Savages and Princesses: The Persistence of Native American Stereotypes
November 10, 2022-March 19, 2023
Savages and Princesses brings together twelve contemporary Native American visual artists who reclaim their identities by replacing stereotypical images that fill the pop culture landscape. Using humor, subtlety, and irony, the telling is always honest and unequivocal. Images and styles are created from traditional, contemporary, and mass culture forms.
Curated by ExhibitsUSA, based on an exhibition curated by America Meredith, Cherokee Nation artist and arts writer.
Juanita Pahdopony, Kitsch Me, I’m Indian!, 2016, cast concrete, acrylic, aluminum cones, buckskin, rhinestones, paper. Courtesy of the artist.
Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the art of independence
February 3-April 30, 2023
Ubuhle Women showcases a new form of bead art, the ndwango, developed by a community of women living and working together in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The six artists featured in the exhibition call their paintings in beads ndwangos, which translates as “cloth” or “rag.” The black fabric on which the Ubuhle women work is reminiscent of the Xhosa headscarves and skirts which many of them grew up wearing. By stretching this textile like a canvas, the artists transform the flat cloth into a contemporary art form colored with Czech glass beads. Using skills handed down through generations, and working in their own unique style “directly from the soul,” according to artist Ntombephi Ntobela, the women create abstract as well as figurative subjects for their ndwangos.
Developed by the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, Washington, D.C., with curators Bev Gibson, Ubuhle Beads, and James Green. Organized for tour by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C.
Thando Ntobela, Ankoli Bull, 2013, glass beads sewn onto fabric. Courtesy of International Art & Artists, Washington D.D.
Plateau Pictorial Beadwork: The Fred L. Mitchell Collection
February 10-May 14, 2023
Glass beads were first traded into the interior Pacific Northwest during the late 18th century, after coastal peoples acquired them from seagoing fur traders. The arrival of increasing quantities and colors of seed beads encouraged the creation of a regional style of decoration that adorned clothing, personal accessories, and horse gear. During a lifetime collecting Plateau floral, geometric, and pictorial beadwork, Walla Walla resident Fred L. Mitchell has amassed the premier collection of this material. His collection has become noteworthy, due not just to its size, but also because of its quality and diverse subject matter. The MAC is proud to present this survey of Plateau beadwork, which will include stunning beaded bags, cuffs, gauntlets, vests, cradleboards, and horse regalia.
Columbia River Plateau maker, Beaded Bag c. 1920, 17 1/4 x 15 3/4. Fred L Mitchell Collection.
Humaira Abid: Searching for Home
April 1-August 6, 2023
Humaira Abid: Searching for Home features the artwork of Seattle-based, Pakistan-born artist Humaira Abid. The beauty and mastery of Humaira’s woodcarvings of seemingly benign objects belie the upheaval and instability in society, especially that to which women are subject. Searching for Home presents a human-scaled look at the worldwide refugee crisis focusing on the plight of women and girls, who make up a disproportionate percentage of the millions who have fled their home countries as a result of political conflict and strife. The works demonstrate the artist’s ability to tread a narrow line between evocative (and often provocative) content and mastery in a material discipline.
Curated by Jennifer-Navva Milliken and organized by the Center for Art in Wood, Philadelphia, PA in partnership with the Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA.
Humaira Abid, Searching for Home, 2016-17, pine wood, carved; red wood stain. Photo: Adeel Ahmed.
Frank S. Matsura: Portraits from the Borderland
April 29-November 26, 2023
Frank Matsura: American Indian Portraits features images from the studio archive of Washington-based Japanese photographer Frank Sakae Matsura (b. 1873) alongside period-specific tribal regalia from the Columbia Plateau. Exploring indigenous representation through an artistic and multi-dimensional lens, the photographs and objects on view detail some of Matsura’s most culturally significant work against a backdrop of regional transformation.
Frank Sakae Matsura (Japanese, 1873-1913), archival prints from gelatin dry plate scan, Okanogan County Historical Society. Image courtesy of OCHS. Wapato Smithins family OCH 6371.