Museum programs expand for regional Native American artists

Plains Art Museum is launching a three-year project aimed at expanding opportunities, career development, and recognition for Native American artists in the region. The project, Creativity among Native American Artists, will bring visibility to Native artists in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin through expanded exhibition, professional development, and programming opportunities at Plains Art Museum. The project will also build a network of artists, Native and other nonprofit organizations, and audiences across the region.

Funding for the project comes from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation (MACF), which recently awarded the Museum $450,000 as part of its Native Arts and Cultures grantmaking in the Upper Midwest.

“This project builds on programs and collections already in place at the Museum. We’re thrilled to have earned the support of the MACF to cultivate an expanded network of communication, recognition, artistic, and audience development with the larger goal of having Native American artists thrive,” said Colleen Sheehy, CEO/director of Plains Art Museum.

The Museum has presented Native American contemporary artists in recent exhibitions and programs, including Frank Big Bear, Andrea Carlson, and George Morrison, and has actively collected work by Native artists.

“We take on this project realizing the trust-building and respect that must be part of the process,” Sheehy said. “We will increase our knowledge by connecting with specialists in Native arts who can help us better understand and interpret works in our collections, and by adding a program director experienced in Native American arts and culture to undertake the outreach that will make these programs effective.”