Inspiration from Museum Collections: An Exhibit as a Case Study in Building Relationships between Museums and Indigenous Artists
|Title||Inspiration from Museum Collections: An Exhibit as a Case Study in Building Relationships between Museums and Indigenous Artists|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2018|
|Authors||Saul, GW, Jolie, R|
|Journal||The American Indian Quarterly|
Elements of the Earth is an exhibit featured in the Alfonso Ortiz Center for Intercultural Studies exhibition gallery at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, University of New Mexico. Guest-curated by Ohkay Owingeh ceramicist Clarence Cruz, the exhibit features narrative written by Cruz and examples of his ceramic artwork inspired by pre-Hispanic and historic Ohkay Owingeh ceramics from the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology collections. The exhibit evolved as a collaboration between Cruz and the Maxwell Museum as part of Cruz’s master’s thesis in studio art and was sponsored by the Ortiz Center. As museums strive to establish and build relationships with Indigenous communities, groups, and individuals, the work of the Alfonso Ortiz Center in supporting projects and exhibits such as Elements of the Earth provides an opportunity to reflect on the process of building reciprocal working relationships. Most importantly, in this case study, having an institution distinct from the museum has produced an exhibition that is aimed to support the intentions of Indigenous communities and artists. For Cruz, the support of the Ortiz Center and the Maxwell Museum made possible an opportunity to introduce Ohkay Owingeh and other Pueblo youth to the cultural importance and historical practices of harvesting clay and making ceramics within Puebloan communities.