Calling All Indigenous Creatives
More Information: yehawshow.com
yəhaw̓ is an open call exhibition celebrating the depth and diversity of Indigenous art made in the Pacific Northwest. All Indigenous creatives living in our region are invited to participate, and everyone who applies will have work included in the exhibition.
The title of the show, yəhaw̓, is drawn from the Coast Salish story of Native people from all tribes uniting around a common cause and lifting up the sky together. In the spirit of the story, this exhibition will be a collective portrait of Native America, including creatives of all ages and stages in their careers, from Urban and Reservation communities, working in contemporary and traditional materials, and in ways that may or may not be widely recognized as Native. And just as, historically, Indigenous makers seamlessly imbued utilitarian objects with spiritual and artistic meaning, we seek to challenge the false divide between craft and fine art, as well as high and low art, by equally valuing all objects as part of our cultural continuum.
The exhibition will also be accompanied by mentorship opportunities to support continued artistic development in the Indigenous community, and we hope that all exhibition participants will gain experience and exposure, and create sustaining relationships.
We are giving up curatorial control through the open call process to empower Native artisans to retake ownership of their representation. By creating an opportunity for the community to speak for itself through a wide range of individual and sometimes conflicting perspectives, we aim to unsettle assumptions and begin a critical new dialogue about what Native American art is and can be. We hope yəhaw̓ will reflect a nuanced, inclusive, and community-driven narrative that firmly establishes Native creatives as belonging in the here and now.
-Tracy Rector (Seminole/Choctaw), Asia Tail (Cherokee Nation), and Satpreet Kahlon