Photo by Joe Mabel, 2007 (from Wikipedia Commons)
I had a sudden burst of inspiration on Friday for my BFA Thesis! A few weeks ago I had received a mass email forwarded through United Indians of All Tribes looking for folks to help out and adopt a native youth for the holiday season (adopt = buy gifts) as the sponsors from the previous years were unable to participate this year. I ended up adopting two people and when I dropped the gifts off at Daybreak Star Cultural Center on Friday, I took the opportunity to check out the small art gallery upstairs.
I’d previously thought that a part of my thesis project could involve curating a small contemporary art exhibit in a community space like Daybreak Star, but actually visiting the space really helped me to think of what shape it could take. Perhaps, instead of coming up with two separate shows, I could curate a single show that combined historic artifacts with contemporary pieces? And what if I was able to involve local native community members along with higher profile artists? I’ll need to spend some time over my break working with this idea. Right now I’m thinking that it would be interesting to have artists create self-portraits and show those along with a historical object from the artist’s tribe. What sort of dialogue might happen between the two? I’m also really excited about the possibility of bringing established artists into the project alongside native youth. Yet another great opportunity for dialogue!
If I go in this direction, it could end up being a fairly ambitious project, but also one that I believe could actually be realized. Just off the top of my head I’m thinking that I could likely bring Daybreak Star, Seattle Art Museum, and the Burke Museum into this. I could also possibly apply for a grant from the National Museum of the American Indian’s Contemporary Arts Program if it is still going in 2011. I’d shoot for 2010, but applications are due by January 15th and I don’t know that I could gather everything together that quickly? Plus, I’d have to show that I have at least $7,500 in matching funds available!