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  • The Black Cowboy, Storytelling Saturdays and an Ansel Adams Preview

    by DeShong Perry-Smitherman, Eiteljorg public relations manager | Feb 04, 2014

    EITELJORG MUSEUM FEBRUARY EVENTS 
     
    Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo

    New exhibit now open
    Blake Little  features 41 black-and-white images of cowboys and cowgirls from the gay rodeo circuit, taken by award-winning, Los Angeles-based photographer, Blake Little. The Seattle native became captivated by the gay rodeo scene in 1988 and began documenting the lives of its contenders, victors and their devoted fans.  Blake Little and associated public programs, at the Eiteljorg are a part of the museum’s Out West series. The series, created and produced by independent curator Gregory Hinton, illuminates the many contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities of the American West, and celebrates the diversity of the region. Please visit www.eiteljorg.org for details. Photo credit: Blake Little, Chute Dogging, Phoenix, Arizona, 1989, Image courtesy of Blake Little.

    The Girl of the Golden West
    Film Screening
    Saturday, Feb. 15
    1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
    In preparation for the Indianapolis Opera’s performance of David Belasco’s The Girl of the Golden West on March 21 and 23, the Eiteljorg will host a screening of the 1938 film starring Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy.


     I, Nat Love: The Story of Deadwood Dick
    Storytelling
    Saturday, Feb. 22
    1:30 p.m.
    Storyteller Rochel Coleman will bring Nat Love’s story to life. Born a slave in Tennessee, Nat headed West in search of freedom and opportunity at age 15. He became one of the most famous Black cowboys of his time.


    Ansel Adams
    preview partywright_0985-2_adams2
    Exhibit preview
    Friday, February 28
    7:30 p.m.
    $45 members, $55 nonmembers

    Ansel Adams exhibit opens, Saturday, March 1.
    Ansel Adams is a collection of more than 80 of this legendary photographer’s personally-chosen photographs. The photographs focus largely on the vast spaces of the American West, ranging from Yosemite to the Pacific Coast, the Southwest, Alaska, Hawaii and the Northwest. Referred to as The Museum Set, this lifetime portfolio includes many of Adams’ most famous and best-loved photographs, including architectural studies, portraits and magnificent landscapes. Photo credit: Ansel Adams in Owens Valley, photograph by Cedric Wright, courtesy of the Colby Memorial Library, Sierra Club.

    Storytelling Saturdays throughout the month
     
    Stories of the West

    Saturdays                                 
    1, 2, 3 & 4 p.m.
    Hear the amazing true stories of two prominent African Americans in the West, Stagecoach Mary Fields and mountain man, Jim Beckwourth, as told by actress and storyteller, Joanna Winston.


    Storytelling

    Saturdays
    1p.m. – 3p.m.
    Meet Teresa Webb (Anishinaabe) and hear about Native American cultures through stories and songs, accompanied by flute, drum and rattle.


    Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014, presented by Oxford Financial Group, LTD, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western art seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of the American West and the indigenous peoples of North America. The museum is located in Downtown Indianapolis’ White River State Park, at 500 West Washington, Indianapolis, IN  46204. For general information about the museum and to learn more about exhibits and events, call 317.636.WEST (9378) or visit www.eiteljorg.org.


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  • Meet the Fellows | Meryl McMaster (Part IV of V)

    by Ashley Holland (Cherokee), Eiteljorg assistant curator of Contemporary Art | Oct 30, 2013

    Each week the Eiteljorg blog will profile artists who will be featured in RED: Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship. The exhibit opens Nov. 9. Details below!

    What follows is an excerpt from Meryl McMaster: Immeasurable, the Art of Being, by Ashley Holland 
    (from RED: Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship exhibition catalog).

    Meryl McMaster
    (Plains Cree/Blackfoot)

    Photo credit: Ian Clark

    My artistic practice begins with photography evoking a journey that follows a path of self-discovery….My art unravels notions of identity and subjectivity as something that is never complete, but always in process and always formed from within. -
    Meryl McMaster

    Meryl McMaster’s work creates a paradigm of the artist as visual philosopher. Her pursuit of knowledge, connection to the natural world, and relentless dedication to profound beauty make her photographs sumptuous and complex. They are a world unto themselves. She invites the viewers to join her in this world, to take what they may, and to grow from their own conclusions.

