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PRECIOUS BEINGS

 
Finding the connections between endangered ecosystems and the violence inflicted upon Indigenous women. 
 

Exhibition Dates:

Aug. 1, 2024 – Sept. 7, 2024

Western scientific thought has long approached both nature and people of color as territories to be dominated, inspected, and mined for information and resources. Ecofeminism has made persuasive arguments connecting women and nature.  

 

Kim Shuck’s (Cherokee) beadwork seeks to encourage more awareness of the biome around us and our place in that biome. Curious creatures of all kinds populate Kims beaded world. It is a world created bead by bead not to question or harvest but to recognize and acknowledge relationships and community. These precious beings are not fragile, though they have been subjected to violent environmental change. We are all subject to these changes. 

 

Barbara Mumbys (Patawomeck, Pamunkey, and Mattaponi) portraits of women seek to shift regressive narratives about how beauty is defined, particularly for Indigenous women and women of color. The artist creates work, not to cater to the male gaze, but to shift power into the hands of the sitter. Intimate stories of family, love, trials, and victories are subversively woven into each brush stroke, resulting in large-scale, vibrant works that force viewers to acknowledge their presence and force. These women refuse to be ignored, sexualized, erased, or defined by others.  

 

Together, Shucks and Mumbys work sit in dialogue with one another. Interwoven threads reach between and connect our endangered animals and plants to the silencing of and violence inflicted upon Indigenous women.  

 

Gallery Hours: Wednesdays through Saturdays, 12 PM – 5 PM 

Location: Oakland Asian Cultural Center

388 9th St, Ste 290, Oakland, CA

Featured Artists

Barbara Mumby (Patawomeck, Pamunkey, and Mattaponi) descends from the Powhatan Confederacy, specifically the Patawomeck, Pamunkey, and Mattaponi Peoples. She was born and raised in California’s rural Central Valley, where her family’s Native American heritage and work as migrant farmers greatly influenced her passion for social justice. The arts became an integral part of her life and worked as a coping mechanism for the poverty and instability surrounding her. 

Barbara is an artist, activist, curator, consultant, and Indigenous Narrative Shifter; she uses the arts to challenge inaccurate and outdated perceptions of Indigenous Peoples and other marginalized communities. She views the arts as a powerful and effective tool for survival and an instrument to unite communities and move public policy.   

Kim Shuck (Cherokee) is the 7TH Poet Laureate of San Francisco Emerita and a silly protein. She has been making textiles well before she was in school, and thinks of the textile process as a first language. Kim has an MFA in textiles from San Francisco State University, and in Indigenous circles, her beadwork is celebrated across the country. Many of the pieces shown here represent endangered and extinct biota from places that are important to her. 

 

Creative Work Fund has supported many of Kim’s pieces in this exhibition.

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