Native Art Exhibit Brings Ancient, Modern Techniques Together

In its 11th year, the ‘Tis Journeys in Spirit 2020: Traditional and Contemporary Native Art Exhibition is a monthlong event produced in partnership with the Museum of Indigenous People.

The show is scheduled from May 14-June 23, with an opening reception with the artists 5-8 p.m. on May 22. 

The Polequaptewa Dance Group from Shongopovi, Arizona, will present Pavalhik, the Hopi Water Maiden Dance, at noon May 23 in the third-floor banquet hall of the ‘Tis building, 105 S. Cortez St. Admission is free.

The arts play an integral role in Native society. Beginning at a young age, Native children are introduced to artistic mediums, including bead working, basketry, woodcarving, weaving and metalworking, as well as the crafting of musical instruments and ceremonial attire. 

Color and imagery carry symbolic meaning in Native cultures, and music and dance are considered an essential aspect of social and ceremonial gatherings. Storytelling, the oldest of all the art forms, is used to keep alive cultural history and sacred beliefs. 

For many Native artists, inspiration is found in the stories, ceremonies and rituals that have been passed down to them through generations, while others are influenced by their personal experiences in the modern world, both within and outside of their tribal communities.

Journeys in Spirit 2020 spotlights the work of emerging and established artists from various Native cultures, including the Acoma, Apache, Choctaw, Dine’, Hopi, Yaqui, Yavapai and Zuni.

Curated by Hopi artist Filmer Kewanayama, the exhibit features paintings, photography, silver jewelry, katsina carvings, beaded jewelry, pottery and basketry.

Journeys in Spirit 2020 is presented with additional support from the City of Prescott and the Prescott Area Arts and Humanities Council.

Photo: Hopi_Bear Medicine by Hopi Artist Filmer Kewanyama