Traditions, Change, and Celebration: Native Artists of the Southeast

The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum will present Traditions, Change, and Celebration: Native Artists of the Southeast from August 8, 2014 – July 25, 2015 in the Museum’s 2nd floor South Gallery. The exhibit will have a grand opening during the 2nd Annual FOLKFabulous festival on August 23, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. in front of the Museum on USC’s historic horseshoe. The Humanities CouncilSC supported this project with a Major Grant in February 2014.

The South is home to a wide variety of deeply-rooted Native American tribal groups, each with their own dynamic history. Traditions, Change, and Celebration:  Native Artists of the Southeast, pays particular attention to five primary culture groups: Iroquoian, Muskogean, Algonquin, Mobilian and Siouan. Within these culture groups and spanning nine states, the traditions of a variety of tribes will be explored, including the Cherokee, Edisto, Choctaw, Catawba, Chickasaw, Seminole, Chitimacha, Pamunkey, Wassamasaw and Creek. Featuring the work of master artists within these communities, the exhibition explores how these artists are influenced by the world around them and how they influence their native communities through leadership and a dynamic sense of cultural identity. The exhibition features Native American artists who continue the traditions of their ancestors in a contemporary context, how the creative process is informed by traditional methods, and how artists have incorporated innovative techniques in technique and style.

Guest curatedby Dr. Will Moreau Goins, CEO ofEastern Cherokee, Southern Iroquois and United Tribes of SC(ECSIUT), Traditions, Change, and Celebration features more than 75 objects representing the work of Native artists throughout the southeast. Traditions represented include pottery, basketry, wood- and stone-carving, textiles, regalia, beadwork, music, dance, and storytelling.

“This exhibition is about celebrating the creativity and diversity within the Native American community,” says curator Saddler Taylor, “and my hope is visitors will leave with a clear understanding of how culture groups from a wide variety of backgrounds influence and strengthen each other.”

Complementing the exhibit will be FOLKFabulous, an outdoor festival where Native American musicians, artists, and community leaders from more than five different Southeastern tribes will share their cultural traditions. Participating artists include Keith Brown demonstrating Catawba pottery, Tuscarora music by the Deer Clan Singers, and Cherokee storyteller and stonecarver Freeman Owle. FOLKFabulous is an interactive event for the entire family. Other public programs will take place throughout the year.

McKissick Museum is located on the University of South Carolina’s historic Horseshoe with available parking in the garage at the corner of Pendleton and Bull streets. All exhibits are free and open to the public. Museum hours are 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday thru Friday and 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturdays. The museum is closed Sundays and holidays.

For more information, visit or call Ja-Nae Epps at 803-777-2876.

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