Mia Celebrates Native American Indian Heritage Month

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October 9, 2015–In celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day (October 12) and Native American Indian Heritage Month in November, the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) announces a robust schedule of Native American programming, including exhibitions, films, tours, and a Family Day. Additionally, The Art of Americas galleries at Mia presents a new rotation from the permanent collection representing all cultural regions and including a wide variety of mediums. Curated by Jill Ahlberg Yohe, Assistant Curator of Native American Art, the galleries showcase historical to contemporary works including such highlights as an extraordinary Lakota/Cheyenne headdress (late 19th-early 20th century) that was recently gifted to the museum, an exquisite jewelry ensemble that depicts Pocohantas (2014), and new works on view from Native communities across the country.

Please see below for a full program schedule. Exhibitions and events are free unless otherwise noted.

October 11; 11 a.m. | Family Day: Across the Americas
The City of Minneapolis has officially changed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day, and Mia is celebrating with a day dedicated to Native American art, both traditional and contemporary. Families can get hands-on in studio sessions, meet Native artists, and feel the rhythm with live drumming and dance performances. A full schedule of the day’s events can be found here.

Through October 25 | Oshki-baawajigewin / Wóihaŋbde Théča / A New Vision
Offering fresh perspectives on museums, medicines, beauty, and resilience, talented Native youth have created works on canvas based on their own personal reactions to objects in Mia’s permanent collection. These interpretations are singular and courageous, and capture each artist’s unique experience and perspective on the art they have seen, their life experiences, and the world around them. For a video on the project, click here.

October 30; 6 p.m. | Rising Voices/Hótȟaŋiŋpi
“Rising Voices/Hótȟaŋiŋpi” tells the story of a passionate, dedicated, and diverse group of people who are working together to save the Lakota language. Told through the voices of a wide range of Lakota people, the film also incorporates four short films created for “Rising Voices” by Lakota filmmakers and artists; each one gives a perspective on how finding one’s authentic “language” connects a person to a deeper sense of identity and culture.
Sponsored by the Native American Art Affinity Group.
November 12; 11 a.m. | Tom Jones: Seeing Clearly—What Photography Reveals about Native American Identity and Perception
Tom Jones, assistant professor of photography at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, will explain how his Ho-Chunk identity helps him to challenge our perceptions and assumptions of Native people, offering new perspectives of tribal members as active agents in the 21st century. Jones works closely with his tribe to portray them from the inside out, as opposed to the traditional view of the outsider looking in. This event is SOLD OUT.
November 13; 7 p.m. | ‘Always Becoming’ with Nora Naranjo Morse
Documentarian Nora Naranjo Morse, Santa Clara Pueblo, will introduce her film, Always Becoming, a 30-minute documentary revealing the construction and concepts behind five ephemeral sculptures she built at the National Museum of the American Indian in 2007. The five figures—Father, Mother, Little one, Moon Woman, and Mountain Bird—come from Santa Clara Pueblo oral traditions. Designed to melt back into the earth, these sculptures were made with organic material and built by indigenous people from the United States and Mexico. The film addresses contemporary Native issues and the creative process of making art inspired by indigenous culture.
$10; $5 MIA members, free to Native American Art Affinity Group members. To register, call (612) 870-6323 or reserve online.

Weekly throughout November
Tours of the Art of the Americas galleries will be offered weekly throughout November. Details to follow.


Through February 16 | Arriving at Fresh Water: Contemporary Native Artists from Our Great Lakes
Some of the best Native art is being made in the Great Lakes area. This intimate exhibition presents 14 of the region’s most visionary artists. These artists are boldly tackling the biggest, most universal issues of the day, exploring truth and justice, community and self. They are chronicling their own histories and the sweep of societal change. They are pushing past assumptions into the realm of revelation—the promise of beauty to change the way we see.
Artists involved in the exhibition are Carolyn Anderson, Frank Big Bear, Julie Buffalohead, Andrea Carlson, Jim Denomie, Louise Erdrich, Tom Jones, Truman Lowe, George Morrison, Norval Morrisseau, Maggie Thompson, Star Wallowing Bull, Jodi Webster, and Dyani White Hawk.

Home to over 87,000 works of art representing 5,000 years of world history, the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) inspires wonder, spurs creativity, and nourishes the imagination. General admission to the Mia is always free. Some special exhibitions have a nominal admission fee.
Museum hours: Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Thursday and Friday 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; Monday closed. For more information, call (612) 870-3000 or visit artsmia.org.