November 3, 2016—OLYMPIA, Wash. South Puget Sound Community College today opens the Native American Art Exhibition at The Gallery at SPSCC. In its ninth season, the Native American Art Exhibition features a wide variety of works by local and regional Native American artists of all ages. Regional and national tribes will have artists represented in this year’s exhibition, featuring unique works including paintings, basketry, carved wood pieces, textiles, and mixed media.
The largest piece in the exhibit this year is a Puyallup Tribe dugout canoe named Thunder Spirit that recently returned from a journey to the Sacred Stone Camp. Several local tribes joined tribes around the nation in North Dakota to stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline for its threat to the ecosystem surrounding the Missouri River and the sovereignty and culture of the local Standing Rock Tribe.
“This is about life. This is what our ancestors thought was important enough to put in their treaties so I think it’s our responsibility to go there and stand with them, to show the world that we stand united as one voice,” shared a member of the Puyallup Tribe.
Puyallup Tribe member Clinton McCloud and Quinault Tribe member Harvey Anderson helped bring the piece to the exhibition via the Puyallup Canoe Family. Thunder Spirit and other featured works will be celebrated at the Opening Reception on Friday, Nov. 4 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. in The Gallery.
The exhibition is organized by guest curator Mandy McCullough with support from upcoming F.I.R.E. Summit at SPSCC. The mission of F.I.R.E. (Facilitating Indigenous Revolution through Education) Summit is to support the success of Native students in higher education.