SAC to Highlight Indigenous Artists

Pictured Above: David Bunn Martine’s “June Meeting, 1871,” which will be featured in “Outcropping.”

“Outcropping — Indigenous Art Now,” opening at the Southampton Arts Center on Feb. 4, is a bold step toward celebrating contemporary artists from the Shinnecock Nation and an array of sovereign Indigenous nations throughout the United States.

The exhibition will address Native issues across the county, highlighting shared and individual triumphs and struggles.

The title ‘Outcropping’ refers to the translation of the word “Shinnecock” into English as ‘People of the Stony Shore,’ and to the Shinnecocks’ long connection to this land.

The exhibition is curated by photographer Jeremy Dennis of the Shinnecock Nation, in his first time in the role of lead curator.

“There is a lot of responsibility in making sure you represent everyone equally, faithfully, and with dignity,” says Mr. Dennis. “It will be really interesting and unique to have these Shinnecock artists and Indigenous artists throughout the country in this shared dialogue.”

Mr. Dennis added that about 30 percent of people in Native American communities are artists. 

“That’s a pretty large economy. For the past two years here at Shinnecock, we’ve had to cancel our Pow Wow due to Covid- 19,” he added. “That’s 30 percent or more of our community members losing direct income. This exhibition will be an opportunity for people to show up in that Pow Wow spirit.”

Complementing and surrounding the exhibition will be talks, tours, films, workshops, and more, organized by “Outcropping” ancillary programming curatorial associate and artist Shane Weeks of Shinnecock Nation.

“kawennati’s “Becoming the Peacemaker (Iotetshèn’en),” on view in “Outcropping.

National and regional artists in the exhibition include Pauline Leilani Badamo, Matt Ballard, Greg Ballenger, Michael Billie, Lisa Bowen, Joe Don Brave, Tecumseh Ceaser, Leeanna Chipana, Marcus Xavier Chormicle, Mona Cliff, Selena Coverdale, Nathaniel Cummings-Lambert, Dennis Redmoon Darkeem, Jeremy Dennis, Kelly Dennis, Haley Greenfeather English, Jaida Grey Eagle, Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Kaysha Haile, Elisa Harkins, Beth Hazen, Durrell Hunter, Alex Jacobs-Blum, Margaret Jacobs, Chaz John, Jamie R. John, Matthew Kirk, Kite, Ian Kuali’i, Jay Laxton, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Ella Mahoney, David Bunn Martine, Richard Mayhew, Megan McDermott, Jenny Irene Miller, Ehren Natay, Shelley Niro, Krystyna Printup, Tricia Rainwater, Herbert Randall, Eric Roddy, Cara Romero, Denise Silva-Dennis, Skawennati, Gloria Smith, Kevin Umana, Tohanash Tarrant, Shane Weeks, and Renelle White Buffalo.

“Working with our Indigenous community has been a critical yet natural part of our work as an arts and culture center,” said SAC executive director Tom Dunn. “SAC has had the privilege of working with Shinnecock Nation members as artists and activists for various exhibitions and programs over the years. It is absolutely essential that we acknowledge this community, their elders both past and present, as well as future generations.” 

“Providing a platform for Indigenous voices from across the nation is work that we are not only honored to do, but have a responsibility to do,” he added. “We hope “Outcropping” and the history of Indigenous peoples in this country that the show represents will inspire connection and understanding.”

SAC Director Tom Dunn and Curator Jeremy Dennis;

Mr. Dennis has noted that at a time when museums and arts centers are re-evaluating their shows, artists, and collections, and becoming more aware in light of social movements, the space for underrepresented communities to make key decisions in the arts is growing. 

The exhibition is sponsored by Ingrid Arneberg. Learn more at southamptonartscenter.org/outcropping. SAC’s galleries will be open Friday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. beginning Feb. 4. The exhibit runs through April 9.

SAC continues to follow all New York State and CDC guidelines for all programs and events. Proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test is required for all events in the theatre. Masks are required in the galleries and in the theatre.

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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