Programs & Services

Beyond Standing Rock: Living History

At the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture

Zoe Urness’ photograph Dec. 6, 2015: No Spiritual Surrender, at the Standing Rock Reservation during the NoDAPL protests.

If antiquated history is what you think you see at museums, an exhibition on display through October 27, 2019 at the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture on Museum Hill will change your mind.

Beyond Standing Rock explores one of the most widespread grassroots movements in recent history, highlighting works created by Native and non-Native artists.

From early 2016 to early 2017, the Sioux Nation (O?héthi Šakówin) of Standing Rock Reservation protested corporate abuses of Native sovereignty and welfare associated with the planned construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), through Standing Rock reservation, which violated the 1851 Fort Laramie treaty and compromised the Sioux Nation’s access to clean water. The movement grew and more than one hundred Native nations and thousands of allies gathered to preserve the land through peaceful protest. In the absence of major media coverage, the Standing Rock movement emphasized art as advocacy, gained international attention, raising awareness, and organizing action through images, videos, and posters on sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

C. L. Kieffer Nail and Devorah Romanek curated the exhibition’s predecessor, Entering Standing Rock: The Protest Against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The original exhibition sourced material from social media platforms to help water protectors stoke political urgency. The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture’s exhibition expansion features pieces that record events leading up to the movement while looking at environmental consequences.

“Although the protests at Standing Rock are over, there are many themes of what happened there that have a history of occurring and we continue to see happening on Native lands,” says Kieffer Nail. “Because these themes persist, it is important to detail and draw parallels to other events.”

The exhibition features Zoe Urness’ (Tlingit) award-winning photo, Dec. 6, 2015: No Spiritual Surrender, capturing the winter conditions water protectors endured.

Onondaga and Nez Perce tribal member, Frank Buffalo Hyde debuts his newest work, Snow Globe — Welcome to Native America Now Go Home, documenting the exhibition’s curatorial concept: advocacy in art.

Navajo photographer and multimedia documentarian Pamela J. Peters’ works focus the message: Native land is sacred and compromising the Nation’s water supply is inhumane.

Among the many printmakers creating posters shared on Twitter and Facebook, Métis visual artist Christi Belcourt’s featured poster, Water Is Life, accents the circular way the environment creates and supports life.

Tuesday–Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m., $7 for NM residents with ID, $12 for non-residents; free for children 16 and under. The first Sunday of each month is free for NM residents with ID. Wednesdays free for NM resident seniors (60+) with ID.

On exhibit through August 4, 2019: What’s New in New: Selections from the Carol Warren Collection, featuring 200 works — paintings, pottery, jewelry, and textiles from some of New Mexico’s most prominent contemporary artists.

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