WE NEVER LEFT: Artists of Southeast Indian Tribes Exhibition Opens at the Museum of Arts & Sciences in Daytona Beach

Sequoyah by Joshua Adams (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians)

Published January 2, 2019

On Display January 12 – April 14, 2019: Featuring 30 contemporary artworks by 20 artists from 10 Southeast Indian tribes

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 1830s witnessed the U.S. government’s forced removal of tens of thousands of American Indians from the Southeast to what was then referred to as “Indian Territory” west of the Mississippi (today’s Oklahoma). History now refers to this calamitous event as “the trail of tears.”

Removal, however, was far from complete. WE NEVER LEFT celebrates contemporary artists descended from those American Indians who, against all odds, remained in the Southeast as tribes who continue to live in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.

The artwork in the exhibition is highly diverse, including painting, photography, ceramics, mixed media, sculpture, wood- and stone-carving, basketry, beadwork, textiles, collage, a letterpress book, and a hip-hop music video. Reflecting engagement with tradition-inspired techniques, cutting-edge technology, and pop culture, the exhibition’s artwork addresses a variety of issues – cultural preservation, language revitalization, personal identity and expression, American history, community pride, and threats to homeland and the natural environment. There is also an opportunity to hear the revitalized Cherokee and Tunica languages spoken.

Participating artists include such internationally renowned artists as the late Shan Goshorn (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians), Jeffrey Gibson (Mississippi Choctaw), Sarah Sense (Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana), and Luzene Hill (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians). A complete roster of participating artists is attached.

Hollis Chitto (Mississippi Choctaw, Laguna Pueblo, Isleta Pueblo) Hollis’s beaded bagaddresses HIV, over-represented butunder-recognized in Native American communities.

An opening reception for WE NEVER LEFT will be held on Friday, January 11 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Museum of Arts & Sciences. A cash bar and light hors d’oeuvres can be enjoyed as well as a talk by the exhibition’s curator, Walter Meyer. This opening reception is free for museum members and is $5.00 for the public. RSVPs are requested by January 7 by calling the Museum at 386-255-0285.

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