This exhibit will consist of works co-created by seven pairs of American Indian artists from the greater Southwest region. Each pair consists of one established mentor artist and one emerging artist (age 16 to 20). Each partnership will involve the co-creation of a collaborative piece or series of pieces, depending on the medium. The exhibit will include diverse mediums: textile/fiber arts, film, metalsmithing, painting and fashion design. The works will be created and completed at the museum over a three-month period. The format for the exhibit will involve process time done in both the artists’ studios and at the museum and will end with an exhibit of the collaborative pieces. The full exhibit will also include individual works created by each artist.
Each mentor artist lives a career that not only cultivates pride in culture and identity, but also includes a rich connection to giving back to their communities. Their work involves establishing connectedness with American Indian people through art, activism, and wellness and cultural-arts programs. Through working with American Indian people in various ways, they perform a relevant and necessary role that contributes to the longevity of Native people and their culture.
Confluence is the merging of many artistic voices, exploring what it means to be young leaders and culture bearers in Indian Country today. At the present time, as Indian Country is changing and more tribal communities are experiencing a flux in their demographics—with percentages of people under 30 years old at an all-time high—the need for exchange between generations is critical. The collective understanding of “what is an elder” is another changing perspective. Generations are prioritizing the necessity to convene and collaborate with many age groups, to benefit cultural gain and to address issues facing their communities and people using fresh and relevant practices.
Participating “mentor” artists include Michael Teller Ornelas (Navajo), Kristen Dorsey (Chickasaw), Anthony “Thosh” Collins (Onk Akimel O’otham/Osage/Seneca/Cayuga), Dwayne Manuel (Onk Akimel O’otham), Darylene Martin (Navajo), Warren Montoya (Santa Ana/Santa Clara Pueblo) and Klee Benally (Navajo).