(Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts/NMAI)
Wendy Red Star's "enit," part of Making Marks: Prints from Crow’s Shadow exhibit at NMAI's Gustav Heye Center in NYC

Art's Schimmel Sisters: Contemporary Native Artwork From Umatilla


Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts is housed within the historic St. Andrews mission schoolhouse, itself situated at the base of the Blue Mountain foothills on the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon. Since 1992, it has been a peaceful and inspiring place to go and create art and a gathering place for contemporary Native artists. The nonprofit institute draws artists from around the world to its state-of-the-art printmaking studio, Crow’s Shadow Press. Its goal is to provide opportunities for Native Americans through artistic development.

Although Umatilla artistry of a much different variety, the hardcourt play of Louisville Cardinals basketball players Shoni and Jude Schimmel, has been making headlines recently, it's now the extraordinary contemporary artwork being created at Crow's Shadow that is drawing much deserved attention. Now open and running until January 5, 2014 a the National Museum of the American Indian's Gustav Heye Center in New York City is the exhibit Making Marks: Prints from Crow’s Shadow.

Rick Bartow, "Facing Left Raven," 2008. (Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts/NMAI)

The exhibition showcases 18 works by seven contemporary Native American artists: Rick Bartow, Wiyot, Phillip John Charette, Yup’ik, Joe Fedderson, Colville Confederated Tribes, Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds, Cheyenne/Arapaho, James Lavadour, Walla Walla, Wendy Red Star, Crow, and Marie Watt, Seneca. The prints in Making Marks were collaborations between Crow's Shadow master printer Frank Janzen and visiting artists; they are part of the Crow’s Shadow permanent collection.

Crow's Shadow is located on the Umatilla rez in the gorgeous foothills of Oregon's Blue Mountains.

Although Crow's Shadow places an emphasis on contemporary, fine-art printmaking, it also functions as a venue to practice traditional Native American art practices  — weaving, bead working and regalia making — of the Plateau region. To learn more about Crow's Shadow Institute of the Arts, go to CrowsShadow.org.

And for more information about the NMAI exhibit in New York, Making Marks: Prints from Crow’s Shadow, go to AmericanIndian.si.edu.

RelatedSouthwestern Association for Indian Arts Honors Three Native Artists

Related Video:

A four-part video series featuring Seneca artist Marie Watt at Crow's Shadow.

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