It was announced a few months ago that a brand new exhibit would be arriving at the American Adventure Pavilion this summer and I can officially let you know that this display has debuted! In this art exhibition, American Indian history and culture come to life with the “Creating Tradition: Innovation and Change in American Indian Art” exhibit. Displayed in the American Heritage Gallery inside the pavilion are contemporary Native artists alongside artifacts from centuries past, demonstrating how ancestral craftsmanship influences modern generations. there are 89 pieces on display that represent 40 different American Indian tribes from seven geographic regions across the United States.
Highlights from the collection include:
- Fashion designer Loren Aragon (Acoma Pueblo) used the patterns on a jar made in the 1900s by an Acoma Pueblo potter as inspiration for his “Ancient Resonance” dress.
- A Pokagon Potawatomi black ash hamper basket, made in the early 1900s, is paired with modern baskets, exemplifying how this technique is maintained over centuries. For example, on display is “Mother’s Womb,” a basket made by Cherish Nebeshanze Parrish (Potawatomi/Odawa) in 2011.
- A Chilkat blanket from Alaska dating to the 1890s complements “Raven and the Box of Daylight,” a 2017 glass sculpture by Preston Singletary (Tlingit). This piece shows how Singletary experiments with designs from his Tlingit heritage in mediums beyond traditional Native materials.
“Creating Tradition” also offers Guests the opportunity to interact with three video exhibits where contemporary American Indian artists share perspectives on their work and culture. Guests simply need to wave their hands in front of a display resembling a campfire, and the “flames” will then transform into a video presentation. Music playing in the gallery, which is performed by Native musicians, supports the objects and regions represented throughout the exhibition.
This new art exhibition is produced in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The exhibit is expected to be found at the American Heritage Gallery in the American Adventure at Epcot for the next five years, and in that time, the exhibition will feature new artifacts and refreshed displays, incorporating pieces from more of the 573 American Indian tribes recognized by the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs.