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Oklahoma State University

Southwest in Motion: Navajo, Pueblo and Hopi Paintings from the Charles Little Collection

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Cliff Bahnimptewa (Hopi, 1937–1984) Eagle Kachina Dancer, 1982 Watercolor on paper Gift of Charles Little, 2016.004.009

While Southwest in Motion: Navajo, Pueblo and Hopi paintings from the Charles Little Collection are on display at the OSU Museum of Art until Sept. 14, a closing reception featuring artists and curators will be held from 5-7 p.m. Sept. 5.

This exhibition invites visitors to discover the complex relationship that exists among culture, place, resistance and survival in a group of 20th-century paintings by Native American artists in the Southwest. Curated by OSU students Roxanne Beason, Calli Heflin, Katelynn Pipestem, Chestiké Williams, and Amanda Zimmerman working with Dr. Trever Lee Holland and Dr. Louise Siddons, with the help of community members from across Oklahoma, the show is an opportunity to consider how artworks themselves are often in motion, traveling from artist to collector to museum.

“There is a lot of cultural diversity evident in the exhibition, but there’s also a lot of individuality: It’s a lively show because each artist brings a distinct style and sensibility to their work,” Siddons said.

The Oklahoma State University Museum of Art is a teaching museum where students can study objects and artifacts firsthand instead of in a textbook. Recently, the Oklahoma Future Native Leaders group viewed Southwest in Motion, which served as a focal point for the two-hour program with 33 teens from across the state. Each student had a photo of themselves taken while they were in a pose that they felt like themselves in and later given to the students to embellish in ways they felt showed their identities.

“The visual world can be such a rich tool for learning,” said OSU Museum K-12 educator Cat de Araújo. This activity aimed to show how movement and migration affect one’s identity, directly relating the teens’ experience to the paintings in the exhibition, she said. At the end of the day, the group left with a different perspective of not only art but also themselves.

“This exhibition exemplifies the museum’s mission to advance creativity, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement through exhibitions and programs. The museum is a core contributor to the academic research and teaching of Oklahoma State University and is committed to serving learners from communities across Oklahoma and beyond,” de Araújo said.

MEDIA CONTACT: Katie Winnicki | Museum of Art | 405-744-2783 | katherine.winnicki@okstate.edu

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