    McMaster was born to a Euro-Canadian mother and Plains Cree/Blackfoot father in 1988. Her father, Gerald McMaster, is a well-known artist, author, and curator of Canadian aboriginal contemporary art. There is little question that this upbringing gave McMaster a great well of cultural and ancestral memory in which to immerse and emerge as herself. It is also of no small consequence that she, as an early career artist, exists in the era of important cultural and social movements such as Idle No More, in which Canada’s aboriginal people strive to reclaim their place and rights in their communities locally, provincially, and nationally. No doubt this influences her political and social views, of which her photographs act as a visual record.


    Meryl McMaster (Plains Cree/Blackfoot)
    Anima (In-Between Worlds series), 2012
    Digital chromogenic print
    Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship Acquisition Fund


    Meryl McMaster (Plains Cree/Blackfoot)
    Wingeds Calling (In-Between Worlds series), 2012
    Digital chromogenic print
    Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship Acquisition Fund


    Meryl McMaster (Plains Cree/Blackfoot)
    Aphoristic Currents (In-Between Worlds series), 2013
    Digital chromogenic print
    Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship Acquisition Fund

    McMaster conceptualizes her work and then proceeds to use the moment, the environment, and the circumstance of that particular sequence to document the culmination of her vision. She has a space in her home where elements and concepts are envisioned and created as the stepping-stones to the act of photographing. For McMaster, the camera becomes an object that is vulnerable and dependent on the environment around it.

    McMaster’s photographs continue to grow stronger as she adds layer upon layer of experience toward the spiritual maturity she seeks. Her constant exploration of identity and search for (self) realization translate beautifully into lush images with each subject she captures. Her photography series  In-Between Worlds , Ancestral , and Second Self demonstrate the potency of her artistic message. It is not surprising that one so interested in pursuit of the elevation of the human spirit and self-consciousness about her bi-cultural heritage would choose to work in the form of a photographic series, as if to better investigate a world, a view, through a multi-dimensional lens and a plethora of sculptural, cultural, and natural materials. 

    Meet Meryl McMaster, Friday, Nov. 8 at the Eiteljorg.

    Schedule for opening weekend of RED:Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship
    Friday
    NOV 8
    5:30–7:30 p.m.
    Celebration!
    $40 – includes Saturday’s activities
    To commemorate the opening of RED: the Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship, the museum will honor the five Native Fellowship winners with an intimate gathering that celebrates their artistic accomplishments.

    7:30 p.m.–12 a.m.
    Contemporary Arts Party
    $15 at the door, $10 in advance – includes Saturday’s activities
    Celebrate the opening of RED by partying all night to the sounds of A Tribe Called Red and DJ Kyle Long of the Cultural Cannibals. Additional entertainment will be provided by the comedy improve group the 1491s, Big Car, Know No Stranger, and more!
    Tickets are available for purchase at www.Eiteljorg.org

    Saturday

    NOV 9
    All Day
    RED: Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship
    Be among the first to experience RED.
    Opening Day a
    ctivities include a gallery tour with the Fellows from 10 a.m.-12 p.m and from 1–3 p.m. a presentation by comedic cultural critics, the 1491s. Saturday's event is in collaboration with the 2013 Spirit & Place Festival. This festival reaches 20,000 people each year through dozens of “never before seen” programs that promote growth of the human spirit.

    ABOUT THE EITELJORG CONTEMPORARY ART FELLOWSHIP
    Meryl is one of five 2013 Fellows and her artwork will be featured in the exhibition RED: The Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship, opening Nov. 9. This biennial program recognizes the accomplishments of one invited and four juried Fellows, which are chosen by a panel of independent experts. As part of the Fellowship, each artist receives a $25,000 unrestricted cash award and their work is exhibited and further explored in an accompanying catalog. In addition, the museum purchases a total of over $100,000 worth of art from the Fellows for the permanent collection, adding to a body of work that has given the Eiteljorg Museum a collection of Native contemporary art that has been referred to as the “greatest in the world.”

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  • Meet the Fellows | Lawrence Paul Yuxwelupton (Part III of V)

    by DeShong Perry-Smitherman, Eiteljorg public relations manager | Oct 23, 2013
    Each week the Eiteljorg blog will profile artists who will be featured in RED: Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship. The exhibit opens Nov. 9. Details below!

    What follows is an excerpt from Lawrence Paul Yuxwelupton: Master Mixer, Man of Many Colors, by Dana Claxton (Lakota) 
    (from RED: Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship exhibition catalog). 

    Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun
    (Coast Salish/Okanagan)
     

    Photo credit: Alana Paterson 

    I work for art, not to be used by racism. I make art to get rid of racism. - Lawrence Paul Yuxwelupton

    Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun has been drawing and painting since he could hold an instrument in his hand. He once stated, "The paintbrush is like a weapon," and in his case, it is a weapon against the pen and the written word that colonialists used to dehumanize indigenous people and to steal Indian land. He has also stated, "I am a history painter." For over thirty years, he has been painting the "Indian" condition and all the complexities of being Indian, past, present, and future. He paints land…Indian land. The indigenous imperative to honor land has fueled most of his artistic output for the last three decades. And within the honoring of land, he weaves indigenous sovereignty and the de-subjugation and humanization of indigenous bodies right into the living land herself.

    Yuxweluptun has declared that "Canada is like a baby crawling around wearing a dirty diaper," suggesting that the nation is in an immature state of being and needs to come clean of its insidious past of legally oppressing Indians and the continued denial that there is anything wrong with the current state of aboriginal people. The bonds between Indian and non-Indian peoples are complex, filled with love, hate, desire, confusion, distrust, and fear. Canada and the United States have difficult histories that have shaped the difficult present. It is not always a pleasant picture, but Yuxweluptun vividly paints large-scale paintings and makes etchings, drawings, performance, installations, and sculptures that often depict these realities. His work addresses land use, land claims, and land spirits while always steadfastly stating that land is alive and needs to be respected and nurtured, cared for, loved. His work is shaped by indigenous imperatives of walking gently on the earth and not doing too much damage. His body of work has persuaded viewers to love Mother Earth and perhaps even love Indian people. He has often asked audiences, "Can you love Indian people?"


    Caution! You are Entering a Free State of Mind Zone, 2000. Acrylic on canvas.
    Private collection

    Yuxweluptun moves fluidly from large scale to intimate works, from color to black and white. Thirty-one works are included in this exhibition, ranging from large-scale acrylic on canvas to intimate drawings and prints.


    Floor Opener, 2013. Acrylic on canvas.
    Courtesy of Michael O’Brian

    The range of scale and hue and everything in between significantly represents his extensive oeuvre , moving with ease from one medium and scale to the other.
     

    Portrait of a Residential School Child, 2005. Acrylic on canvas.
    Private collection

    Whether abstract or his unique blend of Northwest Coast Salish surrealism, all the paintings maintain a color range that he invents. As a master mixer colorist, his palette refuses to remain the same after all these years of painting.

    Meet Lawrence Paul Yuxwelupton, Friday, Nov. 8 at the Eiteljorg.

    Schedule for opening weekend of RED:Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship
    Friday
    NOV 8
    5:30–7:30 p.m.
    Celebration!
    $40 – includes Saturday’s activities
    To commemorate the opening of RED: the Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship, the museum will honor the five Native Fellowship winners with an intimate gathering that celebrates their artistic accomplishments.

    7:30 p.m.–12 a.m.
    Contemporary Arts Party
    $15 at the door, $10 in advance – includes Saturday’s activities
    Celebrate the opening of RED by partying all night to the sounds of A Tribe Called Red and DJ Kyle Long of the Cultural Cannibals. Additional entertainment will be provided by the comedy improve group the 1491s, Big Car, Know No Stranger, and more!
    Tickets are available for purchase at www.Eiteljorg.org

    Saturday

    NOV 9
    All Day
    RED: Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship
    Be among the first to experience RED.
    Opening Day a
    ctivities include a gallery tour with the Fellows from 10 a.m.-12 p.m and from 1–3 p.m. a presentation by comedic cultural critics, the 1491s. Saturday's event is in collaboration with the 2013 Spirit & Place Festival. This festival reaches 20,000 people each year through dozens of “never before seen” programs that promote growth of the human spirit.

    ABOUT THE EITELJORG CONTEMPORARY ART FELLOWSHIP
    Lawrence Paul is one of five 2013 Fellows and his artwork will be featured in the exhibition RED: The Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship, opening Nov. 9. This biennial program recognizes the accomplishments of one invited and four juried Fellows, which are chosen by a panel of independent experts. As part of the Fellowship, each artist receives a $25,000 unrestricted cash award and their work is exhibited and further explored in an accompanying catalog. In addition, the museum purchases a total of over $100,000 worth of art from the Fellows for the permanent collection, adding to a body of work that has given the Eiteljorg Museum a collection of Native contemporary art that has been referred to as the “greatest in the world.”

