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College of Arts & Sciences
McKissick Museum

Arnold Richardson, Uktani–Serpent in the Lake

Traditions, Change, and Celebration: Native Artists of the Southeast

August 8, 2014 - July 25, 2015, 2nd floor South Gallery

McKissick Museum celebrates Native American traditional arts of the Southeast with its exhibition, Traditions, Change, and Celebration, due to open August 2014.

Showcasing objects drawn from Native American Indian tribal museums, state museums, artist collections, private collections, as well as McKissick Museum’s own permanent collection, Traditions, Change, and Celebration considers Native American traditional arts as an expression of identity and heritage. It looks at the regional nature of traditional art forms and the importance of indigenous materials - such as split oak, pine needles, honeysuckle, river cane, and shells - to them. The exhibit also features the close connections between traditional art, community identity, and leadership - featuring many objects created by artists who also serve as the political leader/Chief of their Indian community, tribe, or nation.

In addition, Traditions, Change, and Celebration examines the process of teaching and learning through which traditional art forms are passed down from generation to generation within a family or extended family. And, within this process, it explores important, emerging relationships between traditional artistic teachings and Native American Powwow culture, which has created a burgeoning Intertribal culture throughout the Southeast region. Asking important questions about how Powwow culture in contemporary society is re-shaping Native American identity, McKissick's exhibition - part of its ongoing Diverse Voices exhibition series - continues its larger discussion of how traditions are maintained in a complex contemporary American society.

Image: Arnold Richardson, Uktani – Serpent in the Lake, gourd, 2009, Hollister, North Carolina, Courtesy of Emily Grant

Friday, August 8, 2014 to Saturday, July 25, 2015