Native American Women At The Frist!

By Karen Cronin | Thursday, October 24, 2019 | No Comments

As a card-carrying member of the Downtown Nashville treasure known as the Frist Museum of Art, I’ve experienced some truly wonderful exhibits over the years. But I have to say, I wasn’t prepared for the emotional and inspirational impact of “Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists.” Organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Art, this eye-opening exhibit features artifacts that go back a thousand years and follows the art of female Native Americans through the ages up to the present day. It’s a stimulating and thought provoking mix of old and new, with video and audio helping to reinforce the overall message of legacy.

Even the more contemporary (and more outspoken) pieces on display capture a proud legacy that spans generations of women creating art, clothing, pottery, etc. The craftsmanship and attention to detail on display here provide a unique window into Native American culture and bring to light the brilliant continuum of this art and the powerful, resourceful women behind it.

Everything here was created with intention and respect for the materials, the tools, the thematic purpose, and for the lucky viewer who gets to experience these pieces. The relationship to the artist and her heritage (some pieces have been created across three generations of women) and the message of love permeate the presentation.

The Frist offers endless inspiration, whether I am viewing the exhibits, grabbing some lunch at the café, or photographing the irreplaceable art deco details that adorn this revived and repurposed Nashville Post Office building.

One piece of advice: Wear comfortable shoes for this one, because you’re going to want to take the time read every placard. The stories they tell are just as compelling as the featured art.

“Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists” is running through January 12, 2020. I know I’ll be visiting at least one more time. Maybe I’ll see you there!

Jamie Okuma, Luiseno/Shoshone-Bannock. Adaptation II, 2012. Shoes designed by Christian Louboutin. Leather, glass beads, porcupine quills, sterling silver cones, brass sequins, chicken feathers, cloth, deer rawhide, and buckskin. Minneapolis Institute of Art, Bequest of Virginia Doneghy, by exchange, 2012.68.1A,B. © 2012 Jamie Okuma

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