Symposium: Oceans of Exchange

Friday, February 2, 2018

OCEANS OF EXCHANGE: Art, Indigeneity and the 21st Century Museum

Friday, February 2, 2018

10:00am - 2:30pm | Harrison/Small Auditorium

Morning Coffee Service and Lunch Included. Please RSVP.

Indigenous curators, scholars, and artists have increasingly sought to reframe the disciplines in which they work: disciplines which, for many years have maligned Indigenous practices by either exclusion or categorical confinement to the realms of ethnography, craft or “primitive” arts. This symposium brings together leading Indigenous artists, curators and scholars of the Australia-Pacific region to question the stakes and possibilities of these interventions.  How do Indigenous attitudes towards material objects offer new ways for considering the institutions that contain them? What role can museum collections play in revitalized Indigenous practices, and how can these institutions be active participants in the process of decolonization? How can these imperial containers of objects become active tools in the re-imagining of Indigenous pasts, presents and futures. 


  • Karenne Wood, Director, Virginia Indian Programs, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities


  • Julie Adams, Curator, Oceania, The British Museum
  • Christine DeLisle, Assistant Professor, Department of American Indian Studies, University of Minnesota
  • Taloi Havini, Artist, Bougainville
  • Carol McGregor, Artist, Waithaurang/Australia
  • Maia Nuku, Evelyn A. J. Hall and John A. Friede Associate Curator for Oceanic Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Visesio Siasau, Artist, Tonga


  • Henry Skerritt, Curator, Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia.

This symposium is presented by the Mellon Indigenous Arts InitiativeKluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art CollectionThe Fralin Museum of ArtUVA McIntire Department of Art, UVA Department of Anthropology, and the Institute of the Humanities & Global Cultures.