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New Ucross Native American Art Curator Project Gets $47,000 From Warhol Foundation

The grant will support the next phase of Ucross’s three-year project.

New Ucross Native American Art Curator Project Gets $47,000 From Warhol Foundation

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has announced that Ucross, the prestigious artist residency program in Wyoming, will be awarded a $47,000 grant in support of the Ucross Native American Art Curatorial Convening (NAACC).

Presented through the Foundation's Curatorial Research Fellowships program, the grant will support the next phase of Ucross's three-year project, which brings together many of the nation's leading curators of Native art from institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Denver Art Museum, Dartmouth College and more.

"The Ucross Foundation has embarked on an important initiative that tackles a critical issue facing arts organizations large and small," said Rachel Bers, program director of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, "Namely, developing strategies to promote meaningful inclusion of Indigenous perspectives at the organizational and programmatic level. The Warhol Foundation is pleased to support its efforts to increase Native representation at the junior and senior levels in the visual arts field and to collaboratively set new standards for responsible institutional practices."

In June 2021, Ucross hosted the first NAACC, a historic gathering that convened many of the nation's leading curators of Native art. Led by heather ahtone (Choctaw/Chickasaw Nation), senior curator at First Americans Museum, and John Lukavic, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Native Art at the Denver Art Museum, this impressive group of participants included leaders and visionaries in the field, including Jill Ahlberg Yohe, associate curator of Native American Art at Minneapolis Institute of Art; Kathleen Ash-Milby (Navajo Nation), curator of Native American Art at Portland Art Museum; Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse, director of Bill Holm Center for the Study of Northwest Native Art, curator of Northwest Native Art at Burke Museum and associate professor of Native Art at University of Washington; Christina E. Burke, curator of Native American and Non-Western Art at Philbrook Museum of Art; Karen Kramer, curator of Native American and Oceanic Art and Culture and director of Native American Fellowship Program at Peabody Essex Museum; Patricia Marroquin Norby (Purépecha), associate curator of Native American Art at Metropolitan Museum of Art; and Jami C. Powell (Osage Nation), curator of Indigenous Art at Hood Museum of Art and Dartmouth College.

Ucross Trustee Scott Manning Stevens (Akwesasne Mohawk), director of Syracuse University's Native American and Indigenous Studies program, is the NAACC board liaison and was onsite for the first year of the program.


"This particular group of curators of Indigenous art has never had the opportunity to come together, at Ucross or elsewhere," Stevens said. "Questions are finally being considered, such as, 'Why is the Native American art usually part of natural history or ethnography - why not display it with Thomas Cole or Winslow Homer?' In the next two years of the NAACC, we look forward to observing how the group addresses systemic issues concerning Native American art and lays out the groundwork for museum best practices from a Native perspective."

Aided in part by this generous grant for the NAACC, Ucross will continue to provide Native American art curators with travel stipends, meeting space, living accommodations, meals by a professional chef, staff support and an atmosphere conducive to intense, productive work sessions.

"We are honored to be among the 49 arts organizations in the U.S. to receive a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in this cycle," said Ucross President Sharon Dynak. "It is a meaningful vote of confidence for the future of the NAACC."

The Ucross NAACC was born from the success of the Ucross Fellowship for Native American Visual Artists, created in 2017. In its early stages, the fellowship was also funded, in part, by The Andy Warhol Foundation of the Visual Arts, and it expanded to include writers in 2020. Learn more about both programs at ucross.org.



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