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News Release: Contemporary art by women artists is focus of new exhibition at Eiteljorg

“Powerful Women” highlights the work of visionary artists

Anita Fields (Osage, born 1951)
Opposites Attract, 2005
Gift: Courtesy of Paul and Grace Markovits

INDIANAPOLIS – Continuing with its theme of Honoring Women, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art has opened a new exhibition that explores the work of visionary women artists who shaped and changed the ways people think about contemporary art.

Powerful Women: Contemporary Art from the Eiteljorg Collection highlights women artists, especially Native American artists, and works they created that speak to issues of personal identity, political agency, memory and violence against women.

Kay Walking Stick (Cherokee Nation, born 1935)

Is This Me Variation VI, 1989
Charcoal on paper
Museum purchase from the Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship
Appearing in the second rotation of
Powerful Women, April 17-Oct. 3, 2021

The Eiteljorg is home to one of the world’s most important collections of contemporary Native art, and the first phase of Powerful Women highlights exceptional works from that collection. Riveting artworks include sculpture by Anita Fields (Osage), a painting by Kay WalkingStick (Cherokee Nation), a mixed media installation by Bonnie Devine (Ojibwa), textile art by Marie K. Watt (Seneca), stills from video by Skawennati (Mohawk), as well as important works by other women artists.

An installation by Luzene Hill (Eastern Band of Cherokee), Retracing the Trace, reflects on issues of rape and sexual violence against women.

Luzene Hill (Eastern Band of Cherokee, born 1946)
Retracing the Trace, 2011-2015
Satin cord, ink, pastel
Museum purchase from the Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship

“Matriarchs have quietly lead the world for generations. During this year of honoring women, we celebrate the determination, perseverance, and creativity that defines women, including this accomplished group of contemporary artists,” Eiteljorg Vice President and Chief Curatorial Officer Elisa Phelps said. “They are indeed ‘powerful women.’”

The first rotation of Powerful Women is open now and continues through March 21 in the museum’s Hurt and Harvey galleries, and features works by Native American women contemporary artists.

Marie K. Watt (Seneca, born 1967)
Braid, 2005
Reclaimed wool blankets, satin binding
Museum purchase from the Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship

Then, a second rotation of Powerful Women will be on exhibit from April 17 to Oct. 3, 2021, and also will feature works by African American, Latino, Asian American and European American women contemporary artists.

Many of the pieces in the exhibition were purchased or gifted to the museum through the Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship. More information about the Fellowship artists and their art is found at

Skawennati (Mohawk, born 1969)
TimeTraveller™: Hunter Kissing Karahkwenhawi (production still), 2010
Inkjet on poly banner
Museum purchase from the Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship

Powerful Women: Contemporary Art from the Eiteljorg Collection is part of the museum’s theme for 2020-2021, Honoring Women, that celebrates the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage through exhibitions, public programs and online content. Honoring Women is sponsored by the Margot L. Eccles Arts & Culture Fund (a CICF Fund), Capital Group, Chase Private Client, Ice Miller LLP, Citizens Energy Group, the Indiana Arts Commission and the Art Council of Indianapolis. Other current or upcoming exhibitions in the Honoring Women theme are Quilts: Uncovering Women’s Stories, which closed Jan. 3, 2021, the prints of Gene Kloss, open through June 6, 2021, and Hard Twist: Western Ranch Women – Photographs by Barbara Van Cleve, which is open from Jan. 30 to April 25, 2021.

For the latest updates on the museum as well as museum-related content, visit or follow the Eiteljorg on social media. The Eiteljorg Museum is currently open, with face mask and social distancing requirements due to local and state public health rules.

Bonnie Devine (Ojibwa, born 1952)
Canoe, 2003
Mixed media, graphite on paper, thread, twine, beads
Museum purchase from the Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship

About the Eiteljorg Museum
A cultural pillar for 31 years in downtown Indianapolis’ scenic White River State Park, the Eiteljorg Museum seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of and the Indigenous peoples of North America and of the American West by telling amazing stories. Located on the Central Canal at 500 West Washington St., the Eiteljorg is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. It was named one of the USA Today Readers’ Choice 10 Best Indiana Attractions.

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