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California Center for Native Nations presents

Neo Native
Toward New Mythologies

Neo Native: Toward New Mythologies explores the vision of artists whose work is informed by traditions within tribal cultures, but whose themes express a newfound contemporary narrative.
Curated and hosted through a collaboration between the Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation and the UCR California Center for Native Nations, this four-day series will feature guided tours of the Neo Native art exhibit at the Maloof Foundation and a major symposium featuring more than thirty Native artists, performers, photographers, cinematographers, practitioners, and scholars at UCR's Culver Center of the Arts.
All events are free, public welcome
Eventbrite registration required:
Learn more at
NOVEMBER 1-4, 2017 

November 1
Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts
5131 Carnelian Street, Alta Loma, California
November 2-4
UCR Culver Center of the Arts
3824 Main Street, Riverside, California






Wednesday, November 1


  • Two vans will be leaving UCR at the Lot 1 Flagpole at 11am and 2:30pm for the Maloof. These will be round trips.


Thursday, November 2

Culver Center of the Arts

*Daytime sessions held in Auditorium*


9:00am-9:30am:  Welcoming remarks by Gerald Clarke, Alllison Hedge Coke, Michelle Raheja and Jason Weems.  Opening remarks by College of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean Milagros Pena


9:30am-10:30am:  Curation, Community, Collection I - Chair and respondent:  Armando Garcia 


  • Tony Abeyta (Navajo)—Mixed Media Painter and Neo Native:  Towards New Mythologies Exhibit Curator


  • Jim Rawitsch--Executive Director, Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts


10:30am-11:45am:  Theory, Practice, Responsibility I  - Chair and respondent:  Jennifer Doyle


  • Laura Beebe (Mohawk)--PhD Candidate, Department of Gender Studies, UCLA


  • Mark Minch (Susanville Indian Rancheria)—Assistant Professor, Department of English, UCR


  • Kali Simmons (Lakota)--Graduate Student, Department of English, UCR


11:45am-12:45pm  Boxed lunches in the Atrium and Cahuilla Bird Singing performance


12:45pm-2:00pm:  Screening of The Last Explorer (Neil Diamond, 2009) and Q&A with Neil Diamond (Cree), Filmmaker - Introduction by Liz Przybylski


2:00pm-3:30pm:  Curation, Community, Collection II - Chair and respondent:  Jason Weems


  • Bill Anthes—Professor, Art Field Group, Pitzer College


  • Ryan Rice (Mohawk)—Artist, Curator, and Chair, Indigenous Visual Culture Program, Ontario College of Art and Design


  • Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie (Seminole, Muscogee, and Navajo)—Photographer, Curator, and Professor, Department of Native American Studies, University of California, Davis


3:30pm-5:00pm:  Theory, Practice, Responsibility II  - Chair and respondent:  Kimberly Robertson


  • Nanobah Becker (Navajo)—Filmmaker and Producer


  • Steven Paul Judd (Kiowa and Choctaw)—Visual Artist, Filmmaker, Writer


  • Monty Little (Diné)—Painter, Printmaker, and Poet


*Evening Sessions at the UCR California Museum of Photography Oculorium (next door)*


5:00pm-6:00pm:  Performance by Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache)—Musician and Violinist - Introduced by Gerald Clarke


6:00pm-8:00pm: Reception and keynote presentation by Paul Chaat Smith (Comanche)—Author, Critic, and Associate Curator, National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) - Introduction by Mark Minch.



Friday, November 3

Culver Center of the Arts

*Daytime sessions held in Auditorium*


9:00am-10:45am:  Production, Process, Praxis I - Chair and respondent: Maria Regina Firmino-Castillo


  • Marija Krivokapic—Associate Professor of English, University of Montenegro


  • Kimberly Norris Guerrero (Salish-Kootenai and Cherokee)—Screenwriter, Actor, Director and Assistant Professor, Department of Theater, UCR


  • Cara Romero (Chemehuevi)--Photographer


10:45am-12:00pm:  Production, Process, Praxis II - Chair and respondent: Tamara Ho


  • Gerald Clarke (Cahuilla)—Mixed Media Artist and Assistant Professor, Department of Ethnic Studies, UCR


  • Cannupa Hanska Luger (Mandan, Arikara, and Lakota)—Multi-Disciplinary Artist


  • Ernest Siva (Cahuilla and Serrano)—Tribal Historian, Cultural Advisor, and Artistic Director


11:00am-1:00pm:  Boxed lunches in the Atrium


12:00pm-2:00pm:  Screening of Mekko (Sterlin Harjo, 2015) and Q&A with Shane Brown (Cherokee), Director of Photography/Cinematographer - Introductions by Tria Blu Wakpa


