Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

Upcoming Exhibitions

Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA)
Summer/Fall Exhibitions 2014

Opening Reception: Thursday, August 21, 2014 – 5-7pm

Ric Gendron | Rattlebone
August 22 – December 31, 2014
Main Galleries

MoCNA hosts a traveling exhibition of the paintings and related works of Spokane artist Ric Gendron (pronounced zhan-drea), a dual-enrolled member of the Arrow Lakes Band of Confederated Tribes of the Colville and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla. Gendron is little-known established artist, and the exhibition and monograph Rattlebone feature more that 30 years of his vibrantly expressionistic and lyrical paintings and prints. His paintings and mixed-media works illustrate the rich and diverse visual vocabulary of traditional Upper Columbia Plateau Indian culture and iconography made wholly contemporary.

The exhibition is curated by independent curator and writer Ben Mitchell, editor of Basalt, published by Eastern Oregon University and is sponsored by the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians.

About the Artist: Ric Gendron is a painter who studied art at Cornish College of the Arts, the Eastern Washington University and in 1983 received his art degree from Spokane Falls Community College. He creates expressionist, strikingly colorful images that chronicle his experience, memory, history, journeys and identity. His paintings and prints are grounded in the work of Francis Bacon, Fritz Scholder, T.C Cannon and Harry Fonseca, and sources as diverse as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Hollywood’s Western films, and 1950s and ‘60s TV cartoons. Deeply influenced by the Beat poets, and by Kerouac, Ferlinghetti, Hunter S. Thompson and other prominent West Coast writers of the 1960s and ‘70s, his work also encompasses the rhythms and strategies of traditional Native music and American traditional blues, country, folk, and rock and roll music.

Mario Martinez | The Desert Never Left “The City”
August 22 – December 31, 2014
North Gallery

Mario Martinez’s artwork always pays reverence to nature through the influences derived from his deeply rooted Yaqui cultural background and allure to Western Modernism. The visual density of his paintings in his solo exhibition The Desert Never Left “The City”reflect upon the magic and power encoded within the spiritual and natural eco-systems conceptualized from an ancient pre-Christian Yaqui belief system. In doing so, Martinez vibrantly conflates his enduring Sonoran desert memory and Yaqui culture organically and abstractly through his lasting relationship to New York City’s contemporary urban environment.

About the Artist: Mario Martinez was born in Phoenix, Arizona and grew up in Penjamo, a small Yaqui village in Scottsdale. He received his BFA degree at The School of Art at Arizona State University in 1979 and his MFA from The San Francisco Art Institute in 1985.

In 2005, Martinez had a retrospective that was part of an exhibition series called New York: New Tribe featuring New York based Native artists at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York City. In 2007, Martinez created a lithograph as part of the Art in Embassies, a collaborative project between and the US State department and the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC. His work was recently included in The Old Becomes The New: New York Contemporary Native American Art Movement And The New York School. His work has been included in institutional and private collections here and abroad.

Da-ka-xeen Mehner | Saligaaw(it is loud-voiced)
August 22 – December 31, 2014
South Gallery

Alaskan artist Da-ka-xeen Mehner celebrates the lasting and profound relationship between Tlingit language and song in the exhibition Saligaaw (it is loud-voiced).

Like many Native American families, Mehner’s grandmother and grandfather were from a generation who were punished for speaking their language. Inspired by a collective tenacity of maintaining traditional language and song, Mehner’s installation combines hand-stretched drums and video projection as a means to keep tradition vitally intact.

About the Artist: Da-ka-xeen Mehner(Tlingit/N’ishga) uses the tools of family ancestry and personal history to build his art. Born in Fairbanks, Alaska to a Tlingit/N’ishgamotherand Hippy/Americanfather his work stems from an examination of a multicultural heritage and social expectations and definitions. In particular his work has focused on the constructs of Native American identity, and an attempt to define the “Self” outside of these constructs.

Da-ka-xeen received his A.A. from the Institute of American Indian Arts, a B.F.A. from the University of New Mexico and an M.F.A. in Native Arts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He served as the founder and director of Site 21/21, a contemporary art gallery in Albuquerque, NM, and was a founding member/owner of the (Fort) 105 Art Studios in downtown Albuquerque.

Mehner’s work in photography and sculpture has been exhibited from New York to California; Alaska to New Mexico. Collections include the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, the University of Alaska Museum of the North (Fairbanks, AK), and the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (Santa Fe, NM), C.N. Gorman Museum (Davis CA) and the Alaska State Museum (Juneau, AK). His work has been featured in the art magazines Sculpture and American Indian Art, and in numerous newspapers, art catalogs, and blogs. He is an Assistant Professor of Native Arts at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the director of the UAF Native Arts Center.

Courtney M. Leonard | BREACH: LOG 14
August 22 – December 31, 2014
Hallway Gallery

“Breach” is an exploration of historical ties to water and whale; imposed law; and a current relationship of material sustainability. Navigation lies within visual translation, acceptance, and pursuit of process. Charting exists as a logging of record; documentation and mapping of each point where the surface breaks.

BREACH: LOG 14 catalogs the expedition, encounters, and experiences that occurred from January – August 2014.

About the Artist: Courtney Michele Leonard is an artist and filmmaker from the Shinnecock Nation of
Long Island, New York. Leonard’s work explores the evolution of language, image and culture through mixed media pieces of video, audio, and tangible objects. She studied art and museum studies at the Institute of American Indian Arts (AFA 2000), Alfred University (BFA 2002), and the Rhode Island School of Design (MFA 2008).

Leonard has given lectures and exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently at Toi Ngaphui Northaland College (NZ), the Museum of Art and Design (New York), Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (Santa Fe), Eastern Connecticut University (Willimantic, USA), Tribeca Film Institute (New York), National Museum of the American Indian (Washington, DC), University of the Creative Arts Farnham (UK), and the University of Rostock (DE).

She currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico and works as a professional artist, lecturer, and teacher at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

Temporary Installations Made for the Environment (TIME)   Unknown
Project at MoCNA
July 16, 2014 – October 16, 2014
Opening Reception on Wednesday, July 16 | 5-7p.m.
Allan Houser Art Park

Pull of the Moon , a 3-D digital landscape of a site-specific land art project by artists
Ai Weiwei and Bert Benally and a live sound performance with Robert Henke, computer music composer and Bert Benally. Event also includes the premier of a documentary on the project directed by Daniel Hyde and Blackhorse Lowe. A new media installation will be featured in the Honor Gallery. Pull of the Moon is part of Navajo TIME (Temporary Installations Made for the Environment), a unique partnership between New Mexico Arts and the Navajo Nation Museum.