Native Arts & Cultures Foundation (NACF) is excited to announce the arrival of the nationally touring exhibition, Protection: Adaptation and Resistance at the Center for Native Arts and Culture (the Center).
The exhibit will be open for visitors Fridays from 4pm to 7pm through August 4th.
In times of pandemic, climate crisis, and ongoing assaults to human rights, how are Indigenous Alaska artists today strengthening self and community, and guiding the next generation from surviving to thriving? Protection: Adaptation and Resistance centers Indigenous ways of knowing. Working within intergenerational learning groups and as collaborators in vibrant community networks, Alaska’s Indigenous artists are invigorating traditional stories in customary arts and proposing resilient futures through design, tattoo, regalia and graphic arts. Artist projects elevate collaboration, allyship, and community as tools of resistance, adaptation, and cultural affirmation. The exhibition explores three themes: Land and Culture Protectors, Activists for Justice and Sovereignty and Resilient Futures.
Featured Exhibiting Artists:
Dimi Macheras and Casey Silver: Ahtna artist Dimi Macheras was raised within Chickaloon Village Tribe. He wrote and illustrated the graphic novel Chickaloonies with collaborator Casey Silver. A comic book for learners of all ages, Chickaloonies elevates traditional Ahtna stories. Macheras received traditional legends as a child from Chickaloon Village elders and his grandmother, Katherine Wade. Macheras and Silver released the book and toured Alaska schools teaching comic workshops during the pandemic. “This book is how I hope to continue the tradition of sharing our culture in a fun new way that would make them proud!” says Macheras. “We hope viewers enjoy the recognizable yet magical new world we’ve created, and join our brave, young heroes on a quest, which will carry on the spirit and lessons of the Ya Ne Dah Ah legends into a new era.”
NACF 2021 SHIFT Awardee Lily Hope will lead a tassel making and storytelling workshop: Taught to weave by her late mother and master weaver Clarissa Rizal, artist Lily Hope (Tlingit) understands the vital importance of her role in passing on the traditional practice of Chilkat weaving to the next generations. Empowered by and grateful for the teachings of her mother and the mentors before her, she is dedicated to revitalizing and perpetuating this Northwest Coast cultural art form. Hope leads workshops, classes and exhibits her work in the Juneau community, Canada, and the Pacific Northwest, ensuring that those in her community and beyond are exposed to this traditional textile art.
Amber Webb will lead a workshop on hood making: Amber Webb is a Yup’ik artist/activist from Curyung/ Dillingham, Alaska. After graduating from UAA in 2013 with a BA in woven fibers and a minor in history, she worked industrial jobs while designing apparel featuring Yup’ik language in solidarity with language reclamation efforts. In 2018, she was awarded a Rasmuson Foundation Individual Project Award for a 12-ft. qaspeq to honor Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) in North America. Her work visually explores the effects of colonization and the evolution and strength of Indigenous people after genocide and intergenerational trauma through portraiture and textiles. She is exploring pictorial Yup’ik storytelling to communicate contemporary stories of oppression, historic trauma, resilience, humor, changing climate, motherhood, and resistance; some of these worksare posted above. Amber was Choggiung Ltd. Shareholder citizen of the year, Bristol Bay Native Corporation Citizen of the year and also received the Walter Sobeleff Warrior of Light Award from Alaska Federation of Natives in 2019.
Katelyn Stiles: Katelyn’s Lingít name is Xéetl’ee and she is of the Kiks.ádi Clan’s (Raven/Frog), Kax̲átjaa Hít (Jumping Herring/Shattering House) in Sheet’ká (Sitka, Alaska). She is a tribal citizen of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska and the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. Katelyn is an artist/scholar, filmmaker, educator, and a PhD candidate in Native American and Indigenous Studies at the University of California, Davis. Her community-based research crosses into critical Indigenous Studies, Improvisation and Performance Studies, and Feminist Science and Technology Studies. Her current creative projects and dissertation centers the rematriation of Herring Lady performances and protocols that enact deep relations to Herring relatives and interconnected ecosystems. As a Herring Lady, her work is embedded in her relationships and responsibilities to her Lingít community and more-than-human relatives.
Holly Nordlum: Artist Holly Mititquq Nordlum received a Bachelor of Fine Art Degree in Graphic Design and Photography from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Nordlum was named a Time Warner Fellow with the Sundance Film Festival, and received an Art Matters grant, and a Humanities Forum grant for her work documenting the Tupik Mi Project (traditional Inuit tattooing) – which was also featured in the New York Times Lifestyles Section Summer 2018, a Rasmuson Individual Artist Award, and was named to the Smithsonian’s Nation Museum of The American Indian’s Artist Leadership Program.
Who: Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Presents Protection: Adaptation & Resistance
What: Nationally touring exhibition, Protection: Adaptation & Resistance
When: May 19 – August, 4th 2023
Where: The Center for Native Arts and Cultures (the Center) 800 SE 10th Avenue, Portland, OR 97214
4pm – 7pm Fridays
“Our lifeways, material culture, and protocols serve as armor to resist efforts to exterminate us. They are rooted in the power to unite and create space for all people. When we break down the efforts of those who work to silo, segregate, and discriminate there is space for all people and all living things.” – Joel Isaak (Dena’ina, Kenai)
The Protection: Adaptation and Resistance exhibit has been made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Sustaining Humanities through the American Rescue Plan in partnership with the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums.