Artists from the second installment of the Great Basin Native Artists show will hold a reception 5-7 p.m. Friday at the Stewart Indian School, and their work will remain on display throughout the weekend during the annual Father’s Day Powwow.
The two-part exhibit kicked off in February with the first group of five artists.
“It was awesome,” said Melissa Melero-Moose, co-founder of the Great Basin Native Artists. “We had so many more people attend this show than our other shows. We have a lot of support out here.”
During the weekend, art enthusiasts can see both shows — the new one on display at the Stewart Indian School and the original one at the Carson City Visitors Bureau. The second exhibit will replace the original at the visitors bureau on June 23.
“By showing at the visitors bureau, we’ve been able to show a lot of tourists what Native artists have to offer,” Melero-Moose said. “That’s exciting for our group.”
The first set of artists represented contemporary work from Great Basin artists.
“I don’t do traditional Native artwork,” explained artist Topaz Jones, who was among the artists in the first exhibit. “When I create my work, I think a bit about where people left off with designs and painting, and I incorporate that. I think about evolving it forward, using tradition as a source of inspiration then adding to it.”
The second group will include more traditional art, Melero-Moose said. In fact, she had to convince some of the participants their work really was art.
“They see regalia making and beadwork as just something they do, not necessarily art,” she explained. “It took some convincing.”
Ultimately, Melero-Moose hopes shows like this one will help distinguish the work of the Great Basin artists from other Native American art as well as become a catalyst for creating a center to permanently display Great Basin art.
“There’s nowhere for us to see this kind of work,” she said. “Native artists are underrepresented in this state. We have no gallery, no cultural center. If you don’t have baskets in your family, there’s no place for our kids to see them without making appointments to go into vaults.”
Artists in the second show include Joyce McCauley, fashion and regalia; Tork Rains, silk screen and printmaking; Scott Tyzbir, drawing; and Linda Eben Jones, beadwork and regalia.