Five Native American/First Nations artists chosen for Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship

02/10/2019 12:00 PM
INDIANAPOLIS – Five foremost Native American/First Nations artists have been selected for the 2019 Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship.

Curator-chosen selections of their work – including installations, paintings, video and mixed media – will go on exhibit Nov. 16 at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. Each artist receives a $25,000 unrestricted fellowship award, is part of the exhibition and will be featured in a catalog. Additionally, works by each Eiteljorg Fellow will be purchased for the museum’s permanent collection.

Selected by a panel of contemporary art experts, the five artists chosen for the 2019 installment of the Eiteljorg Fellowship are:

• Invited Artist: Rita Letendre (Abenaki), a painter from Toronto, Canada

• Matthew Kirk (Navajo), a painter from Queens, N.Y.

• Dyani White Hawk Polk (Sičangu Lakota), a painter and mixed media artist from Minneapolis, Minn.

• Hannah Claus (Mohawk), an installation and multimedia artist from Montreal, Canada

• Demian DinéYazhí (Diné), a multimedia artist from Portland, Ore.

“As the Eiteljorg Museum celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2019, we are proud to be stewards of one of the most important collections of contemporary Native art in the world and to showcase fascinating, important works of Indigenous artists whose innovation and creativity have been recognized through the Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship,” Eiteljorg Museum President and CEO John Vanausdall said.

The new exhibition of the Fellows’ artwork, “Blurring the Lines: The Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship 2019,” opens Nov. 16 in the Eiteljorg’s special exhibitions gallery and continues through Feb. 2, 2020. During opening celebrations in Indianapolis on Nov. 14-16, the public will have opportunities to meet the five fellows and the museum will host a symposium with the artists to discuss contemporary Native art issues. Also, the Eiteljorg will publish a catalog of scholarly articles and essays providing an in-depth study of each artist.

Selectors for the 2019 class of Eiteljorg Fellows included Cherokee Nation citizen Brenda Mallory who was a 2015 fellow, Ryan Steadman, an independent contemporary art curator, and Rebecca Dobkins, curator of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art and professor of anthropology and department chair at Willamette University.

Founded in 1989, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of the American west and the Indigenous peoples of North America. Located on the Central Canal at 500 West Washington St., the Eiteljorg Museum recently was named one of the USA Today Readers’ Choice 10 Best Indiana Attractions.


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