The Eiteljorg Museum’s nationally renowned Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship has been integral to increasing awareness of and an appreciation for Native contemporary art. The relationships, publications, exhibitions and collection resources that have been developed through it are unparalleled.
The line that separates contemporary Native art from customary Native art does not exist. The work of contemporary Native artists today is a continuum of Native expression. It does not solely exist in the Native world or mainstream art community. Native contemporary art cannot be judged by whether there is a recognizably Native design or form integrated into the art. Native art connects to individual artists, it rejects stereotypes, it reflects today and like all art, has changed over time. It not only blurs the line; it challenges the narrow definitions assigned to contemporary Native art and overcomes them.”
Jennifer Complo McNutt Eiteljorg Curator Of Contemporary Art
Through mark-making in pencil, chalk, and oil stick on paper or applying unusual mediums… Kirk’s compositions take on a life of their own, resembling road maps, Navajo rugs, or urban landscapes.
White Hawk combines her use of traditional Lakota mediums (such as porcupine quills or beads) and geometric patterns to her canvases to conceive intricate mixed media works.
Letendre attended the École des Beaux-Arts for nearly two years before she began her career in abstract painting… She has had over sixty solo shows and her works are in the collections of numerous Canadian and American museums, including the National Gallery of Canada.
As the Eiteljorg Museum celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2019, we are proud to be stewards of one of the most important collections of contemporary Native art in the world and to showcase fascinating, important works of Indigenous artists whose innovation and creativity have been recognized through the Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship.”
John Vanausdall Eiteljorg Museum President and CEO
Matthew Kirk was born in Ganado, Arizona, on January 31, 1978, and is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. As a youth, he lived in Wisconsin with his mother. Since 2006, Queens, New York, is where he works and lives. Kirk has no formal art training but he has been an art handler for more than 12 years, and has exhibited in Portland, Chicago, Milwaukee, and New York City. Through his mark-making in pencil, chalk, and oil stick on paper or applying unusual mediums such as staples and BB pellets to his sheetrock “canvases,” Kirk’s compositions take on a life of their own, resembling road maps, Navajo rugs, or urban landscapes.
Dyani White Hawk was born on October 31, 1976, in Madison, Wisconsin, where she grew up; she currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, and she holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Institute of American Indian Arts and a Masters of Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In 2015 she received the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Regional Artist Fellowship, and in 2019, the Jerome Hill and USA Artist Fellowships. White Hawk combines her use of traditional Lakota mediums (such as porcupine quills or beads) and geometric patterns to her canvases to conceive intricate mixed media works.
Hannah Claus was born on February 7, 1969 in Fredericton, New Brunswick. She grew up in Saint John, and she currently lives in Montréal, Quebec. She is a member of the Bay of Quinte Mohawk First Nation and she received her Associate of the Ontario College of Art and Design Diploma with Honors in Fine Arts in 1997, and her Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts from Concordia University in 2004. Claus is a multidisciplinary artist who creates suspended sculptural installations or videos that reference time, place, elements, or bodies of water. Her materials of choice include vellum or acrylic sheets printed with three-dimensional images, or natural materials such as porcupine quills.
Demian DinéYazhí was born on July 25, 1983 in Gallup, New Mexico, and is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. In 2014, they received their Bachelor of Fine Arts in Intermedia from Pacific Northwest College of Art in 2014. Since graduating, DinéYazhí has been awarded several grants or fellowships including the Precipice Fund in 2014, Art Matters Foundation in 2015, and the Brink Award from the Henry Art Museum and a Hallie Ford Fellowship from the Ford Family Foundation in 2017. From printed zines to large textile installations and video and land art performance, DinéYazhí is a multidisciplinary artist who does not limit their investigation into the contemporary radical Indigenous voice.
Rita Letendre was born on November 1, 1928, in Drummondville, Québec, to an Abenaki mother and Québécois father. The youngest of seven children, she lived with her maternal grandmother for a few years before her family relocated to Montréal in 1941. Letendre attended the École des Beaux-Arts for nearly two years before she began her career in abstract painting. She is the recipient of the 2010 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, 2016 Paul-Émile-Borduas Award, and is a member of the Orders of Canada, Ontario and Québec. She has had more than 60 solo shows and her works are in the collections of numerous Canadian and American museums, including the National Gallery of Canada.