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Join us for a conversation with artist Jaune Quick-to-See Smith about her vision in curating The Land Carries Our Ancestors: Contemporary Art by Native Americans and the exhibition’s central theme of Indigenous reverence, study, and concern for the land. She will be joined by artists G. Peter Jemison and Neal Ambrose-Smith; as well as Elizabeth Rule, scholar, and advocate for Indigenous communities. Molly Donovan, curator of contemporary art at the National Gallery will serve as moderator.
About the Speakers
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (Citizen of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation) is an artist, teacher, activist and curator. In her artistic practice, Smith makes paintings, works on paper, and sculptures that represent the entwined construction of Native American and American identity through a complex system of everyday objects and visual codes. Her art invites close readings that challenge the damaging stereotypes of Native Americans embedded in the cultural signs and histories of America from the past and present, with a view toward the future. Smith has curated over 30 exhibitions of her fellow Native American artists, tenaciously organizing and supporting their work to write a Native American art history. She received an Associate of Arts Degree at Olympic College in Bremerton, Washington, a BA in Art Education from Framingham State College, Massachusetts, and an MA in Visual Arts from the University of New Mexico. A touring retrospective of Smith’s work, organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, will open at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in October. Two of her works are in the collection of the National Gallery of Art: Target (1992) and Adios Map (2021).
G. Peter Jemison (Seneca Nation of Indians, Heron Clan) Jemison received his fine art education from the University of Siena, Italy, before earning a B.S. in Arts Education from Buffalo State College, where he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts in 2003. The artist refers to himself as a “cultural arts worker” whose practice balances curatorial pursuits, activism, speaking engagements, writing, editing, and art making. His leadership on behalf of his fellow Native Americans extends to administrative roles, including his position as founding director of the American Indian Community House Gallery in New York from 1978 to 1985. He has served as Historic Site Manager at Ganondagan in Victor, New York, the center for preservation and learning about Haudenosaunee culture. In addition, Jemison is a Seneca Faithkeeper, served as the Indian Tribes representative on the Federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation during the administration of President George W. Bush, acts as the Seneca Nation representative for the Native American Graves, Protection and Repatriation Act committee, and is a Trustee for the National Museum of the American Indian. His art is represented in countless collections worldwide: Jemison’’s work, Sentinels (Large Yellow) (2006) is in the collection of the National Gallery of Art.
Neal Ambrose-Smith (Flathead Salish Nation of Montana descent) is a contemporary Native American artist and Professor at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he has been the department chair of studio arts. Ambrose-Smith earned a BA in fine arts from the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, and an MFA from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. His work, drawing from popular culture sources, has been featured in many one-person and group exhibitions throughout the United States. Numerous permanent collections hold his work, including the Eiteljorg Museum, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, New York Public Library, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian Galerie municipale d’art contemporain in Chamalières, France, and Hongik University in Seoul, Korea.
Elizabeth Rule (Chickasaw Nation) serves as assistant professor of Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies at American University and holds a Social Practice Residency at the Kennedy Center. Rule’s most recent book, Indigenous DC: Native Peoples and the Nation’s Capital (Georgetown University Press), analyzes historical and contemporary sites of Indigenous importance in Washington. Her first book , Reproducing Resistance: Gendered Violence and Indigenous Nationhood, analyzes the intersection of violence against Native women, reproductive justice, and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women; this work received the Julien Mezey Award from the Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities in 2020. She previously served as the director of George Washington University’s AT&T Center for Indigenous Politics and Policy. Rule received her PhD and MA in American Studies from Brown University, and her BA from Yale University.