Modern Native Art Exhibition in WA

By Alex Dawkins
Posted in News, on October 29, 2015

The Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner has recently opened Not Vanishing: Contemporary Native American Art 1977-2015. This exhibit fills the entire museum, and contains the artworks of more than forty artists. The show runs until January 3, 2016. Not Vanishing seeks to bring together significant artworks by artists in the Pacific Northwest region in order to examine both the evolution of Native American artwork and the artistic strategies used by artists as they represent the complexities of Indigenous realities to the world.

Prominent First Nations participating in this exhibition Joe David, Susan Point, and Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun.

Not Vanishing contains artworks that tackle difficult issues facing our society today. Artists use a variety of methods and a wide range of media including drawing, painting, wood carving, metalwork, weaving, glass, and multimedia installation work. Artistic styles greatly very, in part because historically Indigenous people have traditions of both abstract and representational design that have influenced artists and art movements around the world. In addition, contemporary First Nations artists who are trained in art are aware of the wide variety of choices they have as they develop their own individual styles.

Most of the artists in Not Vanishing have studied art-making styles and technologies from around the world, as well as the historical and evolving style of aesthetic work in their communities. Both established and emerging artists use a wide variety of strategies to make their 20th and 21st century culture and experiences visible to the people who examine their work, and they seek to start a dialogue between themselves, their art, and the world.