2:00pm-3:45pm:  Theory, Practice, Responsibility III - Chair and respondent: Jenell Navarro 


  • Stina Attebery—PhD Candidate, Department of English, UCR


  • Nancy Marie Mithlo (Chiricahua Apache) Associate Professor, Department of Art & Art History, Occidental College


  • Veronica Passalacqua—Curator, C.N. Gorman Museum and Affiliated Faculty, Department of Art History, UC Davis


3:45-5:00:  Production, Process, Praxis III - Chair and respondent: Juliet McMullin  


  • Lewis deSoto (Cahuilla)—Photographer, Sculptor, Installation Artist, and Author


  • Jenell Navaro (Cherokee)—Assistant Professor, Department of Ethnic Studies, California State University, San Luis Obispo and Kimberly Robertson (Mvskoke)—Assistant Professor, Department of Liberal Studies, California State University, Los Angeles (co-presenters)


  • Diego Romero (Cochiti Pueblo)—Ceramicist, Painter, and Printmaker


*Evening Sessions at the UCR California Museum of Photography Oculorium (next door)*


5:00pm-6:30pm:  Production, Process, Praxis IV  - Chair and respondent: Wallace Cleaves


  • Shane Brown (Cherokee)—Photographer and Cinematographer


  • Neil Diamond (Cree)—Director, Writer, Filmmaker


  • Debra Yepa-Pappan (Jemez Pueblo)—Digital Multi Media Artist, Photographer, Digital Collagist


6:30pm-8:30pm: Reception and keynote presentation by Christi Belcourt (Michif/Lac Ste. Anne, Alberta)—Painter, Author, and Lead Organizer, Onaman Collective and Isaac Murdoch (Serpent River First Nation)—Painter, Traditional Knowledge Holder, Storyteller, Onaman Collective Member.   Introductions by Michelle Raheja


Saturday, November 4

Culver Dance Studio (upstairs)


10am-12pm:  Workshops curated by Gerald Clarke and Cannupa Hanska Luger



For more information, please contact Michelle Rahaja at 

or visit the Califonia Center for Native Nations website


Neo Native Symposium

Scholars and Artists Gather for Exploration and Discussion

November 1 - 4, 2017


   Four months and a couple thousand visitors after opening, The Maloof's  current exhibition, Neo Native: Toward New Mythologies, will provide a point of departure for exploration of artistic expression in relation to contemporary urban Native American issues and ideas.


   The symposium, scheduled for Thursday, November 2 through Satruday, November 4 at the Culver Center in downtown Riverside, has been organized by the University of California, Riverside's California Center for Native Nations (CCNN). Center faculty, including Prof. Michelle Raheja, poet Prof. Alison Hedge Coke, and featured artist Prof. Gerald Clarke, Jr., will explore various ideas and trends advanced in the exhibition.


   The program, which is offered free of charge to UCR students and the public, will include a tour of the Maloof exhibition in Rancho Cucamonga and several sessions in Riverside in which scholars and artists will offer their thoughts about the exhibition.


   On Wednesday, November 1 buses will be leaving UC Riverside for tours of the exhibition. On Thursday, November 2 and Friday, November 3, artists and scholars working in the fields of art history, museum studies, critical theory, and Native American Studies will be speaking about their research and current art practices. On Saturday, November 4, artists will be facilitating workshops on subjects such as stop-animation film, writing/storytelling, foam sculpture, contemporary Native art workshops for elementary, high school and college students,; faculty; staff; and community members.


   Artist Tony Abeyta, who curated the exhibition, will also be present, speaking of his vision for the project.  Artists whose works are featured in the exhibition include: Christi Belcourt, Gerald Clarke, Jr., Craig George, Steven Paul Judd, Monty Little, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Kent Monkman, Cara Romero, Diego Romero and Preston Singletary.


   Earlier this summer, Gerald Clarke, Jr., who teaches at UCR, led a workshop at The Maloof for high school students. In a gallery talk with teens, he talked about his family's work as cattle ranchers, and connected his art to his ancestry as a Cahuilla Indian.  He described ways in which traditional Native American culture both motivates and inspires his creative process. One of his works featured in the exhibition takes inspiration from Cahuilla traditions in basketry, and another depicts the yucca plant, which supplies fibers for Cahuilla baskets. He taught the students how to make bracelets by braiding fibers, which would in the Maloof Discovery Garden.


   The exhibition, which has been covered widely in local, regional and national media, includes a catalog that is already in its second printing. The exhibition and catalog were made possible with support from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.




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