The current Arts Center exhibit isn’t easy…its raw, its difficult and its disturbing. North Dakota’s Native Peoples share their stories and much of it is heart wrenching. It’s the kind of art makes you think, maybe it even keeps you up at night. Spending time, reading the words of these 16 people left me with much empathy.
The Arts Center shows all kinds of exhibits, some displays, like the JFAA Annual Show, simply display a variety of artwork, other exhibits, like the present one, In Our Own Words: Native Impressions tackles sensitive and emotional themes.
I like that we are able to bring a variety of exhibits to the community. Not everyone will like each exhibit. But as I heard someone just leaving the gallery say…”that is profound” and “I have to come back and spend more time” I know that the display has made an impact, it has caused a person to pause and think. I’m sure this was an aim of printmaker Daniel Heyman with this project. The exhibit is timely, given the current conflicts surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline, and offers an important contribution to the current dialogue and perspective of our Native Peoples.