An Exhibition by WVU Art in the Libraries in Partnership with WVU Native American Studies
Launch event with Joe Stahlman, Director, Seneca-Iroquois National Museum; Assistant Research Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, University at Buffalo and Maryam Marne Zafar, Visual Strategist, Graphic Designer: November 14, 2022, WVU Downtown Library
September 2022- May 2023 (Print and Online): WVU Downtown Library
June- December 2023: WVU Beckley Campus Library
January - July 2024: Appalachian State University Library
August- December 2024: Marshall University Library
WVU, with its statewide institutional presence, resides on land that includes ancestral territories of the Shawnee, Lenape (or Delaware), Cherokee, and Haudenosaunee (or Iroquois--the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, Tuscarora), and other Indigenous peoples.
Currently, the goal of the Indigenous Appalachian exhibit is to increase awareness
of the contributions of Indigenous Appalachians to the region’s shared history
and present while also recognizing continuing injustices faced by Indigenous
people. Through visuals and educational content, the exhibit will explore
themes of people, lands and waters, and will provide significant opportunity
for campus and community involvement via coursework and programming, and
encourage informed, enhanced perspectives. As our nation and the University
proceed in acknowledging the erasure of much of Indigenous history, it is
understood that a reconciliation of this erasure can only be accomplished
with Indigenous scholars’ leadership, guidance, and participation informing
these new perspectives.
This exhibit will be intentionally curated with the expertise and contribution of Indigenous Appalachians alongside scholars of Native American Studies.
The content of the exhibit includes exploration of the following themes:
Discussion of the complexities involved in public discussions and portrayals of Indigenous cultures and histories, especially in consideration of European colonial history, U.S. policies, and social forces; these include centuries of genocidal acts
Acknowledgement of WVU Libraries' Indigenous related holdings
Indigenous People in Appalachia Today and their ancestry
Indigenous Place Names in West Virginia
Contemporary Indigenous Appalachian perspectives through creative work. Confirmed artists: Nadema Agard (painting, Cherokee), Connor Alexander (game design, Cherokee), Erin Lee Antonak (sculpture/drawing, Oneida), Kayln Barnoski (fabric/mixed media, Cherokee), April Branham (painting/photography, Monacan), Ethan Brown (gourd design/painting, Pamunkey), Annette Clapsaddle (writing, Cherokee), Robert D’Alimonte (woodworking/carving, Tuscarora), Brent Michael Davids (composing/music, Mohican/Munsee-Lenape), John Gritts (drawing/painting, Cherokee), Benjamin Harjo, Jr. (drawing/painting, Absentee Shawnee), Yonavea Hawkins (bead/fashion, Delaware), Antoinette (Toni) Scott (cornhusk dolls, Seneca), Rosy Simas (transdisciplinary art/dance, Seneca), Amelia Winger-Bearskin (NFT/digital, Seneca-Cayuga).
With the WVU Native American Studies program and WVU Humanities Center, we will develop course related, public programs and resources. For more resources check out the Indigenous Appalachia Library Guide here.
Questions? Questions: Lead Curator: Sally Brown Deskins, WVU Libraries' Exhibits Coordinator, 304.293.0369, email.
- Joe Stahlman, Director, Seneca-Iroquois National Museum; Assistant Research Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, University at Buffalo
- Bonnie Brown, Coordinator and Teaching Instructor, WVU Native American Studies Program
- Beth Toren, Interdisciplinary, Cultural and Film Studies Librarian, WVU Libraries
- Michael Sherwin, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Photography, WVU College of Creative Arts
- Richard Anderson, Senior Executive Assistant to the President, WVU Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- Maryam Marne Zafar, Visual Strategist, Graphic Designer
Sponsorship Opportunities: Sponsors will play an important role in the support of Indigenous artists and scholars, exhibition installation, events, publicity, and programming. Sponsors are recognized in highly visible ways including exhibition wall text, promotional materials, press releases, signs at special events and on the WVU Libraries exhibitions web page. Platinum and Gold level sponsors are offered the opportunity to hold events in conjunction with the exhibit throughout the year at the WVU Libraries. All sponsors are invited to develop virtual programs with the assistance of the WVU Libraries. Artist’s Palette level supports an honorarium for an Indigenous artist. Below are suggested levels of contribution.