• April 24th, 2024
  • Wednesday, 08:09:36 PM

DAM’s New Exhibit Focuses on Native Voices and Perspectives

Photo: © Zig Jackson Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, North Dakota. Courtesy Denver Art Museum Zig Jackson (Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara, b. 1957), Indian Man on the Bus, Mission District, San Francisco, California, 1994. Inkjet print. Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, P2021.7.



The Denver Art Museum (DAM) opened Speaking with Light: Contemporary Indigenous Photography, one of the first major museum surveys to explore the practices of Indigenous photographers working over the past three decades. Featuring works by more than 30 contemporary Indigenous photographers, this exhibition is organized by the Amon Carter Museum of American Art (the Carter), where it will debut before its presentation in Denver, and includes new commissions and recently acquired works from the Carter’s collection alongside loans from artists and other institutions.


The artists featured in Speaking with Light use the medium to investigate Indigenous worldviews through the exploration of history, loss, identity and representation. Speaking with Light will be on view in the Hamilton Building’s Gallagher Family Gallery through May 21, 2023. The exhibition will be included in general admission, which is free for everyone 18 and under every day, as well as museum members.


“The Denver Art Museum looks forward to sharing this incredible selection of photography by Indigenous artists working today,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the DAM. “Our location on the homeland of the Arapaho, Cheyenne and Ute peoples underscores the importance of highlighting historically underrepresented views and voices of Indigenous communities. The works in Speaking with Light aim to shift power dynamics and bring attention to misrepresentations by focusing on Indigenous perspectives.”


Photo: © Cara Romero. All rights reserved. Courtesy Denver Art Museum Cara Romero (Chemehuevi, b. 1977), Water Memory, 2015. Inkjet print, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, P2021.54.


Speaking with Light presents photographs from both emerging and established artists, including Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie (Taskigi/Diné), Wendy Red Star (Apsáalooke), Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit/Unangax̂), and Jeremy Dennis (Shinnecock). The show will include dynamic installations by Kapulani Landgraf (Kanaka´Ōiwi), Jolene Rickard (Skarù:ręʔ/Tuscarora), and Alan Michelson (Mohawk member of Six Nations of the Grand River).


“Photography is powerful in its storytelling,” said Eric Paddock, Curator of Photography at the DAM and the local curator of the exhibition. “These photographs trace paths across time and place and reflect experiences that can shape and inform understanding of the past, the present and the future.”


Speaking with Light concludes with an interactive touchscreen where visitors can explore the work of many more Indigenous photographers through the online database, Indigenous Photograph. Throughout the exhibition, visitors will encounter short videos and hear insights about the work from artists themselves.


The DAM’s Anderman Photography Lecture Series will include an artist from this presentation. Please visit the museum’s online calendar for more information.


Speaking with Light: Contemporary Indigenous Photography is organized by the Amon Carter Museum of American Art.  The exhibition is co-curated by John Rohrbach, Senior Curator of Photographs, and Will Wilson, Photography Program Head at Santa Fe Community College and a citizen of the Navajo Nation. Major support for the exhibition is provided by the Henry Luce Foundation and the Texas Commission on the Arts. The accompanying publication is supported in part by the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation.


The Denver Art Museum exhibition is supported by The Christensen Fund, donors to the Annual Fund Leadership Campaign, and the residents who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). Promotional support is provided by 5280 Magazine and CBS Colorado.


The most up-to-date information on planning a visit to the Denver Art Museum can be found online under the Plan Your Visit tab. Use this page to find details on ticket pricing, parking, public transit options and access information. General admission for museum members is free every day. Youth aged 18 and under, regardless of residency, receive free general admission everyday thanks to the museum’s Free for Kids program. Free for Kids also underwrites free admission for school and youth group visits.