Five groundbreaking contemporary Native artists from the U.S. and Canada highlight the prestigious 2023 Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship. Their cutting-edge works of art are showcased in the exhibition UNSETTLE/Converge, at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis, Indiana on view now through Feb. 25, 2024.
Since 1999, the Eiteljorg Museum has celebrated and promoted contemporary Native art, led by the internationally renowned Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship. Especially of late, Native art is having a moment. Building on the title and themes of the two previous Fellowship rounds, Blurring the Line in 2019 and Shifting Boundaries in 2021, the 2023 Fellowship is titled UNSETTLE/Converge; highlighting the 2023 fellows who are leading the way in dismantling settler-colonial definitions of contemporary Native art to present Native voices and visions foremost.
- The well-established career of invited artist Ruth Cuthand (Plains Cree) of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, includes works in printmaking, painting, drawing, photography and beadwork. Confronting the settler-colonial roots of Canada, her art pays homage to the resiliency of Indigenous communities.
- Natalie Ball (Klamath Tribes [Klamath / Modoc]) of Chiloquin, Oregon, is an elected official: a member of the Klamath Tribal Council. Her artistic practice draws upon her Native and African American heritage to create mixed-media assemblages that include quilt patterns, unconventional objects and natural materials to investigate definitions of Native identity.
- Sean Chandler (Aaniiih [Gros Ventre]) of Harlem, Montana, creates on unstretched canvas personal narrative mixed-media works on the subjects of U.S. settler colonialism and his experiences of growing up in eastern Montana. His career as an artist coincides with his academic roles as an educator and community college administrator.
- Mercedes Dorame (Gabrielino Tongva) of Altadena, California, uses installation and photography to examine and revitalize her family’s connection to their ancestral land, Los Angeles. Utilizing natural materials, including fibers, shells or flora, her work in that region explores the roles of Gabrielino culture and ceremony, past and present.
- Raven Halfmoon (Caddo Nation / Choctaw / Delaware) of Norman, Oklahoma, continues her tribe’s rich history with ceramics by creating large-scale stoneware sculptures that focus on Caddo culture and history, as well as her experience as a 21st century Native woman.
As a leading institution internationally presenting and supporting contemporary Native art, the Eiteljorg Museum has awarded a combined quarter of a million dollars to this year’s five Fellows. It also has purchased more than $100,000 of their artworks to add to its permanent collections.
Learn more about this year’s Fellowship and previous rounds at: ContemporaryArtFellowship.Eiteljorg.org.