Transformer: Native Art in Light and Sound

Raven Chacon's Still Life #3 (2015) is a multi-sensory exploration of belief and the understanding of the Diné creation storyRaven Chacon's Still Life #3 (2015) is a multi-sensory exploration of belief and the understanding of the Diné creation story

You won’t find turquoise and silver in the new exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian. This is a stunning show that transcends conventional ideas about Native art, offering a series of glowing rooms lit in unusual ways, each an immersive space of potent color and sound.

 Kevin McKenzie's 'Father, Son, Holy Ghost (2015) reveals the tensions where, "the past confronts the present [through] the enigmatic crystalline buffalo skull". The three buffalo skulls, cast in acrylic and polyurethane, are illuminated by orange neon light that create the appearance of a meditative chapel.


Kevin McKenzie’s ‘Father, Son, Holy Ghost (2015) reveals the tensions where, “the past confronts the present [through] the enigmatic crystalline buffalo skull”. The three buffalo skulls, cast in acrylic and polyurethane, are illuminated by orange neon light that create the appearance of a meditative chapel.

Take time to absorb each presentation; pause to listen and think. “Native people view the concepts of tradition and transformation as being inextricably intertwined,” writes curator Kathleen Ash-Milby about the ways the ten artists in this exhibition use light, digital projection and experimental media.

Melding history and culture with present-day technology, incorporating ancestral storytelling and symbols, the artists delve into their individual pasts and present day influences to create powerful, meaningful art.

Transformer: Native Art in Light and Sound opens today, November 10, and will be on view at the National Museum of the American Indian until January 6, 2019.

All programs at the museum, located at One Bowling Green in the historic Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, are free.

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