California Heritage: Indigenous Research Project presents 5th annual Visibility Through Art exhibition in new gallery, opening today
Visibility Through Art is a community art initiative produced annually as part of CHIRP’s Arts and Culture Program. Visibility Through Art is an intentional and informed collaboration between local artists and members of the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe. Each project year explores a theme or subject of importance to the Tribe, culminating in an annual exhibit. This year, artists were asked to center around Destruction of the Land | Destruction of the People. We are invited to consider: the impact humans have on the environment and the long-lasting impacts of the gold rush on the Nisenan people. Art opens the way for meaningful conversations around topics that are not always easy to have and sometimes can reveal solutions that may otherwise remain unseen.
‘UBA SEO – Nisenan Arts and Culture is CHIRP’s new gallery space in downtown Nevada City. ‘UBA SEO is a new conduit for bringing visibility to the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe while fulfilling CHIRP’s nonprofit mission: to preserve, protect, and perpetuate Nisenan Culture. The excitement continues to rise about this brick-and-mortar space in downtown Nevada City. It is an accessible place, very visible, a place where we can finally be seen. ‘UBA SEO will be a destination for authentic: Native American art, Native-made retail, themed community art collaborations, educational workshops, Art Exhibitions, and more.
‘UBA SEO’s identity will be malleable, reshaping as needed to best meet CHIRP’s mission and raise visibility for the Nisenan. ‘UBA SEO – Nisenan Arts and Culture is another amazing step toward raising the visibility of the Nevada City Rancheria and their continued efforts to have federal recognition restored.
WHY AN ART EXHIBITION
This art event was created to engage our community in conversation about this land and the Nisenan People. It also serves to raise the Tribe’s visibility. Shelly Covert, a Nisenan Tribal member who sits on the Nevada City Rancheria Tribal Council, is the spokesperson for her Tribe, and the Executive Director of CHIRP stated, “The goal is to create conscientious art pieces that inspire dialogue about Nisenan history and culture. We were looking for a way to tell our collective story and this seems to be working. Art is an incredible platform to engage in difficult dialogue. And collaborating with local artists has not only been a pleasure, but it is helping us achieve our goals. Our deepest hope is to bring about awareness of local historic and current issues through the medium of art.” The one-of-a-kind pieces created annually during this project have become the main body of CHIRP’s expanding art collection. This year most of the artworks will be for sale as part of CHIRP’s fundraising efforts to support our amazing programs.
WHO ARE THE NISENAN AND WHAT IS CHIRP
The Nisenan are the Indigenous People who were here thousands of years before the gold rush. Despite the destruction of their homelands, broken Treaties, and forced assimilation, they remain here in their homelands today and strive to have their identity reflected in the fabric of the community.
Woodrow Wilson signed an Executive Order in 1913 that gave Federal Recognition to the Nisenan and the Nevada City Rancheria preserved 76 acres of land in trust as an Indian Reservation. In 1964 the Nevada City Rancheria was one of forty-four California Rancherias wrongfully “terminated” by Congress and today is one of three California Rancherias awaiting restoration. True and correct knowledge of the Nisenan and their ancient existence on this land, up until very recently, had been fully erased from history and the Tribe was nearly forgotten. The need for visibility as the Tribe fights to have their Federal Recognition and sovereignty restored has begun to turn the tide of historic amnesia.
Up until very recently, most of that education and change has had to be shouldered by the Tribe itself. Thus, the California Heritage: Indigenous Research Project, aka CHIRP, was created to assist the Tribe in areas of Federal Recognition, Education, Art, Cultural Resource Protection, Land Back, Community Education and Communications, Media, Fundraising, and more. CHIRP’s mission serves the needs of the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe, guides and informs right- relations with Indigenous communities, stabilizes Nisenan Culture and community, all while bringing education and connection to the public through its charitable purposes. CHIRP’s 501c3 status brings opportunities that as a terminated Tribe, the Nevada City Rancheria does not have.
KNOW & GO
WHO: CHIRP’s Visibility through art exhibition
WHAT: Destruction of the land | Destruction of the people
WHEN: July 10 – Aug. 29. Opening reception Saturday, July 10, from 6 to 9 p.m. Gallery Hours Thursday – Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.
WHERE: ‘UBA SEO Gallery, 225 Broad Street, Nevada City
Nikila Badua, Andy Cerrona, Mira Clark, Rama Cryer, Jose Dominguez, Jenny Hale, Jessa Hurst, Jarod Kane, Ron Kenedi, Lori Lachman, Bishop Randall, Teighlor Renee Anderson, Jennifer Rugge, Alyssa Walz, Leilani Webb, Kavi Amador, Andres Amador, Simone Star, Tanner Connor, Chula Gemignani, Jennifer Rain Crosby and Rachel Reinyday
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