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(SACRAMENTO, CA — UPDATED September 5, 2019) The Crocker Art Museum will spotlight the diversity of art by American Indians this autumn with two independent exhibitions: "Pueblo Dynasties: Master Potters from Matriarchs to Contemporaries," which opens September 22; and "When I Remember I See Red: American Indian Art and Activism in California," which opens October 20.

The Museum will also host a symposium exploring issues faced by Native American communities, a free community festival, and more than a dozen exhibition-related special programs, each of which is inspired by the art in one or both of the exhibitions. Highlights include a film series curated by Maya Austin, formerly of the Sundance Institute; talks, workshops, studio classes, and an array of offerings for families, educators, and students of all ages and backgrounds.

In programming the symposium and other events, the Crocker Art Museum consulted with a Native American Advisory Committee: Sigrid Benson, Jacklyn Calanchini, Gabe Cayton, James Allen Crouch, Cheewa James, and Christina Prairie Chicken Narvaez. The committee was instrumental in planning aspects of the programming, identifying sources of community support, and outreach to tribal members and communities. The Museum is appreciative of their help in ensuring a fuller understanding of the history and culture of local Native American communities.

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"Pueblo Dynasties: Master Potters from Matriarchs to Contemporaries"
September 22, 2019 January 5, 2020
American Indians of the Southwest began making functional pottery at least 2,000 years ago. The artists passed their skills from generation to generation, a tradition that continues to this day. "Pueblo Dynasties" features 200+ pieces by premier potters, focusing on legendary matriarchs and their adventuresome descendants, whose pottery has become increasingly elaborate, detailed, personal, and political over time.

"When I Remember I See Red: American Indian Art and Activism in California"
October 20, 2019 — January 26, 2020
Featuring contemporary art by First Californians and other American Indian Artists, this exhibition includes nearly 70 works by more than 40 artists in various media. Painting, sculpture, prints, photography, installation, and video combine art and activism and embrace issues of identity, politics, and injustice.

Visual Sovereignty: A Symposium on Contemporary Native American Art and Activism
October 19
Spend a day exploring the complexities between Native and U.S. history and contemporary culture. From the struggle for self-definition to the use of art as a means of resistance and activism, the topics explored in this robust and divergent compilation of talks, panel discussions, and a film screening will demonstrate the role art plays as Native Americans assert their history and culture. For more information on featured speakers and panel discussion topics, click HERE.

We are Here: A Festival of Contemporary Native American Art
October 20
Visitors of all ages are invited to experience and celebrate Native American art, culture, and traditions during this afternoon of dancing, music, art demonstrations, hands-on activities, gallery interactives, and a Native artisan marketplace. More information HERE.

This fall, the Crocker celebrates the contributions of indigenous peoples through film with a series of movie screenings curated by Maya Austin (Pascua Yaqui/Blackfeet/Chicana), formerly of the Sundance Institute. Each feature-length film is preceded by a short film, along with an introduction by Austin. An audience discussion will follow each of the screenings.

"Merata: How Mum Decolonized the Screen"
[2018, 95 minutes, UR]
October 3
Explores barriers faced and broken by Merata Mita, the first Maori woman to write and direct a feature film. Her son, Hepi Mita, explores sacrifices she made to become a voice for indigenous people worldwide. Opens with "Fast Horse," an award-winning short film that takes viewers on a thrill ride with jockeys of Indian Relay, often called North America's original extreme sport, which features bareback riders who jump from horse to horse. More information HERE.

"Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World"
[2017, 103 minutes, UR]
November 7
Through captivating performances and eye-opening interviews with a who’s-who list of music legends, including Steven Tyler, Slash, Tony Bennet, Steven Van Zandt, and many more, "Rumble" uncovers how indigenous musicians helped shape the soundtrack of American popular culture. Opens with the short film "Jaaji Approx," a dreamy contemplation of the filmmaker’s relationship with his father, told through beautiful landscape views and recordings of the father speaking in his native Ho-Chunk language. More information HERE.

