University Libraries’ Indigenous Nations Library Program has mounted a spring exhibit of paintings by Zuni artist Edward Wemytewa located on the second floor of Zimmerman Library. Murals by Wemytewa have been on display in Zimmerman throughout 2019. The new exhibit, “Indigenous Peoples Not Invisible – Standing Strong & Speaking out in the Times of Climate Crisis” opens March 6 and will be on view through June.
Edward Wemytewa is a A:Shiwi (Zuni) artist born and raised in the Pueblo of Zuni, New Mexico. His first language as Shiwi’ma bena:we—” born into the Wild Tobacco Clan and Child of the Crow.”
From his early memories, he has always drawn and as he progressed, began to work with pastel and tempera paints, creating paintings of the religious landscapes of the A:shiwi.
Today he creates large drawings using graphite and oil on canvas that retain his early illustrative style but are much more political in nature, what he calls the “Art of the Oppressed.” He has observed that the pain and drama of the plight of the “Native American” has unfolded to include a diverse demography of the economically and politically “disenfranchised.”
Wemytewa gives this statement on the exhibit, “’One earth, one mother’ (to quote late John Trudell, a poet and an Indigenous movement icon in the last century) is a profound statement. How can “Children of God” be ignorant of such a blessed world we live in. We breathe, for the most part, fresh air without a need for a life support apparatus, like a space helmet. And to see, smell, and touch a wild flower, earth’s bounty—a miracle in its self. As Indigenous Peoples, how can we tell humanity that good weather is over, and that we are “Riding on the Tailbone of the Deer,” a Zuni prophesy about riding on edge.”
For more information about the exhibit or programs planned by INLP contact Kevin Brown at email@example.com or call 505.277.7433.