Visiting Fellow Raymond Bulambula guides a UVA art student in making a "Marratjirri" Morning Star Pole.

Fayerweather Hall, McIntire Department of Art at the University of Virginia

Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia

The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia

VMFA Lecture: Hear My Voice

Thursday, September 7, 2017
VMFA | 6:30pm

Continuing the Conversation: A Guide to Hear My Voice

Thursday, Sep 7 6:30–7:30 pm

Leslie Cheek Theater

With Dr. Johanna Minich, Assistant Curator of Native American Art

Curator Johanna Minich will discuss the original concept and implementation of the special exhibition, Hear My Voice: Native American Art of the Past and Present. Based on the notion of dialogue, the exhibition explores conversations between Native American artists and their art across centuries, a continent, and 35 indigenous cultures. Dr. Minich will introduce the major themes and highlight featured works in the exhibition.


Artist Talk: Shelley Niro

Thursday, September 28, 2017
6:00pm | Campbell Hall 153

Shelley Niro (Six Nations Reserve, Bay of Quinte Kanien’kehaka Mohawk Nation) is a multimedia artist whose iconic visual narratives incorporate photography, painting, sculpture, poetry, film, and beadwork to disrupt stereotypical representations of Native people as "vanishing," to address the objectification of Native women, to explore the family and community connections between ancestral traditions and contemporary realities of indigenous lived experiences, and to honor, reflect upon and critique historical and contemporary treaty, sovereignty, and land issues. She recently received two prestigious Canadian art awards, the 2017 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts and the Scotiabank Photography Award.

Niro is visiting UVA as a Mellon Indigenous Artist in Residence along with artist ElizaBeth Hill (Mohawk).


Film Screening: Kissed by Lightning

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
5:30pm | Newcomb Hall Theatre

The Mellon Indigenous Arts Initiative presents the film "Kissed by Lighting" by celebrated Mohawk filmmaker and artist Shelley Niro. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Niro and musician ElizaBeth Hill, whose music is featured in the film. Karenne Wood, director of Virginia Indian Programs at Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, will moderate the Q&A. This event is concurrent with Niro's and Hill's residency at UVA as Mellon Indigenous Arts Visiting Fellows. 

Sponsored by Arts Enhancement Fund for 2017-2018 from the Office of the Provost & the Vice Provost for the Arts

View the movie trailer here:

Lecture: Alessandro Questa

Wednesday, July 26, 2017
5:30pm | OpenGrounds

Alessandro Questa, Mellon Indigenous Arts Fellow and UVA Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology, presents his research with Masewal indigenous farmers in central Mexico in relation to a series of 17th century indigenous manuscripts that have been preserved in a church there. Questa states, "The documents in question are an extraordinary sample of historic indigenous visual art, documentation and conceptualization of their territory. My research now is devoted to understanding what these documents mean for Masewal people today."

Join us at Open Grounds for a presentation and light refreshments provided by Feast!

"Mantle" Groundbreaking Celebration

Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Richmond VA


10:00-11:00am | Capitol Square, Richmond, VA

The Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission and the Virginia Capitol Foundation will host the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Virginia Indian Tribute. This monument, entitled Mantle, recognizes the lasting legacy and significance of American Indians in the Commonwealth.

The featured speaker at the groundbreaking is Billy Mills, member of the Oglala Lakota (Souix) tribe and the Olympic gold medal winner of the 10,000 meter run in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. The Groundbreaking Ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 24 in Capitol Square, located at 1000 Bank Street in Richmond, VA.

The public is invited to join in the groundbreaking ceremony. To RSVP or for more information please call 804-308-2583 or email info@monumentalconsultingllc.comRain or shine.

For more information about the proposed monument, visit the Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission website:


Opening Reception: Songs of a Secret Country

Thursday, July 20, 2017
Kluge-Ruhe | 5-9pm

This exhibition comprises contemporary paintings and sculpture by Indigenous Australian artists from various regions across the Australian continent, from the central desert to coastal regions and islands. Centering on the theme of “country,” the artworks sing melodies of ancestors and land, creation and power, history and memory, community and identity. In caring for and painting their ancestral terrain and home places, Aboriginal artists acknowledge the countless memories already lived and those to come.

Songs of a Secret Country was curated by five students from universities across the United States. As part of the UVA Summer Curatorial Research Program, this project trains a new generation of curators to address the pressing lack of diversity in museum practice. The artworks represented are a recent gift to the Kluge-Ruhe Collection by philanthropists Stephen and Agatha Luczo of California.

Admission is $5 for non-members and free for museum members. It is family-friendly and no reservations are needed. For more information about the museum and this event, visit or call 434-244-0234.

Artwork: Bugai Whyoulter, Wantili, 2014, Acrylic on canvas, 59 ¾” x 59 ¾” (c) the artist, courtesy Martumili Artists, Newman 

Night at the Museum

Jon Spear Band
Thursday, June 15, 2017

5:00 – 9:00 pm, band goes on at 6 pm
$5 non-members, FREE for members 

Join us for Night at the Museum, your opportunity to explore our exhibitions after hours and enjoy the best food, libations and music in Charlottesville! In June we’re featuring beer from Devil’s Backbone Brewery and a few of Charlottesville’s best food trucks. The Jon Spear Band will deliver their award-winning original blues tunes. The event also has a Kids Zone with Australian-themed children’s activities, as well as a Flat Chat Tour, a ten-minute discussion about an artwork on view by a museum staff member. And all of it happens outside at our beautiful location on Pantops, one of the best hidden spots to watch the sunset in Charlottesville.


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