Current Exhibition: Comic Art Indigène
October 18 - December 1, 2013
October 17, 7 pm at the Kenworthy Performing Art Center
Friday, October 18, 5 - 8 pm
As the first widely accessible mass media, comics were consumed by Native American people as a recognizable form of storytelling expressing cultural stories through pictures. Comic art influences some Native American artists in part because two-fisted tales of suspense, featuring fantastic heroes, villains, and gods old and new. These story elements in comic art mirror the oral traditions of Native American culture.
“Comic Art Indigène” examines how American Indian artists today articulate and identity art, worldview, politics and culture through the kinetic expression of sequential comic art in comic strips and comic books. Artists from across the United States are included, along with historic artifacts and images to contextualize Native American narrative traditions.
Using images and art spanning from the 13th century to contemporary works, “Comic Art Indigène” begins with the image of the red, white and blue All-American Man, a shield-carrying warrior pictograph of the Pueblo II period, circa. 1290, contrasted with an image of the other red, white and blue, shield-hurling hero, Captain America.
Traditional media such as ceramics, beadwork and painting are represented. Just as their ancestors did, Indian artists today use tradition as a foundation mixed with outside influences to comment on their world and lifeways. Inspired by the unique medium of comics, using its icons, tropes and dynamism, this is a new world of American Indian art, full of the brash excitement first seen in newsprint a century ago, sometimes unrefined, even crude at times, but never sterile.
This exhibit has been organized by the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology, Santa Fe, N.M., and circulated through GuestCurator Traveling Exhibitions.
Comic Art Indigène has toured the U.S. and has been exhibited at such prestigious institutions as the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Springs, California, Rockwell Museum of Western Art to host the exhibition from Jan. 13 through May 29, 2012.
It is sponsored by the Latah County Community Foundation, University of Idaho Office of the President, Division of Diversity and Human Rights, the College of Art and Architecture, Associated Students of the University of Idaho, Native American Student Association, Office of Indigenous Affairs, School of Journalism and Mass Media and the business and individual Friends of the Prichard Art Gallery. Educational outreach programs are sponsored by the Idaho Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.