Sharing Honors and Burdens: Renwick Invitational 2023

Artist Lily Hope with an ornamental headdress

Lily Hope, Memorial Beats, 2021, thigh-spun merino and cedar bark with copper, headphones, and audio files, 16 x 4 x 10 in., The Hope Family Trust. Photo by Sydney Akagi.

Sharing Honors and Burdens: Renwick Invitational 2023 focuses on fresh and nuanced visions by six Native American or Alaska Native artists who express the honors and burdens that connect people to one another. The 55 artworks in the exhibition arise from traditions of making that honor family, community or clan, and require broad community participation. Six artists — Joe Feddersen (Arrow Lakes/​Okanagan), Lily Hope (Tlingit), Ursala Hudson (Tlingit), Erica Lord (Athabaskan/​Iñupiat), Geo Neptune (Passamaquoddy) and Maggie Thompson (Fond du Lac Ojibwe) — analyze the present moment by evoking historical practices and potential futures. Their works are often culturally specific, yet they communicate across cultural boundaries. 

Description

Sharing Honors and Burdens: Renwick Invitational 2023 is the tenth installment of the series. Established in 2000, the Renwick Invitational showcases mid-career and emerging makers deserving of wider national recognition. The exhibition is organized by guest curator Lara M. Evans (Cherokee Nation), founding director of the Research Center for Contemporary Native Arts at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and current vice president of programs for First Peoples Fund, with Nora Atkinson, the Fleur and Charles Bresler Curator in Charge at the Renwick Gallery. 

SAAM's Renwick Gallery is the only venue for this exhibition.

It is the first time that artists chosen for the Renwick Invitational are all Native Americans and Alaska Natives. All are members of separate sovereign nations: Tlingit and Haida Tribes of Alaska, Nenana Native Association, Wabanaki Confederacy, Okanagan Nation, and Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. The artists were selected by a panel of distinguished jurors, including Lara Evans; Miranda Belarde-Lewis (Zuni/Tlingit), independent curator and the Jill and Joe McKinstry Endowed Faculty Fellow of Native North American Indigenous Knowledge at the University of Washington’s iSchool; and Anya Montiel (Mexican/Tohono O’odham descent), curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.  

Joe Feddersen (b. 1953, resides Omak, Washington) is a celebrated printmaker, glass artist, and basket weaver. He is known for uniting urban imagery and Indigenous design through simple geometric “glyphs” that poignantly reflect on people’s relationship with the environment.

Lily Hope (b. 1980, resides Juneau, Alaska) and Ursala Hudson (b. 1987, resides Pagosa Springs, Colorado) are an artist duo and sisters, daughters of renowned weaver Clarissa Rizal (Tlingit). They work in the Chilkat and Ravenstail weaving styles. Hope is an artist, teacher, community facilitator, and storyteller who intertwines Indigenous techniques and spiritual teachings in her work. Hudson, a graphic designer by training, is known for her bold and award-winning designs.

Erica Lord (b. 1978, resides Santa Fe, New Mexico) is an interdisciplinary artist born to a Finnish American mother and an Athabaskan/Iñupiat father. She explores themes of displacement, cultural identity, and cultural limbo within the contemporary Indigenous experience. Her work is inspired by the personal experience of perpetually moving between locations, cultures, and identities. Lord’s fiber and weaving works featured in the exhibition challenge notions of self, community, and belief.

Geo Neptune (b. 1988, resides Motahkomikuk, Maine) is a master basket maker who is two-spirit, a term that acknowledges different gender identities and societal/spiritual roles present among Native people of North America. They learned basketry at a young age from their grandmother, master artist Molly Neptune (Passamaquoddy), and approach weaving as an inherently sacred practice. Neptune takes inspiration from traditional forms and interjects their own artistic perspective and a bright palette into their work. 

Maggie Thompson (b. 1990, resides Minneapolis, Minnesota), a fiber artist and designer, derives inspiration from her Ojibwe heritage, exploring family history and broader themes relating to her Native American experience. Thompson expands the understanding of textiles by incorporating multimedia elements like photographs, beer caps, and 3D-printed objects into her work.

The exhibition includes thirteen new artworks that were created within the past year in addition to three pieces the museum commissioned specifically for the exhibition: Between Worlds (Child’s Robe) by Lily Hope, Sister Bear by Ursala Hudson and The Codes We Carry by Erica Lord. The museum acquired Joe Feddersen’s Horses and Deer in 2021, and anticipates acquiring works by all of the featured artists for its permanent collection.

 

 

 

 

Visiting Information

May 26, 2023-March 312024 
Open Daily, 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m
Free Admission

Events

Featured Event
7
Thursday
Mar
Virtual Studio Tour with Ursala Hudson
Thursday, March 7, 2024, 7 – 8pm EST
Online
Free | Registration required

Publications

A cover for the Sharing Honors and Burdens publication
Sharing Honors and Burdens: Renwick Invitational 2023 
Sharing Honors and Burdens: Renwick Invitational 2023 features the work of six artists from Indigenous Nations across Alaska, Washington State, Minnesota, and Maine. Their craft speaks to the responsibility of ushering forward cultural traditions while shaping the future with innovative works of art. Through these works, the artists share the honors and burdens that they carry.

Installation Images

Videos

Credit

Sharing Honors and Burdens: Renwick Invitational 2023 is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The Ryna and Melvin Cohen Family Foundation Endowment provides support for the Renwick Invitational. The Cohen Family’s generosity in creating this endowment helps make possible this series highlighting outstanding craft artists who are deserving of wider national recognition.

Additional support has been provided by the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, The Robert Lehman Foundation, the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Windgate Foundation, and the Wyeth Foundation for American Art.

Logo for the Andy Warhol foundation for the Visual Arts.
Logo with a "W" and the name "Wyeth Foundation for American Art."

SAAM Stories

A person in a black and white checkered sweater stands holding headphones. They are also black and white, woven with an Indigenous motif and have long white fringe.
Go in-depth for a look at the themes of Sharing Honors and Burdens at the Renwick Gallery
Lara Evans
Two traditional robes with traditional Alaskan Native designs side-by-side on mannequins in a gallery.
An in-depth look at Lily Hope and Ursala Hudson’s work and the traditions behind Chilkat weavings
SAAM
A woven robe with fringe and patterns of brown, blue and white with a yellow border.
An in-depth look at the ceremonial robe Between Worlds (Child's Robe) by Lily Hope (Tlingit)
SAAM

Visual Descriptions

A multi-colored art piece
Visual Descriptions for Sharing Honors and Burdens: Renwick Invitational 2023

Download visual descriptions of select objects featured in Sharing Honors and Burdens: Renwick Invitational 2023.