Call for artists issued for Native art exhibit in Tacoma

TACOMA — Applications are open for the annual In the Spirit Contemporary Native Arts exhibition, held each summer at the Washington State History Museum.

The deadline for artists to submit work for consideration is May 7. Applications and guidelines can be found at www.WashingtonHistory.org/inthespirit-2021.

“This exhibition, now in its 16th annual iteration, is recognized for featuring some of the best-known and emerging contemporary Native artists in the Pacific Northwest,” said Molly Wilmoth, lead program manager of the Washington State Historical Society.

“Each year a jury selects exhibition pieces from the applications we receive. We are also grateful for the guidance of an advisory committee who we collaborate with throughout the exhibition and festival planning process.”

The museum is at 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. the third Thursday of each month, with free admission from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission otherwise is students from 6 to 17 and military with ID, $11; free for children 5 and younger; family rate $40. Patrons with a Washington Quest card and licensed Washington foster parents can attend for $1 per person or $2 per family.

Todd Clark (Wailaki) continues his role as lead juror for the 2021 In the Spirit exhibition. Clark is the founder and curator of IMNDN.org, a nonprofit organization advocating for contemporary Native art and artists, and a program manager at the University of Washington’s Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies.

“It was contemporary Native artists who first showed me what it looked like to be Native and living in the 21st century, where we retained our past, heritage and culture, and yet thrived in the modern world,” Clark said.

In addition to selecting works for the exhibition, the jury selects which works will receive awards presented by the Washington State Historical Society. Visitors to the exhibition are invited to vote for two People’s Choice awards.

“It is an honor to have this annual opportunity to recognize the incredible creativity and skill of Native artists in our region,” Wilmoth added. “It is especially meaningful in 2021, in light of the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on Indigenous communities. An exhibition like this can underscore how history and art connect us all.”

For more information about the exhibit, email Wilmoth at [email protected]

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