From May 16 through June 25, 2019, the ’Tis Art Center and Gallery, in partnership with the Smoki Museum, will present Journeys in Spirit 2019: Traditional and Contemporary Native Art Exhibition. Entering its ninth year, the exhibit centers on showcasing the visual arts, music, dance and storytelling of and by Native people. This exciting cultural celebration will be held at 'Tis Art Center and Gallery, conveniently located across from Prescott’s Courthouse Plaza at 105 S. Cortez Street.
To celebrate the launch of Journeys in Spirit 2019, there will be an opening reception for the artists on May 24 from 5-8 p.m. Presented as part of Prescott’s popular 4th Friday Art Walk, the reception will feature Mike Goodluck performing on a Native flute. The weekend fun will continue at noon on Saturday May 25 and Sunday May 26 with flute music, storytelling and dazzling hoop dance, performed by World Champion Hoop Dancer Tony Duncan, his wife Violet and their young family.
Journeys in Spirit will spotlight emerging and established artists from various Native cultures, including the Acoma, Apache, Choctaw, Dine’, Hopi, Yaqui, Yavapai and Zuni. The arts play an integral role in Native society. Beginning at a young age, Native children are introduced to artistic mediums, including bead working, basketry, woodcarving, weaving, and metalworking, as well as the crafting of musical instruments and ceremonial attire. Color and imagery carry symbolic meaning in Native cultures, and music and dance are considered an essential aspect of social and ceremonial gatherings. Storytelling, the oldest of all the art forms, is used to keep alive cultural history and sacred beliefs. For many Native artists, inspiration is found in the stories, ceremonies and rituals that have been passed on to them across several generations, while others are influenced by their personal experiences in the modern world, both within and outside of their tribal communities.
Journeys in Spirit attendees will have the opportunity to view a wide variety of artistic mediums, ranging from basketry and bead working to sculpture and photography. Some works will reflect the traditional styles of Native cultures, while others will incorporate a contemporary aesthetic or a combination of old and new. Examples of works that will be on display include sculpture and paintings by the exhibit’s curator, Hopi artist Filmer Kewanyama, and paintings by acclaimed Choctaw artist Karen Clarkson. Regardless of the unique style or medium, all works showcased at Journeys in Spirit will reflect the artist’s personal stories and ongoing quest for discovery and knowledge.