"Drunktown's Finest"
[2014, 95 minutes, UR]
December 5

"Drunktown’s Finest" tells the stories of three young Native Americans – a young father, a girl adopted into a white family, and a transgender woman – with their own obstacles to overcome and their own dreams of a bigger life outside their reservation. Opens with the short film "Shinaab," the story of a young Native man experiencing alienation as he struggles for a sense of belonging on his own people’s land in Minneapolis. More information HERE.


Artist Talk: Nathan Youngblood
September 21
Renowned Native American master potter Nathan Youngblood learned to make pottery from his grandmother Margaret Tafoya, the matriarch of Santa Clara Pueblo potters; and his grandfather Alcario Tafoya. Now considered one of the finest potters working today, Youngblood discusses his work, his technique, and the long legacy of Southwestern Native American pottery. This program includes a preview of Pueblo Dynasties: Master Potters from Matriarchs to Contemporaries. More information HERE.

Meet the Artist: Nathan Youngblood
September 21

Meet nationally renowned potter Nathan Youngblood (Santa Clara Pueblo) for an afternoon of demonstration and informal conversation within a small group setting. Noted for his intricate and precise blending of traditions and contemporary innovations in hand-building, Nathan will give participants a close-up view of his deep carving and burnishing technique. Fee includes admission to the artist’s lecture preceding the class at 11 a.m. and a sneak peak of the exhibition "Pueblo Dynasties: Master Potters from Matriarchs to Contemporaries." More information HERE.

Art of Parenting: Parenting as a Process
September 22
Inspired by pottery making and the lessons potter Nathan Youngblood learned as his grandmother’s apprentice, participants enjoy a panel discussion and interactive workshop on parenting as a process of learning and growth. Afterward, parents explore "Pueblo Dynasties: Master Potters from Matriarchs to Contemporaries" and get creative with clay. Children 18 months and younger are welcome to join their parents or caregiver. More information HERE.

Look & Learn
A mindful approach to art appreciation, this 30-minute exploration of a single artwork, led by experienced docents, is rich with group discussions full of surprises. Each Look & Learn encounter is different, and no prior art knowledge is required.

  • October 1 & 24: "Jar" by Tammy Garcia, featured in the exhibition "Pueblo Dynasties". More information HERE.
  • November 5: "No Place Like Home, Holyulkum" by Jamie Okuma, featured in "When I Remember I See Red". More information HERE.

Open Poetry Night: In Tribute to Frank LaPena
October 24
In honor of the late painter and poet Frank LaPena (Nomtipom Wintu), co-curator of the exhibition "When I Remember I See Red" who passed away this spring. A selection of LaPena’s poetry will be read along with spoken word performers and original poems shared by participants. More information HERE.

Writers' Block: Gordon Lee Johnson's "Birds Don't Lie: Writings from the Rez"
October 27

Columnist and author Gordon Lee Johnson (Cahuilla/Cupeño) discusses his book of short stories and essays, Bird Songs Don’t Lie: Writings from the Rez. Combining wry wit, unforgettable characters, and Johnson’s own experience living on the Pala Indian Reservation in north San Diego County, Bird Songs Don’t Lie offers Johnson’s unique perspective on, as he puts it, “Native life today in my eyes.” The book is available in the Museum Store, and Johnson will sign books. More information HERE.

Pacific Western Traders: Last of the Great Trading Post
October 27

Explore the legacy of Pacific Western Traders with artists Meyo Marrufo and Sigrid Benson as they delve into the rich history of this regional cultural arts hub. Located in Old Town Folsom, PWT was a haven for native artists, activists, culture bearers, collectors and traders from 1971 to 2014. Through an engagement with primary archival source materials, participants will gain an appreciation of the pivotal role of this community space in the development of a California Indian art market, and learn to contextualize the art history of our region from a local native perspective. More information HERE.

