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Contemporary Native American Artists
     

Contemporary Native American Artists

by Suzanne Deats, Kitty Leaken (Photographer)
 

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Contemporary Native American artists have a strong presence in the North American and international art markets. This talented group’s work can be found in many annual events, an ever-changing array of fine art galleries, and a number of museums throughout North America. These artists give visible form to the past, present, and future of American Indian life.

Overview

Contemporary Native American artists have a strong presence in the North American and international art markets. This talented group’s work can be found in many annual events, an ever-changing array of fine art galleries, and a number of museums throughout North America. These artists give visible form to the past, present, and future of American Indian life. In Contemporary Native American Artists, key luminaries of the Native American art world are brought together through stunning photography and intimate portrayals of their lives and art.

Editorial Reviews

B.J. Thomas
Artfullly done!

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781423605591
Publisher:
Smith, Gibbs Publisher
Publication date:
06/01/2012
Pages:
184
Sales rank:
628,080
Product dimensions:
9.40(w) x 11.14(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Contemporary Native American art is a strong presence in the United States and in today’s international art market. It encompasses thousands of artists, many annual events, an everchanging array of fine art galleries, and a number of museums throughout North America. A large, vibrant sector is devoted to time-honored forms associated with daily life: textiles, jewelry, pottery, and ceremonial objects. An equally important group brings the ancient traditions to the breaking edge of contemporary innovation with paintings, sculptures, and high-tech processes. In between is every shade and gradation of creativity. These artists give visible form to the past, present, and future of American Indian life. Their art affords tangible proof of the endurance of their people and the unshakable integrity of their culture.

The art is built upon millennia of esthetic expression by tribes that were scattered across the vast North American continent. Each tribe’s imagery reflected its own heritage and setting; all rose to an uncommon level of beauty that informed and infused all aspects of life. With the arrival of European colonists in the sixteenth century, the robust indigenous culture became fragmented. The people were pushed into the outer fringes of the encroaching society and many were forced onto reservations. Their numbers dwindled as they endured unimaginable hardship. Art, no longer central to the people’s existence, became tourist commodity or collectible antique artifact, and so it remained for generations. But beneath the ruins of a culture, and safely out of sight of the new order, the people’s creative roots survived.

The flowering of Native American art in the modern era began with the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This school broke new ground in the late 1960s and continues to lead the way for an increasing number of international workshops and university art curricula. IAIA recruited talented youth from reservations and Native communities throughout the United States. It provided teachers who were recognized artists, and presented high-level art history classes and in-depth courses on Indian cultures. Students were schooled in the crafts of their ancestors, and were encouraged to develop new forms. They acquired technical skills in oil paint and bronze; they explored the latest trends in cinematography and experimental media.

What People are Saying About This

B.J. Thomas
Artfullly done!

Meet the Author

Suzanne Deats, a graduate of the University of New Mexico, is an artist and art critic. She worked at the Santa Fe Reporter for seven years before writing magazine articles and a number of books about artists and fine arts. She lives in Houston, Texas.

Kitty Leaken, a seasoned photojournalist, creates documentaries that preserve art and culture of native peoples in Tibet and Sri Lanka. She graduated from Stanford University, has provided photography for several books, and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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