About This Exhibition

The groundbreaking, first-of-its-kind exhibition Clearly Indigenous: Native Visions Reimagined in Glass celebrates Native artists working in a dynamic medium. Powerful, majestic, and stirring, the show features 115 works of art by 29 Native American artists and four Pacific Rim artists, including Wichita favorite Preston Singletary (Tlingit). It also includes work by legendary glass art innovator Dale Chihuly, who worked with artist and educator Lloyd Kiva New (Cherokee) to set up the first hot shop at the Institute of American Indian Arts in 1974.

The pliable, translucent material of glass is ideal for Native artists looking to re-interpret traditional stories and express contemporary issues affecting tribal societies. The artworks on view include totems, animal sculptures, ceremonial regalia, baskets, and masks, all of which honor past artistic traditions while exploring contemporary concerns. Vessels and baskets traditionally made of grass or clay, for instance, are now beautifully rendered in glass.

The exhibition includes artists who were the first Native Americans known to blow glass and create glass art, including Larry Avakana (Inupiaq), Carl Ponca (Osage), and Tony Jojola (Isleta Pueblo). It also features the second generation of Native glass artists, such as Dan Friday (Lummi), and others who have established careers in other media but have also designed glass.

Clearly Indigenous: Native Visions Reimagined in Glass is organized by The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and Curator Letitia Chambers and is toured by International Arts & Artists. All museum exhibitions receive generous sponsorship from the Friends of the Wichita Art Museum and the City of Wichita.

TOP: Raven Skyriver (Tlingit), Mahi Mahi, 2017. Off hand sculpted glass, 16 x 19 x 31 inches. Collection of the artist. Photo by KP Studios, Courtesy of Raven Skyriver, Stanwood, Washington. © Raven Skyriver

Glass sculpture of a totem-style head in dark brown on a lighter brown base.

Preston Singletary (Tlingit) and Joe David (Nuu-cha-nulth), Looks to the Sky, 2017. Blown, sand-carved glass, 19 1/4 x 12 x 6 inches. Courtesy Blue Rain Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico. © Preston Singletary and Joe David


Artists in the Exhibition

REd vase with black image of a turtle

Robert “Spooner” Marcus (Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo), Red Turtles, about 2011. Blown and sand-carved glass, 21 3/4 x 9 inches. Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Photo by Kitty Leaken, Courtesy Museum of Indian Arts and Culture