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The Land Carries Our Ancestors

Contemporary art by Native Americans.

At the National Gallery of Art’s East Building, from September 22, 2023 through January 15, 2024, an exhibition of contemporary art by Native Americans.

Curated by artist Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (Citizen of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation), this unprecedented exhibition brings together works by an intergenerational group of some 50 living Native American artists practicing across the United States. Their powerful art reflects a shared worldview that draws on thousands of years of reverence, study, and concern for the land.

Through diverse mediums—weaving, sculpture, beadwork, painting, performance, drawing, video, and more—these artists visualize Indigenous knowledge of land/landbase/landscape. Selected by Quick-to-See Smith, the dynamic presentation underscores the self-determination, survivance, and right to self-representation of Indigenous peoples.