PENDLETON — Tamástslikt Cultural Institute presents “Savages and Princesses: The Persistence of Native American Stereotypes” opening on July 5 and running through Oct. 19. The public is invited to view the exhibit on opening day for free.
Stereotypes of Native American peoples are ubiquitous and familiar. The exhibition Savages and Princesses: The Persistence of Native American Stereotypes brings together 13 contemporary Native American visual artists who reclaim their right to represent their identities as Native Americans. Whether using humor, subtlety or irony, the telling is always fiercely honest and dead-on, a release said. Images and styles are created from traditional, contemporary and mass culture forms.
The exhibition intends to counteract the disappearance of Native portrayals. It embraces Native Americans’ power to replace stereotypical images that permeate the current pop culture landscape. Recognizing that stereotypes often occur without conscious awareness, the exhibition explores common stereotypes about Native peoples that are falsehoods, followed by the truths behind them.
According to exhibition curator America Meredith, American society has great difficulty acknowledging its past with Native peoples or allowing them visibility in the present. The exhibition’s artists use the unexpected — humor, emotion or shock — to encourage viewers to question and challenge stereotypes, even unspoken, unacknowledged ones.
The artists represented are:
Matthew Bearden (Citizen Potawatomi-Kickapoo-Blackfeet-Lakota) mixed media artist, painter, Tulsa, Okla.
Heidi BigKnife (Shawnee Tribe), jeweler, Tulsa, Okla.
Mel Cornshucker (United Keetoowah Band), ceramic artist, Tulsa, Okla.
Tom Farris (Otoe-Missouria-Cherokee), mixed media artist, Norman, Okla.
Anita Fields (Osage-Muscogee), ceramic artist, Stillwater, Okla.
Kenny Glass (Wyandotte-Cherokee), textile artist, regalia maker, Tahlequah, Okla.
Shan Goshorn (Eastern Band Cherokee), photographer, Tulsa, Okla.
Juanita Pahdopony (Comanche), sculptor, Lawton, Okla.
K. H. Poole (Caddo-Delaware), draftsperson, Oklahoma City, Okla.
Zach Presley (Chickasaw), collage and digital artist, Durant, Okla.
Hoka Skenandore (Oneida-Oglala Lakota-Luiseño), mixed media artist, Shawnee, Okla.
Karin Walkingstick (Cherokee Nation), ceramic artist, Claremore, Okla.
Micah Wesley (Muscogee-Kiowa), mixed media artist, Norman, Okla.
For more information on the exhibit, go to www.tamastslikt.org.
In addition to the museum and interpretive center, Tamástslikt operates a museum store, café, and offers meeting room rentals. Tamástslikt is open six days a week, 10am-5pm, Monday-Saturday; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Kinship Café is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the same days the museum is open.
Tamástslikt is at 47106 Wildhorse Boulevard at the far end of the main driveway of the Wildhorse Resort & Casino, 10 minutes east of Pendleton.
For more information, contact Tamástslikt Cultural Institute at 541-429-7700 or visit www.tamastslikt.org.