After closing its last exhibition, the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts kicks off the New Year with an opening reception for five different exhibitions, which range from images of the Blessed Kateri Tekawirtha to the work of the late Dan Lomahaftewa to short films from award-winning directors.---

In Soul Sister: Reimagining Kateri Tekakwitha, the figure of this revered Native American Catholic is re-imagined by 19 artists.

In 1980, Kateri Tekakwirtha, a young 17th-century Mohawk-Algonquain Christian woman, was declared the first Blessed Native American. More than 300 years after her death, Native Americans credit her with the creation of Native American Christian churches as well as the miraculous healing experienced by many after her death.

"I see her [sculpture at the the cathedral] from my office. We're both from the same community. It's appropriate that she's part of this landscape," MoCNA Chief Curator Ryan Rice says. "I wanted to show her as a person from a Native American perspective…from artists from across the US and Canada."

Credits: America Meredith
Credits: America Meredith

In the VISION PROJECT | Gallery, a gallery dedicated to solo exhibitions from a variety of Native artists from around the country, Native American/Euro-American artist John Feodorov presents Emergence

According to Feodorav's website, he focuses on the exploration into "contemporary sacred spaces." Feodorav's acrylic work in Emergence tackles issues of consumerism, environmentalism and identity, with a focus on the BP oil spill.

"His work closely ties into the Navajo prophesy of the future and how the environment is currently being decimated," Rice says.

Also opening this Friday is Embargo Collective, a collection of seven short films from Indigenous artists. The filmmakers, who hail from tribes throughout Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US, filmed each short movie in their native language. The mix of works typifies the diversity in native populations. Additionally, the filmmakers have challenged each other to create narratives outside of their usual realm of expertise.

"For example, a documentary maker will be making a horror or a comedy. There are romances and dramas too," Rice says. "One of the films, The Cave, [by Helen Haig-Brown] is appearing at the Sundance Film Festival. We also have work from Taika Waititi, a director who has a role in the upcoming Green Lantern."

Puhumuyaw honors the work of the late Native artist Dan Lomahaftewa. Curators Dedric Lupe and Dylan Ironshirt compiled work left behind by Lomahaftewa into a small exhibition chronicling the final years of this Hopi/Choctaw's life. The title reflects Lomahaftewa's Hopi name (meaning "new moon") by evoking memories of the night—and life—that once was.

Rice hopes the final exhibition, Drawings from the Collection, which includes drawings from over a dozen Native artists, will provide a small representation of the museum's full collection.

Head to the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts this Friday night to catch a glimpse of each of these exhibitions, on display until March 31.

Soul Sister: Reimagining Kateri Tekakwitha
Emergence: John Feodorov
Embargo Collective
Puhumuyaw: Dan Lomahaftewa
Drawing From The Collection
Opening reception
5:30-7 pm
Friday, Jan. 14
Museum of Contemporary Native Arts
108 Cathedral Place