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Daily Art Moment: Haudenosaunee / Iroquois artist

This small but ornate pouch represents a very distinctive beadwork innovation created by Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) artists in the mid- to late-19th century. Small fabric bags, pin cushions, photo frames and other purely decorative forms, known as “whimsies,” were beaded with thick layers of stacked beadwork. The artists often favored translucent beads on black or bright…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Marcus Amerman

For #NativeAmericanHeritageDay, it seemed a most appropriate choice to feature this celebratory work by Marcus Amerman (American and Choctaw, b.1959), titled, The Gathering (1997). In this completely beaded panel, the artist has depicted a group of Native American riders, bedecked in their finery, including feather headdresses and beaded horse gear, standing proudly against a Portland cityscape.…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Brenda Mallory

The act of cutting something apart down to its core, effectively destroying its original function, but then reforming into a beautiful lush object reflects my interest in how things that are broken or disrupted are often still viable and lively. —Brenda Mallory, 2019 Brenda Mallory’s mixed media work, Proximate Parcels, is striking in many ways.…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Haida artist

“The art of the peoples of the Northwest Coast is often represented by large-scale, heroic sculptural works, complex masks, and other regalia that represent and celebrate their clans. These works were created for communities and large audiences. This elegant wooden adze, however, was seen primarily by an audience of one: probably the Haida artist who…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: James Lavadour

“Those familiar with the work of renowned Oregon artist James Lavadour (Walla Walla, b. 1951) may be surprised to encounter this expressive and figurative monotype. Lavadour is best known for his passionate and richly hued paintings, drawn from his experience of the lands near his home on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Wally Dion

“With the vivid, sculptural work, ‘Green Star Quilt,’ artist Wally Dion has cleverly transformed ordinary materials that most people rely upon every day, but do not notice, into a bold work of art. The star pattern is evocative of the quilting tradition practiced among many Native communities in the United States and Canada, but this…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Bertha Harvey

“Flags are potent symbols, especially at times like these where we are all thinking about voting in the next election. The shadow of the historically brutal and fraught relationship between Native people and the United States government gives this particular design poignancy in a Native-made artwork. Native American artists have long been attracted to the…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Umatilla artist

“This bright and cheery ‘Berry Bag’ is part of a much larger tradition of twined bags among tribes in the Columbia Plateau region and are known as ‘Sally Bags.’ The Portland Art Museum has many of these bags which were made in many shapes and sizes, reflecting their use as utilitarian items used for all…  Read more

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Podcast: Auto Immune Response—Will Wilson’s Photographic Past, Present, and Future

Will Wilson is a trans-customary Diné artist whose work explores Native ideas of the future blended with the past. Though Wilson is mostly known as a photographer, his work also encompasses installation, mixed media, and digital media. Anyone following the Portland Art Museum for the past few years might also recognize Wilson from an exhibition…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Navajo artist

“Silver and turquoise jewelry plays a special role in Navajo families. They are passed on from one generation to the next and worn for all types of special occasions. Apart from personal connections to our family members who wore the jewelry before us, they connect us to our heritage as masters of silverwork and are…  Read more