The Art Galleries of Florida Gulf Coast University has announced its first exhibition of 2014. Opening January 9, Long, Long River: Tradition and Expansion in Native Art will offer visitors the opportunity to experience the artistic vision of Native Americans connected to the Everglades.
The works included in this exhibition uniformly evince a passion for the traditions of the past. All of the artists included in the show work to teach younger generations of Seminoles traditional skills and to ensure that those skills, their language and their oral histories are not lost to time or eclipsed by the surrounding generic culture of the American lifestyle.
When the exhibition was conceived, curators Jessica Osceola and Anica Sturdivant (pictured right with Terry Tincher) began seeking works by members of the Seminole tribe or extractions thereof who are specifically working in a contemporary vein. They quickly realized that sustaining traditional methods and aesthetics are contemporary issues for many Native artists, and the exhibition grew from there to incorporate poet and painter Elgin Jumper, documentarian Samuel Tommie, storyteller and photographer Gordon Oliver Wareham, painter James Osceola, painter and sculptor LeRoy “Henehayo” Osceola, iconic Seminole artist Noah Billie, activist oriented ceramist and sculptor Jessica Osceola, and pop inspired artist Daniel McCoy. These are a group of Native artists who have chosen their own path in self-representation, and who are building bridges between the traditional identity of one world and responding to the ever-changing world we encounter.
A Gallery Talk, introductions and a performance will be presented at 5:00 p.m. on January 9, with a second performance taking place at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, but due to limited seating, reservations are required. In that regard, please contact Anica Sturdivant at 239-590-7199 to secure seating.
Long, Long River: Tradition and Expansion in Native Art will remain on display through January 30, 2014.