August 11, 2014

Natural and cultural influences reflected in Native American Indian artworks

Go Columbia for Aug. 12: Native American Indian art exhibit at McKissick

There are lessons in culture, tradition and history to be learned from the art of Native Americans, and McKissick Museum will celebrate those lessons over the coming year in its exhibit “Traditions, Change, and Celebration: Native Artists of the Southeast.”

The collection is a curation of pottery, baskets, wood- and stone-carvings, textiles, regalia, beadwork, music, dance and storytelling from museums and collections across nine states. The artwork comes from tribes native to the Southeast region, including Edisto, Choctaw, Catawba, Seminole, Chitimacha, Wassamasaw and Creek.

The exhibit details both the natural and cultural influences on the native tribes. Much of the artwork includes indigenous materials, such as pine needles, shells and honeysuckle.

In addition to showcasing how the natural world influenced the artwork, the exhibit looks at how the artists themselves influenced their tribes. In many cases, the artists were also political leaders or chiefs of their tribes, and through their artwork, helped to shape the tribe’s identity.

“Traditions, Change and Celebration: Native Artists of the Southeast” is part of an ongoing series at McKissick Museum, called Diverse Voices, which explores the ways in which traditions are passed down through generations and honored in modern society. The exhibition also includes the work of current Native American Indian artists who have blended contemporary techniques with native traditions.

McKissick Museum is located on USC’s Horseshoe and is open 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturdays. All exhibits are free and open to the public.

“Traditions, Change, and Celebration: Native Artists of the Southeast” will be on display through July 25, 2015.

Bridget Winston, Special to The State

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