Studio Class: Traditional California Indian Basket Weaving
Meet the Artist: Dixie Rogers, Karuk Tribe
November 7, 9, & 10

Learn Native American history and traditions passed down through generations as you weave a miniature basket using California native plants under the tutelage of Karuk basket weaver Dixie Rogers. More information HERE.

Concert with Prelude Tour:
Festival of New American Music
November 10

Sextet ensemble Citywater honors the Crocker’s current exhibitions of contemporary Native American art with a performance of Oregon Trail by composer Christina Rusnak, and Nor Cal Water Music. The Festival of New American Music showcases contemporary classical music with cutting-edge, avant-garde performances of works by living American composers. Before the performance, enjoy an in-depth, docent-led tour of select works in the exhibition "When I Remember, I See Red: American Indian Art and Activism in California," and art from the Crocker’s permanent collection, to help put the music in context with the art. More information HERE.


Teacher Workshop: American Indian Art
November 2

Using the exhibitions "Pueblo Dynasties: Master Potters from Matriarchs to Contemporaries" and "When I Remember I See Red: American Indian Art and Activism in California" as inspiration, participants will learn techniques for using American Indian art in the classroom. More information HERE.

Homeschool Day: American Indian Art
November 12

Students will visit the Crocker exhibitions "Pueblo Dynasties: Master Potters from Matriarchs to Contemporaries" and "When I Remember I See Red: American Indian Art and Activism in California" before heading to the studio, where they will explore concepts introduced in the two exhibitions. More information HERE.

The Crocker Art Museum would like to recognize and acknowledge the many distinct communities of indigenous peoples that have made California a center of diversity for millennia. The greater Sacramento regions, where the Crocker is located, is the tribal land of the Nisenan, as well as the crossroads for Maidu, Miwok, Patwin, Wintun, and Wintu peoples.

Karen Christian
Media Relations Associate
Crocker Art Museum
(916) 808-1867

Para leer mas comunicados en español, por favor haga clic aquí. Si eres miembro de los medios de comunicación y buscas más información sobre esta exposicion o necesitas ayuda para facilitar una entrevista con alguien relacionado con la exposicion o algún programa, por favor de contactar a Maria Segoviano, 916-808-1186 o msegoviano@crockerart.org.

Through engaging, innovative, and life-changing interactions with art, the Crocker Art Museum provides meaningful opportunities for people of divergent backgrounds to find common ground. Founded as a public/private partnership in 1885, the Crocker features the world’s foremost display of California art and is renowned for its holdings of master drawings and international ceramics, as well as European, Asian, African, and Oceanic art. The Crocker serves as the primary regional resource for the study and appreciation of fine art and offers a diverse spectrum of exhibitions, events, and programs to deepen visitor’s understanding of art, including films, concerts, studio classes, lectures, and an array of activities for families and children. More information about exhibits and programs can be found at crockerart.org

(Fig 1) From the exhibition "When I Remember I See Red": L.frank, Even Where the Ancestors Live, n.d. Acrylic on canvas, 17 3/4 x 17 3/4 in. Collection of the artist ©L.frank

(Fig 2) From the exhibition "Pueblo Dynasties": Linda Cain (Santa Clara, born 1949), Jar, 1992. Earthenware, 8 x 5 (diam.) in. Gift of Loren G. Lipson, M.D. (2016.79); Autumn Borts-Medlock (Santa Clara, born 1967), Dragonfly Pot, n.d. Earthenware, 13 x 13 in. Crocker Art Museum purchase with funds from Loren G. Lipson, M.D. and the Martha G. and Robert G. West Fund (2018.62); Tammy Garcia (Santa Clara, born 1969), Northwest Native Bear, 1999. Earthenware, 12 x 10 (diam.) in. Gift of Loren G. Lipson, M.D. (2017.64); Christina Naranjo (Santa Clara, 1891–1980) and Mary Cain (Santa Clara, 1915–2010) Vessel with Avanyu, n.d. Earthenware, 13½ x 9 (diam.) in. Gift of Loren G. Lipson, M.D. (2014.1.22).