From March 30 – May 20, 2023, the Wyoming State Museum will showcase “GROUNDED,” a strategic and timely art exhibition organized by “ArtSpirit,” the arts initiative of Episcopal Church in Wyoming, and “CARAVAN,” a global arts non-profit.
The exhibit will open on March 30 at 6 p.m. with a special program and reception including speakers, participating artists, an Indigenous drum circle, and the cedaring of the artwork.
“GROUNDED” brings together 15 premier and emerging contemporary artists from Indigenous American tribes traditionally based in and around the Great Plains. The exhibit is an artistic exploration that seeks to inspire our imaginations about our need to be "grounded" in our relationship with all of creation; the earth and its wildlife, each other and ourselves.
At this moment in time, our world is calling for restoration, from within and without, for a realignment of a sacred harmony and an awareness of a new balance between ourselves and the earth and all of life upon it.
The creative work of this group of contemporary Native American artists will serve as a visual representation of the worldview, wisdom, and learnings of their ancestors as we reimagine how we live in order to heal our world.
Grounded in the interconnectedness of the sacred, the natural world, and one another, Native American traditional beliefs see everything on the earth as living in relationship. Their spiritual wisdom is therefore essential to developing a “sacred harmony” between all peoples and the earth. This unique contemporary art exhibition seeks to enable them to share their culture, heritage and sacred traditions to help us heal our world and foster wholeness among all peoples.
The 15 contemporary artists from 8 Indigenous tribes were invited to participate based on their previous work and their ability to express the exhibition’s theme through the lens of their heritage and cultural worldview. The exhibition is curated by noted Northern Arapaho artist Robert Martinez.
Ben Pease (Apsáalooke-Crow)
Brent Learned (Arapaho/Cheyenne)
Carlin Bear Don’t Walk (Apsáalooke-Crow/Northern Cheyenne)
Donald F. Montileaux (Oglala Sioux)
Henry Payer (Ho-Chunk)
Hillary Kempenich (Anishinaabe)
Jackie Larson Bread (Blackfeet)
Jackie Sevier (Northern Arapaho)
Jim Yellowhawk (Itazipco/Cheyenne River Sioux)
Joanne Brings Thunder (Eastern Shoshone)
John Pepion (Blackfeet)
Louis Still Smoking (Blackfeet
Robert Martinez (Northern Arapaho)
Talissa Abeyta (Eastern Shoshone)
Wade Patton (Oglala Lakota)
The exhibition is beginning its global tour in Wyoming, moving to other venues in the USA, including Washington, D.C., the United Kingdom, and ending in the Middle East. The organizing coordinator, The Rt. Rev. Paul-Gordon Chandler, the Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Wyoming, has extensive experience organizing large-scale exhibitions internationally.
At each venue, the exhibition serves as a catalyst for the development of events and programs to stimulate discussion, dialogue and education around the exhibition’s theme. In Cheyenne, a special event on the morning of March 31, 2023 will focus on the Chief Washakie bronze sculpture created by award-winning Native American artist, Guadalupe Barajas. This piece was sponsored by St. Mark’s Episcopal Church as part of the City of Cheyenne’s “Capital Avenue Bronze Project.”
Wyoming program partners include Wyoming Humanities Council, Wyoming Arts Council, six noted exhibition spaces, and Episcopal churches throughout Wyoming.