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Our People, Our Land, Our Images:
International Indigenous Photography 

January 26 – May 21, 2017

El Gigante de Paruro y Victor Mendivil, Cusco, 1925, modern black-and-white reprint, 2005, 16 x 20 inches, courtesy Martin Chambi Family Archives, Cusco, Peru. Olives from Gaza: the bitter dream, 2004, digital print, 24 x 20 inches, courtesy the artist. © Sama Alshaibi. Pawnee Woman in Field from the series “Earth Renewal/Earth Return,” c. 2002, hand-tinted, double-exposed, black-and-white photograph, 24 x 30 inches, courtesy the artist. © Shan Goshorn. Skywalker, 2006, c-print, 20 x 16 inches, courtesy the artist. © Pena Bonita. My Father’s Hands, 2005, digital print, 20 x 20 inches, courtesy the artist. © Rosalie Favell. This is not a Commercial, this is  my homeland, 1998, platinum lambda print, 33 x 28 inches, courtesy the artist. © Hulleah J.  Tsinhnahjinnie. Laguna Eagle Dancers, 1962, black-and-white print, 16 x 20 inches, courtesy the artist.  © Lee Marmon. Yéil, 2006, digital print, 30 x 31 inches, courtesy the artist. © Larry McNeil. Graduating Class of 1902, Cherokee Female Seminary, Tahlequah, Oklahoma, 1902, modern black-and-white reprint, 2006, 16 x 20 inches, collection Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, OK. Image 2 from the series “Pukuwaitia,” 2006, C-type print, 22 x 30 inches, courtesy the artist. © Aimee Ratana.

Opportunities to view Indigenous peoples through the eyes of Indigenous photographers are rare and recent. This photographic exhibition features works by Indigenous artists from the United States, Canada, Peru, and New Zealand. Our People, Our Land, Our Images is distinctive in its historical reach, including newly discovered nineteenth-century pioneers, established contemporary practitioners, and members of the next generation of emerging photographers. Reflecting contemporary trends, the photographs vary in style, from straightforward documentary accounts to aesthetically altered images combining overlays and collage. However, the images stand united in exploring their makers’ connections to their lands, communities, and traditions. The multiplicity of perspectives represented by this exhibition and accompanying texts demonstrates the longevity and continuing vitality of Native traditions of photography and answers the overdue and continued need to expand the knowledge of Indigenous self-presentation in photography.

Guest curator Veronica Passalacqua of The C. N. Gorman Museum at the University of California, Davis, originally organized this exhibition in conjunction with a conference for international Indigenous photographers held at the museum. For the past fifteen years, Passalacqua has been active in the field of Native North American art as a writer, curator, and scholar. Most recently, she facilitated the donation/repatriation of a significant private Lakota collection of artifacts to the Buechel Memorial Lakota Museum, Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota. Previous curatorial work includes exhibitions at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, England; the Navajo Nation Museum, Window Rock, Arizona; and the Barbican Art Gallery, London. 

The exhibition is toured by ExhibitsUSA, a national program of Mid-America Arts Alliance. ExhibitsUSA sends more than twenty-five exhibitions on tour to more than one hundred small- and mid-sized communities every year. Mid-America is the oldest nonprofit regional arts organization in the United States. More information is available at www.maaa.org and www.eusa.org.

Our People, Our Land, Our Images has previously been on view at Tarble Arts Center, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL (2011–2012); Sordoni Art Gallery, Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, PA (2013); Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (2014); Museum of the Southwest, Midland, TX (2014); and Oklahoma State University Museum of Art, Stillwater, OK (2016–2017).

Related events will include a screening of short films by Indigenous filmmakers and a guest lecture by exhibiting artists Shelley Niro (Mohawk) and Hulleah J. Tsinhnahjinnie (Seminole/Muskogee/Diné). Visit our website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to learn more.