Great Plains Art Museum Opens Exhibit on Contemporary Native American Art


Prairie Fire Newspaper went on hiatus after the publication of the September 2015 issue. It may return one of these days but until then we will continue to host all of our archived content for your reading pleasure. Many of the articles have held up well over the years. Please contact us if you have any questions, thoughts, or an interest in helping return Prairie Fire to production. We can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you to all our readers, contributors, and supporters - the quality of Prairie Fire was a reflection of how many people it touched (touches).

By Katie Nieland

The Great Plains Art Museum opened a new exhibit titled “Contemporary Indigeneity: The New Art of the Great Plains” on June 1. The exhibit will run until July 27.

A blind jury of Plains researchers, conservationists, artists, and museum workers chose more than forty pieces of art that examine current Native American life and culture for inclusion in the show. Works chosen include sculpture, textiles, paint, crafts, and more.

“The exhibition tells the story of both contemporary artists exploring new ways to represent the Plains culture and old traditions that continue to be linked to the pulse of the Great Plains,” said Alexandra Alberda, exhibition coordinator. “These works both analyze and celebrate current culture and development in the area.”

“These contemporary artists blur the lines between past and present, while some works go further to warn us of a future not far off. But what is strongest in these works is their link to the land and the people that continue to make the Great Plains their home,” she said.

During a June 6 reception, awarding juror Jaune Quick-to-See Smith chose several pieces for cash prizes and gave a short talk. Winners include

Best of show ($1,500): Bert Tallman

Bert Tallman, Blackfoot Bolo Tie, Best of Show. (Katie Nieland)

Best 3-D ($1,000): Susan Bigham

Best 2-D ($1,000): Jerry Fogg

Most Innovative Use of Media ($500): Shan Goshorn

Shan Goshorn, Deceived, Most Innovative Use of Media. (Katie Nieland)

Best Emerging Artist ($300): Colleen Friday

Viewer’s Choice ($300): Liz Shea McCoy

Great Plains Art Museum exhibition prize ($300): Gwen Westerman

Honorable Mention ($25): Ron Yazzie

Woodland Trails Art Gallery exhibition: TBD

Sioux City Art Center exhibition consideration: TBD

Smith is an internationally known artist, curator, lecturer, printmaker, and professor who has participated in more than one hundred solo exhibitions in her forty years as an artist.


The Great Plains Art Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska, is open to the public 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1:30–5 p.m. on Sundays (closed Mondays, holiday weekends, and between exhibitions). There is no admission charge. For more information on the exhibit, visit or call (402) 472-3082.

Immigration in Nebraska