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Native American Environmental Artists Needed

by Beverly Miko Friday, Sep. 30, 2005 at 2:55 AM 440-891-8376 ICEA Box81496 Cleveland, Ohio 44181 USA

The International Center for Environmental Arts has a call for Indigenous visual and performing artists for the exhibition: Gathering of Power, featuring contemporary art from the Indigenous World. This will be a collaborative programs with The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) and SITE, Santa Fe’s 2006 biennial exhibition, curated by independent curator Klaus Ottmann.

I am working with Museum of the The Institute of American Indian Arts

(IAIA) to reach out to Indigenous visual and performing artists who

would want to be considered for participation in A Gathering of Power:

Contemporary Works from the Indigenous World .

IAIA is a tribal college and the only multi-tribal center of higher

education in the United States solely dedicated to the preservation,

study, creative application, contemporary expression of American Indian

and Alaska Native arts and cultures.

Although Santa Fe is home to an international community of artists, the

IAIA Museum, as part of a Native-governed organization, maintains a

unique set of connections to contemporary artists from throughout the

Indigenous world—artists who face many of the same challenges and share

many of the same interests as Native American artists. Therefore, the

IAIA Museum has a special responsibility and opportunity to periodically

highlight the work of contemporary artists outside the Euro-American


The organizers of the biennial, Gathering of Power: Contemporary Works

from the Indigenous World hope to develop collaborative programs with

SITE Santa Fe’s 2006 biennial exhibition, curated by independent

curator Klaus Ottmann. The combination of these offerings presents an

opportunity for dialogue between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous

worlds and will serve as a stimulus for continuing critical and popular


The Exhibition: The 2006 IAIA Museum Global Biennial, A Gathering of

Power: Contemporary Works from the Indigenous World, running July

through September 2006, will showcase approximately 30 artworks from 20

to 30 Indigenous artists from North America, Central America, South

America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Oceania, and Europe. The

works will be selected from candidates submitted by an international

group of artists and curators. Selection of particular works will be

based on their technical achievement and inherent capacity to engage

viewers with a sense of power related to alternate worldview or

spiritual systems. The artwork will be selected by Director John Richard

Grimes and Curator Joseph Sanchez in consultation with a panel of

curatorial advisors including noted Chiricahua Apache artist Bob Haozous

and other international specialists. Works will include a variety of

media, including paintings, sculpture, mixed media, installations, video

art, and performances.

An additional component of the exhibition will be a series of lectures,

workshops, and panel discussions by Indigenous artists, Museum directors

and curators who will help to engage Indigenous and non-Indigenous

artists in constructive dialogue and creative exchange. It is hoped that

some of the educational activities and marketing for the project will

take place in partnership with SITE Santa Fe and/or the Santa Fe Art


As an Indigenous institution, the IAIA Museum is in a unique position

to develop new, more globally and culturally inclusive interpretive

strategies that provide alternate perspectives on art, culture,

aesthetics, and values. Specific goals for A Gathering of Power are:

1. Within the exhibition, to create an environment that fosters a

respectful, humane, non-voyeuristic engagement with art, and increases

public understanding of the contemporary creativity of Indigenous

artists working outside Euro-American movements.

2. To stimulate dialogue between Euro-American contemporary artists and

Native American and Indigenous artists from around the world.

Recognizing that Euro-American ”Mainstream” art and Indigenous art have

had a profound impact on each other throughout the 18th to 20th

centuries, the exhibition will explicitly inaugurate a creative dialogue

for the 21st Century, a dialogue for today’s diverse world. Art

institutions, artists, and the public need new vocabularies and new

conceptual foundations that are more culturally and socially inclusive,

less biased toward the western experience, and more focused on art as a

fundamental means of connection and dialogue. The IAIA Museum is

dedicated to modeling new ways of exhibiting and discussing art in a

plural, increasingly post-colonial society.

3. Possible creation of an exhibition-to-exhibition “dialogue” involving

the IAIA and SITE biennials. Klaus Ottmann, the curator of SITE’s

exhibition, has suggested that “there is an urgent need today for art

that challenges the dispassion and indecision of the world, an urgent

desire to experience art with immediacy that exists in and of

itself…[art that] generates its own meaning rather than depending on

external or conceptual interpretations. This urgent presence will be

profoundly embodied in the works in the next SITE Santa Fe Biennial.”

IAIA’s biennial exhibition, A Gathering of Power: Contemporary Works

from the Indigenous World explores how, for many contemporary Indigenous

artists, eliciting the “urgent presence” of the creator, or the

spiritual world, is, and has always been, a fundamental obligation,

objective and starting point.

4. To explore the nature of creative expression in non-Western culture,

in which the artist does not typically assume the role of an individual

“genius,” but instead the elicitor of living creative currents inherent

in the human and non-human spheres

I would welcome any suggestions about

1. contemporary Indigenous artists or performing artists who would be

interested in being considered

2. possible sources of funding for their participation and

3. art organizations and institutions, preferably Indigenous, which

would be interested in exploring closer ties with IAIA

I hope to hear from you very soon.

Thank you.


Gordon Bronitsky, PhD

Bronitsky and Associates

3715 La Hacienda Dr NE

Albuquerque, NM 87110





About ICEA:

International Center for Environmental Arts (ICEA)

P. O. Box 81496

Cleveland, Ohio 44181 USA

Phone/fax: 440-891-8376



ICEA - The International Center for Environmental Arts (ICEA) is a force for socially responsible activity. ICEA's mission is to "Assist in understanding of the relationship between Humans and their Environment through the Arts". The International Center for Environmental Arts (ICEA) was founded by David and Renate Jakupca in 1987 to meet the compelling needs of ordinary citizens for access to current, balanced, understandable information about complex global issues. Over the years, ICEA has gained a reputation for excellence based upon a unique library of specialized, current information on global importance and a wide range of imaginative programming and collaborations with other organizations to meet the needs of a broad constituency. With affiliates across the globe, the ICEA supports research, information sharing and effective action promoting a sustainable culture of Peace.

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