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Indigenous artists honor past, present in new Scottsdale Arts exhibition

Posted 1/10/22

Scottsdale Public Art will host the “FIRST: Native American Artists of Arizona” Exhibition from Jan. 10  through Mar. 30,  at Scottsdale Civic Center Library.

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Indigenous artists honor past, present in new Scottsdale Arts exhibition

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Scottsdale Public Art will host the “FIRST: Native American Artists of Arizona” Exhibition from Jan. 10 through March 30,  at Scottsdale Civic Center Library.

“FIRST: Native American Artists of Arizona” features work by artists who descend from the first Indigenous people of North America, according to a press release.

Artists include Chelsea Bighorn, David Butler, Ron Carlos, David Haff, Damian Jim, Zachary Justin, Marie Koonooak, Thomas “Breeze” Marcus, Mario Martinez, David Chethlahe Paladin, Roger Perkins, Melanie Sainz and Jessie Yazzie.

Ron Carlos, a Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member who co-curated the exhibition, will also have his pottery shown. He makes his traditional pottery with the “paddle-and-anvil” technique indigenous to the Maricopa and Pima tribes of southern Arizona.

“This exhibit is a blending both traditional and contemporary Native American art,” Carlos said in the release. “You can see some of the more traditional art forms from a few of our artists as well as work by artists that have taken traditional elements and created art that expresses the continuum of Native American culture in modern American society.”

In this exhibition, Scottsdale Arts shares work from artists who are said to "descend from the first peoples, the indigenous Americans with histories that stretch through the millennia."

“I grew up in Scottsdale, and all our grade schools were named after Native American tribes,” said Wendy Raisanen, curator of collections and exhibitions for Scottsdale Public Art, in the release, noting her interest in local Native cultures since she was young.

“There are 22 tribes in Arizona, but this show has people from tribes all over the United States and Canada. The material culture of Native Americans has such a deep history, and it’s exciting to show how this is revealed in the artwork we’re showing here.”

In addition to the exhibition, events associated with the show include an opening reception from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., on Feb. 11, at the Civic Center Public Gallery inside Scottsdale Civic Center Library, 3839 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale.

For more information, visit ScottsdalePublicArt.org/exhibitions.

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