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  • Buckaroo Bash, Navajo Rug Auction and Botanical Architecture Workshop | October at the Eiteljorg

    by User Not Found | Oct 02, 2013

    Here's a look at what we're doing this month at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art.

    Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale
    Through Oct. 6
    See paintings, drawings and sculptures from 50 of the world’s most celebrated Western artists. Many of the pieces on exhibit are still for sale at the Eiteljorg. A portion of Quest proceeds helps the Eiteljorg build its world-class collection. 

    Craig Tennant, Staying Close, 2013
    Oil on linen, 14X20 inches
    $7,500
    Still for sale during Quest for the West

    Storytelling
    Saturdays
    OCT. 5, 12, 19, 26
    1 p.m.
    Meet Teresa Webb (Anishinaabe) and hear about Native American cultures through stories and songs, accompanied by flute, drum and rattle.

    Navajo Rug Auction
    Saturday
    OCT. 5
    Members only preview 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
    Public viewing 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.
    Auction - 11:30 a.m.

    Browse and bid on more than 200 vintage and contemporary weavings during this year’s auction, presented by R.B. Burnham & Co. Prices ranges from $100 to $10,000.

     
    Inuit Art Trunk Show
    Saturday
    OCT. 12 and 13

    Members shop 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
    General public shops 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    Get your questions answered about Inuit art by the owners of Iqaluit Fine Arts Studio. Located in the capital of Nunavut Territory in Canada, this gallery has a wide selection of Inuit paintings, tapestries, sculptures and jewelry. For one day only, the owners of this incredible gallery will sell their artwork at the Eiteljorg. Prices range from $50 to $20,000.

    Botanical Architecture Workshop
    Saturday
    OCT. 12

    9 a.m. – Noon
    Price: $15 for non-members and $10 for members – includes discounted admission to the museum
     Bring your imagination to this Eiteljorg workshop and create your very own replica building to take home. Bits of natural materials, such as pods, tendrils, twigs, nuts, and moss will be used. Fee includes materials and instruction; pre-register and pre-pay by calling (317) 275-1310 by Oct. 4. Workshop is designed for adults but suitable for ages 12 and older. Participants will be using a hot glue gun and cutting tools.

    Artist in Residence: Norris Chee (Dineh)
    Saturdays
    OCT. 19 & 26
    1 p.m. – 4 p.m.  
    Meet award-winning painter Norris Chee (Dineh) and watch as he demonstrates his art-making techniques.

    Buckaroo Bash: Carats, Corsets & Cowboys
    Friday
    OCT. 25
    Start preparing your finest jewels and corseted saloon wear for a night of daring elegance! The museum’s annual fundraising event for Eiteljorg education programming returns to the museum for its 16th year. Attendees will be entertained by the Endless Summer Band, and enjoy innovative and delicious food from Harrison College’s Chef’s Academy pastry students and Kahn’s Catering. Plus, attendees will get to participate in both live and silent auctions, a wine pull and the chance to purchase raffle tickets for a piece of fine jewelry from G. Thrapp Jewelers. Tickets can be purchased online www.Eiteljorg.org.

    Day of the Dead
    Saturday
    OCT. 26
    11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    The Mexican holiday of Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) is a time to remember and honor deceased loved ones. Experience Día de Muertos at the Eiteljorg. See traditional papel picado, the cut paper decorations hung for Hispanic celebrations and get ideas for your own memorial by seeing the elements on the museum’s community ofrenda (offering place). Watch performances by Anderson Ballet Folklorico and Comparsa Tlahuicas. Meet artists in residence, Beatriz Schlebecker and Richard Gabriel Jr., and create your own papel picado and tin ornament to take home.

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  • Becoming Two-Spirit | Excerpt from book on Native American Gay Identity and Social Acceptance

    by Brian Joseph Gilley | Photos and additional info provided by DeShong Perry-Smitherman, Eiteljorg public relations manager | Aug 28, 2013


    Traditional Navajo/Diné people recognize four genders and hold a respected place for same-sex unions within their culture.

