Neshikunat – we are all related. A celebration of Native American Heritage Month
In November we celebrate many holidays, observances and month designations. But there is one that honors the rich and diverse cultures, traditions and histories and acknowledges the contributions of Native American people. We celebrate Native American Heritage Month in November. The NoHo Arts District is celebrating with Neshikunat – Native Elder Art Group Show at the NoHo Senior Arts Colony with a free, opening reception on Tuesday, October 13 from 6-8PM and the exhibit runs through December 13.
Native American Heritage Month is a time to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people, and to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.
WHAT: Neshikunat – Native Elder Art Group Show
WHEN: Opening reception Tuesday, October 13 from 6-8PM
Exhibit runs October 13 – December 13
WHERE: NoHo Senior Arts Colony
10747 Magnolia Blvd. NoHo Arts District
Artist Gail Werner
A note from Kat High, the coordinator of the Neshikunat – Native Elder Art Group Show.
Several years ago there was a push to pull the network of Native artists in California together to support each other, to spotlight our unique place in California history and culture, and create opportunities for mentoring our Native youth – as well as all youth who have had their education cut off from their art.
For Native Americans, traditionally there was no “art” separate from objects of daily life. For many tribes paint = power. Objects were painted to increase their power. Symbols were used to create relationships and tell stories. Our elders have had the experiences that are often depicted in these stories.
This show started with Caroline McElroy – an educator, artist, activist, and friend – who lives at the NoHo Senior Arts Colony (NoHo SAC) – and first broached the idea of hosting a show of our Native art.
“My longtime friend Kat High shared her vision of a Native American elder art show in the NoHo Arts District via The NoHo SAC,” said Caroline McElroy. “Kat High and I have been friends since we worked together as commissioners on the LAUSD’s American Indian Education Commission. Among the projects we worked on was eradicating Native American themed mascots from the LAUSD.”
There is a community of Native people in North Hollywood, but they had drifted apart – it’s hard to hold together when you are not from the same tribe, you don’t work together, and the ties that bind you become worn. This is the seed that we hope will bring our community together to see the beauty and power in our stories, and feel the pride we have in our elder artist/storytellers.
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