Touring Exhibition of Indigenous American Artists Comes to Rock Springs

Touring Exhibition of Indigenous American Artists Comes to Rock Springs

This artwork by artist John Pepion will be on display at the Community Fine Arts Center from November 3 – December 29 as part of GROUNDED, an exhibit of 15 Indigenous artists coordinated by “ArtSpirit” the arts initiative of Episcopal Church in Wyoming, and CARAVAN, a global arts non-profit. The opening reception on November 3 from 5 to 7 pm will include speakers and a sacred drum circle. Courtesy photo

ROCK SPRINGS — The Community Fine Arts Center (CFAC) will showcase GROUNDED, a touring exhibition of 15 contemporary artists from eight Indigenous American tribes traditionally based in and around the Great Plains.

GROUNDED is a strategic and timely art exhibition organized by ArtSpirit, the arts initiative of Episcopal Church in Wyoming, and CARAVAN, a global arts non-profit. It will be at the CFAC from November 3 to December 29, as part of its multi-year international tour. A special opening program and reception will be Friday, November 3 at 5 p.m. with special speakers (including participating artists), an Indigenous drum circle, and the cedaring of the artwork to which all are invited.

GROUNDED is an artistic exploration that seeks to inspire our imaginations about our need to be “grounded” in our relationship with all of creation: the earth and its wildlife, each other and ourselves. 

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“At this moment in time, our world is calling for restoration, from within and without, for a realignment of a sacred harmony and an awareness of a new balance between ourselves and the earth and all of life upon it. GROUNDED is an exhibition of creative expressions nurturing that sacred connection towards “groundedness” and more intentional and responsible living,” the CFAC said.

The creative work of this group of contemporary Native American artists serves as a visual representation of the worldview, wisdom and learnings of their ancestors. Grounded in the interconnectedness of the sacred, the natural world, and one another, Native American traditional beliefs see everything on the earth as living in relationship. Their spiritual wisdom is therefore essential to developing a “sacred harmony” between all peoples and the earth. This unique contemporary art exhibition seeks to enable them to share their culture, heritage and sacred traditions to help us heal our world and foster wholeness among all peoples.

The 15 contemporary artists from 8 Indigenous tribes were invited to participate based on the artists’ previous work and their ability to express the exhibition’s theme through the lens of their heritage and cultural worldview.  The exhibition is curated by acclaimed Northern Arapaho artist Robert Martinez. 

  • Ben Pease (Apsáalooke-Crow)
  • Brent Learned (Arapaho/Cheyenne)
  • Carlin Bear Don’t Walk (Apsáalooke-Crow/Northern Cheyenne)
  • Donald F. Montileaux (Oglala Sioux)
  • Henry Payer (Ho-Chunk)
  • Hillary Kempenich (Anishinaabe)
  • Jackie Larson Bread (Blackfeet)
  • Jackie Sevier (Northern Arapaho)
  • Jim Yellowhawk (Itazipco/Cheyenne River Sioux)
  • Joanne Brings Thunder (Eastern Shoshone)
  • John Pepion (Blackfeet)
  • Louis Still Smoking (Blackfeet)
  • Robert Martinez (Northern Arapaho)
  • Talissa Abeyta (Eastern Shoshone)
  • Wade Patton (Oglala Lakota)

The exhibition began its global tour in Wyoming, having already been showcased prior to its Rock Springs showing in Lander, Casper, Cheyenne, Jackson and Worland. Following Rock Springs, the exhibition will move to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, the American University Museum in Washington, D.C. and then to the United Kingdom, ending its tour in the Middle East. 

For more information about the exhibition and associated programming, contact Genie Osburn, Communications Manager for The Episcopal Church in Wyoming:

The public is invited to see this exhibit as well as the permanent collection on display, located at 400 C Street in Rock Springs. Hours at the center are Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday and Saturday noon to 5 p.m.