It just occurred to me that I haven't blogged in almost a year!
It has been a whirlwind of a year, and I don't see things slowing down. As I come to my third year at SWAIA's Indian Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico, it's awesome to reflect on where I have been and where I am going. First of all, I would like to announce that my youngest daughter will be joining the SWAIA Family as well with a Youth Fellowship. I am very proud of her ambition.
I wrapped up the Intercultural Leadership Institute Fellowship that introduced me to new and familiar experiences, fellows allowed my family to grow, connections were made- and it allowed a lot of personal and professional growth in ways that I had not anticipated. In that time, I also completed the NALAC Advocacy Leadership Fellowship as well. With NALAC's ALI, I was given tools and guidance to help me advocate for the arts, and advocate for inclusion in the Arts.
In my college career, and now during my pursuit of my professional career, I have found how underrepresented and misrepresented Indigenous and People of Color are in the Arts. It is not much different than any other career force. I am challenged by the inequity and lack of opportunity for people like myself. And I find myself continually asking, how can I help others and myself? This past years experiences have allowed me to further explore this question, and find direction. As a creative, I would like to continue to pursuit my work as an artist, however, it is also important that I play a role in finding others who wish to support the arts.
ARTIVISM: Activism + Art
As I continually work to evolve my work, the path that I am on was unintentional. I have been identified by others as an activist, which I felt conflicted with, and eventually embraced. Whether it was in a college course, or a viewer looking at my work right now, I find that I am told that my work is not "native enough," or "too political." I do not intend for my work to be interpreted to be anything except to be my truth, and perhaps the truth for others. Often, Indigenous people do not have a platform to tell their stories where others take the time to listen. I feel that I have an opportunity to create dialogue that may not otherwise be there. While time from time I have a viewer looking at my work does not seem to understand it, nor take a moment to open their minds to other's perspectives, generally I do feel that there is an audience paying attention. I may not change a person, however, to provoke thought and conversation is inspiring and motivating.
Paintings by Hillary Kempenich
Currently, a large collection of my work can be viewed at the Sioux Museum at the Journey Museum and Learning Center in Rapid City, SD. The work will be available on display now through September 28, 2018. All works are available for sale.
Bring Her Home
Bring Her Home exhibition at Gizhiigin Arts Incubator, 701 E. Jefferson Ave., Mahnomen, Minnesota 56557. A collection of artworks by several artists, brought together to reflect and respond to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women epidemic. Works are on display now through August 29, 2018. Opening Reception is August 2nd, 4:30 to 7:30
SWAIA 97th Annual Indian Market
In third appearance at SWAIA, Hillary will be joined with her daughter Niska Kempenich. Hillary has work available in SWAIA's Gala and Auction, SWAIA's IM: Edge Contemporary Show and Indian Market booth. Booth number is LIN W 741.
For further details on SWAIA events, please go to: www.swaia.org
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