Five new artists have joined Gallery 103 and 3 Rivers Art Gallery this year. Although they are new members of the artists’ collectives, they are not new to making art. They are Native Americans, and while their artistic voices speak of their heritage, they are five distinctly talented artists.
Henry Payer is a Ho Chunk artist, born in Sioux City, nationally recognized and widely exhibited. Making art is his life’s work, his compositions are bold and contemporary. Each work offers a visual narrative of symbols and voices from American consumer society that reconfigures history, references the altered landscape or the identity of a portrait. Henry represents the work of artists seeking to expand the range and voice of their visual expression and cultural representation, while attending to concepts and forms of tradition.
SunRose IronShell is a contemporary artist and designer. She is Sicangu and Oglala Lakota of the Titowan Band of the Oceti Sakowin. She breaks the stereotypes of what America wants native art to be, and has been an advocate of Indigeneity throughout her life. She has received prestigious awards and is featured in the documentary film “Woman Of The White Buffalo.” As a Ledger artist, she takes the traditional form of documentation and reflects a narrative of how Indigenous people are living.
Photographer and Graphic Designer Savannah Berlyn Anderson (Ricehill) is a Winnebago Tribal Member with a culture that encompasses both Omaha and Chickahominy roots.
Her passion for photography was kindled as a child when her father gave her a camera,
igniting a lifelong love affair with capturing moments through the lens. In documenting the untold stories of her tribe and preserving the ephemeral beauty of nature, Savannah believes that photography has the ability to shape perceptions, influence hearts, and spark meaningful conversations.
Savannah’s father, Ernest Ricehill, is HoChunk and Omaha, a talented curator, exhibit designer, and photographer. He served as Curator at the Sioux City Art Center in the 1980s, the only Native American art curator at that time. He played a significant role in designing and curating the Special Native American Art Exhibit of the Nebraska Arts Council and contributed to the Nebraska Lewis and Clark Bi-Centennial Commission. He captured the essence of the urban Native American experience in his project, “Moccasins On Pavement – The Urban Indian Experience: A Denver Portrait Photographic Exhibit.”
Omaha Nation member Ed Encinas teaches high school Art and beginning band at UmoNhoN Nation Public School. He takes the ledger art form in new directions with paintings on old cheques, sheet music, and other pages from history. Often of local origin, these documents lead to conversations about our common history.
To share their artworks with the community, and in celebration of Native American Heritage Month, the galleries are hosting the “New Artists Showcase” on November 17 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Atrium of the HoChunk Centre at 600 4th Street in Sioux City. Guests are invited to meet the artists, share fine cuisine, and experience the art.
By Terri Parish McGaffin