This weekend and next week, Indian Country is all about fashion, fine art infused with fun, and fantastic photography. 

Highlights include the release of an epic image of Indian Country artists, shows and conversations featuring bold and clever takes on Indigenous issues and culture, and breaking fashion news from the Santa Fe Indian Market.  

Native News Online’s event guide is here to guide you through all the great events and experiences on the Indigenous agenda. 

Art Release: Making History 

MakingHistoryThe photograph Making History by Chemehuevi photographer Cara Romero, commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, NM, and is available for purchase at cararomerophotography.com. (Cara Romero)

WHEN: Available now

WHERE: cararomerophotography.com

Chemehuevi photographer Cara Romero captured 41 artists and 60 years of creativity and community in one incredible image.

The photograph Making History is a who’s who of influential graduates of Santa Fe’s Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), and was created to commemorate IAIA’s 60th anniversary and the semi-centennial of the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Arts.  

“Making History is a tribute to the power of the institute and museum and the artists who emerge from the school and create our inter-tribal family,” Romero, an IAIA graduate,  said in a statement. “We care for and follow each other throughout this life and hold each other together. We all have a deep sense of pride about being affiliated with these institutions. It’s such an honor to be able to photograph this historical gathering.”

The art stars in the image include Romero herself, Joy Harjo (Mvskoke Nation), Anita Fields (Osage), Patricia Michaels (Taos Pueblo), Kathleen Wall (Jemez Pueblo), Terran Last Gun (Piikani), Linda Lomahaftewa (Hopi/Choctaw), Cannupa Hanska Luger (Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara), Diego Romero (Cochiti Pueblo), Roxane Swentzell (Santa Clara Pueblo) and Dr. Robert Martin (Cherokee).

It took Romero six months to create the photo, from commission to completion, and she went about assembling the photo as if it were a complicated quilt. 

“As you might imagine, scheduling this many VIPs was approaching ‘mission impossible,’” she said.  “I have used a technique for years called ‘stitching’ multiple images together to reach the panoramic format in post-production. Making History is four individual photographs, captured on four different days and stitched together in post-production to achieve the 40-plus person image.”

Now, anyone can own this piece of IAIA history by purchasing a copy on Romero’s website. 

“So many history makers have come out of IAIA, and MoCNA holds our shared stories in their archives--it is a collective history of American history like no other,” Romero said.  “IAIA changed my life --as it has for so many Native American artists from reservations all over Turtle Island.”

Announcement: SWAIA Fashion Show Designers 

TiraHowardPhoto JamieOkuma GI9A4150 copy 900x1200Shoshone Bannock and Luiseno Designer Jamie Okuma's designs at the 2021 Santa Fe Indian Market fashion show. (Tira Howard for SWAIA) WHEN: Saturday, August 20 and Sunday, August 21 

WHERE: Santa Fe Indian Market

The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) is layering on the fashion for this August’s  Centennial  Santa Fe Indian Market .

SWAIA recently announced the designer line-up for the Centennial Indigenous Fashion Show, and it’s sizzling with the hottest style stars in Indian Country

The participating fashion designers are Jason Baerg (Cree Métis), Himikalas/Pamela Baker (Kwaguilth/Sqaumish), Catherine Blackburn (Dene), Melanie LeBlanc (European and Dene), Orlando Dugi (Navajo), Korina Emmerich (Puyallup and Nisqually), Sho Esquiro (Kaska Dene/Cree), Lauren GoodDay (Arikara, Hidatssa, Blackfeet, Plains Cree), Dorothy Grant (Haida), Lesley Hampton (Anishinaabe), Ursala Hudson (Tlingit), Patricia Michaels (Taos Pueblo), Skawennati (Mohawk), Jamie Okuma (Luiseño, Wailaki, Okinawan, Shoshone-Bannock), Cody Sanderson (Navajo), Yolanda Skelton (Gitxsan) and Adrian Standing Elk Pinnecoose (Navajo/Southern Ute).

There will be more fashion programming than ever before at the upcoming Market. There will be two full fashions shows: one on Saturday, August 20, at the Centennial Gala Party, and one on Sunday, August 21, which will immediately be followed by the Indigenous Trunk Show, where guests will get the chance to shop and order pieces directly from the featured designers.

The expanded focus on fashion is part of a plan to launch a full SWAIA Fashion Week, according to longtime SWAA fashion event producer and director Amber-Dawn Bear Robe.

“Last year we announced a partnership between SWAIA Fashion, Indigenous Fashion Arts (IFA), Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW) and the newly established Supernaturals Modelling Agency,” Bear Robe said in a statement. “All partners will be back this year and we hoping to announce a Santa Fe Indigenous Fashion Week soon." 

Check out swaia.org/fashion for more information. 

Engaging the Future: Conversations with Goodman Fellowship Artists

CarlyA piece by Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation artist Carly Feddersen. Feddersen will discuss her practice in an online conversation presented by the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, on Wednesday, May 25. (Carly Feddersen) WHEN: Wednesday, May 25, 9 a.m.

WHERE: Event registration

Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation artist Carly Feddersen is the focus of The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture’s  final installment of the 2021-2022 lecture series, Engaging the Future: Conversations with Goodman Fellowship Artists. 

Feddersen, a metalsmith, stone carver, and traditional basket maker who also works with glass and print, will Zoom in from her home studio to discuss her practice.

Humor and irony are important elements in her work which is rooted in material culture and traditional stories of the Columbia Plateau. 

“With cheeky humor, my work tells abbreviated stories that translate ideas with anthropomorphic and animistic themes into jewelry. Plateau material culture and creation stories are important sources of inspiration for me, as are the stones I gather for use in my work,” Feddersen said in a statement. “The jewelry I make is often a personification of the pieces of land they are made of. Through carving and shaping the rocks I collect near my home in Central Washington they take on new life and sometimes, senses of their own. Plateau basket and beadwork motifs are also prominent in my work.”

We Are Still Here

TheReturn ThunderThe Return of the Freaky Deaky Mashode Bizhiki by Red Lake Band of Ojibwe artist Jonathan Thunder is featured in the exhibit We Are Still Here, on display at All My Relations Arts in Minneapolis, from Wednesday, May 24 through Sunday, July 2. (All My Relations Arts)

WHEN: Tuesday, May 24 to Saturday, July 2 

WHERE: All My Relations Arts, 1414 E Franklin Ave Minneapolis, MN;

Contemporary and traditional storytelling combine in the group exhibition We Are Still Here.

The bold, graphic artworks in the show are the result of a collaboration between Minneapolis-based non-profit community arts organization Hennepin Theatre Trust  and All My Relations Arts, and several of the show pieces are digital designs that were previously featured on billboards displayed throughout the Twin Cities.

The humorous, and thought-provoking billboards were intended to amplify Native voices and perspectives, highlight modern Native culture, and dispel stereotypes in an effort to  transform the narrative of Minnesota’s Native population. 

The featured artists are Ray Janis (Oglala Lakota, ) Sheldon Starr (Oglala Sioux), Missy Whiteman, (Northern Arapaho and Kickapoo) and mentor artist Jonathan Thunder (Red Lake Band of Ojibwe). 

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You’re reading the first draft of history. 

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About The Author
Tamara Ikenberg
Author: Tamara IkenbergEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tamara Ikenberg is a contributing writer to Native News Online. She covers tribes throughout the southwest as well as Native arts, culture and entertainment. She can be reached at [email protected]