5 Wendy Red Star; Peelatchiwaaxpaash, Medicine Crow, (Raven); tapestry, cotton; 180x36 in

As We See It:
Contemporary Native American Photographers

Opening Reception: Saturday, June 18, 6-8pm 
at 516 ARTS

As We See It: Contemporary Native American Photographers considered how photography can communicate personal perspectives on identity and place. This exhibition combined landscapes, portraiture and appropriated images to consider how photography can offer a new perspective on the world and the process of photography. For the artists in As We See It, the media of still photography serves as a means to accomplish their goals, whether describing environmental issues or creating connections in Native North America. Each image provided an example for how photography can form a dialog, allowing for the possibility of conversation. These pieces reframed the relationship between the photographer and the photographer's subject. 

Photography is inherently a mono-directional action, where the photographer takes a picture while the subject passively poses and is not involved in the image-making process. The artists in As We See It explored what happens when the photographer allows the subject to become part of the process, working in tandem to create the final image. By engaging with the subject more interactively, the images became a shared product that illustrates the personal, living stories of the artists and their worlds. 

Featured artists: Jamison Chas Banks, Tom Jones, Larry McNeil, Wendy Red Star, Matika Wilbur, Will Wilson and Tiffiney Yazzie.

About the curators
Co-curator Suzanne Newman Fricke completed her doctorate in Native American Art History at the University of New Mexico. Her research into contemporary Native art includes an article on Bob Haozous in the anthology No Deal! Indigenous Arts and the Politics of Possession and numerous articles in First Americans Art Magazine. As a curator, she has created three shows that traveled to different sites through Russia, the United States and Japan. A book of interviews with the artists in As We See It will be published by UNM Press in 2016.

Co-curator India Young is completing of doctorate in Art History as an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the University of New Mexico and works as an independent curator. Her primary research focuses on prints and the conceptual transfer of idea to image, while her curatorial mandate privileges Indigenous viewpoints.



As We See It was among the exhibitions at 516 ARTS for PhotoSummer 2016, a collaborative initiative that strives to represent and actively promote historical and contemporary photography in New Mexico. Taking the rich legacy of photography in New Mexico as a point of departure, the exhibitions and public programs around PhotoSummer embodied the continued energy and support of the photographic arts in the region. Organized by UNM Art Museum, 516 ARTS and CENTER, PhotoSummer 2016 featured a series of exhibitions, talks, workshops and events in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.


Image: Wendy Redstar, Peelatchiwaaxpáash/Medicine Crow (Raven): Aappiiwaaxaaxiish/Shining Shell, 2014 Sewn tapestry, digitally printed cotton 180 1/5 x 36 in.