    The Two-Spirit man occupies a singular place in Native American culture, balancing the male and the female spirit even as he tries to blend gay and Native identity. At 12:30 p.m., Saturday, Sep. 28, learn more about the Two-Spirit identity during the screening of Two Spirits and a panel discussion at the Eiteljorg Museum. In his book, Becoming Two-Spirit, Indiana University professor Brian Joseph Gilley features Two-Spirit men who speak frankly of homophobia within their communities, a persistent prejudice that is largely misunderstood or misrepresented by outsiders. Here is an excerpt from the book. 

    Gender Diversity and the Cultural Crossfire
    Two-Spirit men are well aware that at one time in the history of Native America, mostly before European contact, sexual and gender diversity was an everyday aspect of life among indigenous peoples. The following historical overview of Native American gender diversity is intended to help frame the ways contemporary Two-Spirit men are in the cultural crossfire between contemporary constructions of Native identity and historical knowledge. As we will see throughout the book, the history of acceptance of sexuality and gender diversity within Native communities places Two-Spirit men’s desires at odds with contemporary community expectations. Two-Spirit men are well aware that at one time in the history of Native America, mostly before European contact, sexual and gender diversity was an everyday aspect of life among indigenous peoples. The following historical overview of Native American gender diversity is intended to help frame the ways contemporary Two-Spirit men are in the cultural crossfire between contemporary constructions of Native identity and historical knowledge. As we will see throughout the book, the history of acceptance of sexuality and gender diversity within Native communities places Two-Spirit men’s desires at odds with contemporary community expectations.

    What scholars generically refer to “Native American gender diversity” was a fundamental institution among most tribal peoples. The fact that there were men among North America’s tribal peoples who preferred to do women’s work, dressed in a mixture of female and male clothing, and had sexual and domestic relationships with men is extensively documented in the academic and colonial –era literature. However, among Native societies these male-bodied gender-different people, referred to as “berdaches” in the academic and colonial literature, were in fact not considered men; rather, they were a separate or third gender (Roscoe 1993:336-349). Lang refers to the male bodied third-gender person as women-men, which I find a convenient descriptive term in lieu of the colonial term berdache (1998, xvi). Not to be confused with transvestitism, this third gender often embodied a mixture of the social, ceremonial, and economic roles of men and women. For example, among the Zuni there were men, women and lhamana. Lhamana was the third gender occupied by a male-bodied person. The lhamana dressed as women and performed women’s crafts such as weaving and potting, but also had the physical strength to fulfill certain male-oriented pursuits such as hunting big game and cutting firewood (Roscoe 1991:22-28).
    - Becoming Two-Spirit, Brian Joseph Gilley, p 7-8

    Gilley's panel and book signing is at 12:30 p.m., Saturday, Sep. 28 as part of the museum's Out West series. The signing takes place after the screening of the powerful documentary, Two Spirits. This film is about the brief life and tragic hate-crime murder of Two-Spirit teen Fred Martinez. 
     

     SEP. 28 OUT WEST SCHEDULE

    12:30 p.m. Welcome by Gregory Hinton, Out West founder
    12:45 p.m. "Two Spirits" film screening
    1:45 – 3:30 p.m. Panel discussion
    3:30 p.m. DVD/book signing Eiteljorg Museum Store
     
    Two SpiritsTWO SPIRITS PANEL
     - Moderator: Jodi A. Byrd, Ph.D. (Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma), associate professor of American Indian Studies and English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
      - Lydia Nibley, director, Two Spirits
      
    - Brian Joseph Gilley, Ph.D. (Cherokee of Oklahoma), associate professor of anthropology and director of the First Nations Educational and Cultural Center, Indiana University Bloomington; author of Becoming Two-Spirit
      
    - Wesley K. Thomas, Ph.D. (Diné), chair/professor, School of Diné Studies, Education & Leadership, Navajo Technical College (Crownpoint, NM)

    About Out West
    Out West was conceived by author and independent curator Gregory Hinton. Hinton created the program series to illuminate positive contributions of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community to the history and culture of the American West.

    Support LGBT Programming at the Eiteljorg
    Donate to

    Help support the screening and discussion of the powerful film, TWO SPIRITS, an acclaimed PBS Independent Lens documentary that tells the story of the brief life and tragic murder of transgender Navajo teen, Fred Martinez. The film, including a panel discussion, will take place at 12:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 28.

    To donate to this project, click
    Power2Give. Chase Bank will contribute one dollar for every dollar donated. To learn more about the film visit the website: twospirits.org.

    Photo #1 credit - Historic photo of Navajo couple from the collection of the Museum of New Mexico. Photographer: Bosque Redondo 1866. 

     

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