The Haunting Work of Nicholas Galanin

I needed to find eight artists for my first-ever curated show. I had found one, but the others were not going to just land in my lap. I had to start digging.

RACE AND REVOLUTION explores racism in the United States. While my larger objective, (and extremely important to my curatorial process) was to include as diverse a selection of artists as there are cultures in the United States, I also needed to find eight artists whose work addresses such a specific theme.

Enter the Google search.

After hours of searching I clicked on the beautiful, provocative work of NICHOLAS GALANIN, a multi-disciplinary artist from Sitka, Alaska. Some of his most striking pieces are masks that evoke his Native American background. Wood, metals, animal hide, and sometimes photography. Regardless of the medium, the theme is apparent: Tlingit history collides with American, what I’ll call, entitlement. His work forces the viewer to question the role he or she may play in cultural appropriation, imperialism, and consumption.

 

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I emailed him with my crazy idea for this art show, telling him I thought his work would be a perfect fit. And guess what . . .

He said yes.

It’s hard for me to put into words. When Galanin agreed to do the show, I not only knew I had found an artist whose work was necessary for the overall themes of Race and Revolution. The depth of racism levied against Native American peoples has been a shame, a darkness, this country has yet to acknowledge and address.

People will see the work of Nicholas Galanin, but I also want visitors to think critically about what racism in this country means.   I need your help. Please CONTRIBUTE and help make Race and Revolution as big as it needs to be.

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