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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

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Daily Art Moment: Santee Sioux Artist

“I loved these joyful, beaded shoes the moment I saw them on exhibit in our Native American art galleries. I was immediately drawn to the colorful beadwork that integrated the bright yellow of the shoe’s lining and contrasted so brightly against the soft beige of the shoe’s leather. The elegant floral contour beadwork can be…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Cherokee Mask

“Some objects in our collection are a bit of a mystery because they were acquired with limited documentation. One of our challenges as curators is to determine if the information in our records is correct. This Cherokee mask is dated between 1850 and 1900 which is a broad range of dates during which there was…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Wendy Red Star

“As we face uncertainty about our lives in the wake of a pandemic, I find comfort in works by Native artists who create visions of a future where traditional knowledge and culture continue to thrive. Crow artist Wendy Red Star created a photography and fashion series, Thunder Up Above (2011) which imagines this presence in…  Read more