American Indian artist displays work at State Museum | NevadaAppeal.com

American Indian artist displays work at State Museum

Staff reports

Artist Jean La Marr brings her work to the Nevada State Museum’s Contemporary Native Artists of the Great Basin series, as part of the “Under One Sky” exhibit. The public is invited to a free opening night celebration from 6-8 p.m. today in the first-floor gallery of the Nevada State Museum, 600 N. Carson St.

A resident of the Susanville reservation, La Marr combines a career as a studio artist with being an educator and member of the American Indian community.

“My home is the center of my life, and I live to do art,” La Marr said. “The concerns of my life manifest in my art, which is about racism, stereotypes, wars and the destruction of Mother Earth.”

La Marr uses her prints and paintings to overcome stereotypes of American Indians. Among the pieces displayed is “Land ‘O Plenty,” which takes a new spin on traditional cliches and combats negative images through humor.

“Humor used in a constructive, positive way can educate, which is a tradition of native people,” she said. “Humor helps ease the pain from racism, but this humor is usually kept within our communities. Opening the door to this part of our lives brings a different light to the dialogue, which may bring about a better understanding between different worlds.”

The Under One Sky exhibition presents different perspectives about the past by having American Indians tell their stories in their own words, whereas anthropologists offer traditional museum views. The exhibit includes seldom-seen artifacts, theater programs and life-size dioramas to tell the story of an ancient and ever-changing culture. “Under One Sky” is scheduled to run through December 2004. The La Marr exhibit is scheduled to run through Jan. 5.

The museum is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and free for 17 and under.

Call 687-4810, ext. 230, for details.