard, curator and director of exhibitions for the Kentucky Art and Craft Foundation. "For starters, we have a very tasteful nude of Brooke Shields done in beadwork, and a teepee made out of quiltwork. We also have beautiful handblown glasswork by Native Americans, which is especially surprising when you consider ancient Indians never had glass. But that's really what this exhibit is all about -- how the Native Americans of today have married their ancient icons with art influences from around the world."
The exhibit features approximately 75 pieces of art from famous contemporary Native American artists. The show also includes these ancillary events:
A wood-firing demonstration by potter Nathan Youngblood, Sept. 15 at the University of Louisville's Schneider Hall.
Another lecture/demonstration by Youngblood, Sept. 16 at the Kentucky Art and Craft Gallery.
A silversmithing lecture and demonstration by Norbert Peshlakai, Sept. 17 at the Eastern Kentucky University art department in Richmond.
A glass-blowing demonstration by Preston Singletary, Sept. 18 at Firefly Glass Studio, 625 S. Shelby St., in Louisville.
Other artists in the show include Hopi potter and sculptor Al Qoyawayma, Isleta glass-blower Tony Jojola, Cochiti Pueblo potter Diego Romero, Navajo painter and printmaker Tony Abeyta, Navajo jeweler Harvey Begay, metalsmith Tim Tiger, Kiowa beadworker Marcus Amerman and Navajo/Seminole fiber artist Margaret Wood.
All the art pieces in the show are for sale, but if you're interested, move fast. "Some of these artists are very much in demand, and their work will sell out in hours, not days, of its display," Clinkingbeard says.
In conjunction with "Head, Heart and Hands," the Gallery will also be exhibiting "The Hope Series," a set of four original blankets designed by artists in the show. Numbered limited editions of the rugs will be available, with proceeds going to the American Indian College Fund.
Funded by Philip Morris Corp., the show will travel to galleries in Columbus, Ohio; Yakima, Wash.; Montgomery, Alabama; and Orlando, Fla., after its Louisville appearance. "It's only fitting that this national show should be created and debut in Louisville," Clinkingbeard says. "Kentucky has historically been a place where Indian tribes crossed and intermingled with each other. This exhibit is one way we can bring that spirit back."
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