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First American Art Magazine’s Top Ten Native Art Events of 2019
By Faazine
January 3, 2020

The politics of the last year have been volatile, particularly for Indigenous peoples of Brazil, Colombia, and Bolivia. It is profoundly important that those of us with media platforms use our voices to advocate for fellow Indigenous peoples of the Americas, both to provide hope for the future when the darkness can seem overwhelming and to embody and share Indigenous worldviews for future generations.

The arts are one platform where Native people can communicate our perspectives with each other and the greater world at large. Indigenous artists shared their visions of sustainability and resilience throughout 2019, and below are ten events the writers, editors, advisors, and supporters of First American Art Magazine found most inspiring.

5. Indigenous Inclusion at the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art
The longest-running survey of new American art, the Whitney Biennial featured a critical mass of Indigenous artists for the first time in 2019. Curators Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley co-curated this 79th edition of the Whitney Biennial that included Indigenous artists Thirza Cuthand (Plains Cree), Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk), Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit/Unangax), Adam Khalil (Sault Ste. Marie Ojibwe), Zach Khalil (Sault Ste. Marie Ojibwe), Caroline Monnet (Algonquin), and Jackson Polys (Tlingit), Jeffrey Gibson (Choctaw/Cherokee), Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache) and the late James Luna (Payómkawichum/Ipi, 1950–2018). Galanin was one of the first of many artists who pulled their work from the show to protest the vice-chairman of the museum’s board, Warren Kanders, who owns Safariland, a tear gas manufacturer, and Sierra Bullets. The protests resulted in Kanders resigning from the museum board.


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