Heard Museum exhibit to feature sets of Native artists

Kristen Dorsey (Chickasaw), Breath of Life Gorget. Chased and repousséd fine silver, 14k, opal, sapphire, tourmaline, and peach moonstone. Collection of the artist

Kristen Dorsey (Chickasaw), Breath of Life Gorget. Chased and repousséd fine silver, 14k, opal, sapphire, tourmaline, and peach moonstone. Collection of the artist

Seven pairs of American Indian artists from throughout the Southwest – one established mentor and one emerging artist ages 16 to 20 per pair – are partners in art in a new exhibit, “Confluence: Inter-generational Collaborations,” which opens Feb. 6 at the Heard Museum.

Each partnership has resulted in the co-creation of a collaborative art work or series of works, to be displayed in the exhibit in the museum’s Lincoln Gallery. The collaborations, created and completed at the museum and in the mentor artists’ studios over three months, are in diverse media: textile/fiber arts, film, metalsmithing, painting and fashion design, according to a press release.

In addition, the exhibit will also include individual works created by each artist.

Exhibit curator Jaclyn Roessel, the Heard’s director of education and public programs, said the percentage of tribal residents younger than 30 is at an all-time high.

“Confluence is the merging of many artistic voices, exploring what it means to be young leaders and culture bearers in Indian Country today,” stated Ms. Roessel in the release. “The need for exchange between generations is critical. The collective understanding of ‘what is an elder’ is another changing perspective. Generations are prioritizing the necessity to convene and collaborate with many age groups, to benefit cultural gain and to address issues facing their communities and people using fresh and relevant practices.”

Participating “mentor” artists include Michael Teller Ornelas (Navajo), Kristen Dorsey (Chickasaw), Anthony “Thosh” Collins (Onk Akimel O’otham/Osage/Seneca/Cayuga), Dwayne Manuel (Onk Akimel O’otham), Darylene Martin (Navajo), Warren Montoya (Santa Ana/Santa Clara Pueblo) and Klee Benally (Navajo).

Ms. Martin, a fashion designer from Tempe, said she became a mentor for this exhibit as a sign of respect for those who taught her.

“They opened my eyes to art,” Ms. Martin stated in the release.

Members of the public who come to the Heard’s First Friday event will receive a special preview after 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5. The Heard opens its galleries from 6 to 10 p.m. each First Friday of the month except March with free admission.

Patron sponsors of the exhibit are Dino and Elizabeth Murfee DeConcini.

More exhibit details can be found at http://heard.org/exhibits/confluence/. More details about the February First Friday can be found at http://heard.org/event/first-friday-feb/.

The Heard Museum is located 2301 N. Central Ave. in Phoenix.

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