Kentucky Art and Craft Foundation on Historic West Main Street

      Head, Heart and Hands        Native American Craft Traditions in a Contemporary World




American Indian exhibit presents a blend of old and new cultures

By DIANE HEILENMAN © The Courier-Journal
From Aug. 16, 1998

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Nathan Youngblood Egg and Pedestal

Margaret Wood - "Charlie Wood's Stoma"

There is a vast resource of artistic talent in North America, which often, goes unseen, unnoticed or is under-appreciated. It is represented in the stunning output of work by aboriginal men and women artists representing every First Nation from Haida, Tlingit and Kwagiutl in the Northwest, Canada and Alaska - Hopi, Zuni, Navajo and Santa Clara in the Southwest - Sioux, Cherokee, Arapaho and Kiowa from the Great Plains - Seminole, Chippewa, Mohawk and Passamaquoddy from the Eastern Woodlands. There are more than 500 culturally diverse tribes recognized in the United States, along with several hundred other unrecognized tribes, from which individual artists reveal the diversity of their personalities, their cultures, their lands and their personal experiences.

Many Native American artists, exposed to or trained in European art traditions, combine the techniques, forms and imagery of their ancestors with new cultural and market influences. The juxtaposition of Native cultures and European culture has influenced the work of all the artists in this exhibition -- ancient traditions and modern life, public exposure and private rituals.

In an essay for the exhibition, Truman Lowe and Jo Ortel state, Just as traditional Native American arts generally have been influenced over the years, by trade, exchange, and contact with non-Native cultures, individual artists and artisans have likewise brought their unique, personal vision to bear upon their creations. The artists included in this exhibition are no exception.

Head, Heart and Hands seeks to introduce the public to the multiplicity of ways contemporary Native American artists are incorporating their Native art and craft traditions into their individual artistic vision. We hope to highlight and celebrate the rich variety of work being produced by the very best of contemporary Native American craft artists.

Brion Clinkingbeard


Enter the Show Here

Al Qöyawayma, "3 Corn Sikyatky"

©1998-2000 Kentucky Art and Craft Foundation, 609 West Main Street, Louisville, KY 40202