Native American Artist Brings Contemporary Pieces To Heard Museum

Published: Friday, May 4, 2018 - 3:54pm
Updated: Friday, May 4, 2018 - 4:23pm
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Nicholas Galanin/Heard Museum
A Supple Plunder

The Heard Museum has a big opening tonight. They are debuting "Dear Listener: Works by Nicholas Galanin," a mid-career retrospective of the 38-year-old artist whose work spans everything from fashion pieces and works on paper to video installation and performance art.

Galanin is a Native American artist from Sitka, Alaska, and this 12,000 square-foot exhibition shows about 15 years of his process so far. I got a preview of the show with the artist yesterday as the finishing touches were being worked out you’ll also hear from one of his collaborators, Canadian artist Nep Sidhu.

This exhibition represents a new direction for the Heard, it’s the largest contemporary arts exhibition they’ve had in a decade. The Heard has been an institution in the city since it was founded in 1929 and it’s most known for its traditional Native American baskets, jewelry and pottery, things that document and celebrate indigenous cultures.

Erin Joyce is the new fine arts curator there, which isn't actually a new position, but it has been vacant for about a decade. But when the new museum director came on board two years ago, he thought it was important to bring on an art curator.

That’s because they are not only a museum that represents indigenous cultures, but also one that represents indigenous art, Joyce said. We spoke with her about this exhibition and why this was the first big show she wanted to bring here.

"Dear Listener: Works By Nicholas Galanin" debuts this Friday at the Heard Museum and his band, Indian Agent, will also be performing as part of a special event to kick it all off. They’re calling it Not a Block Party.

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