Our People, Our Land, Our Images Exhibition and Art Talk at Goudi’ni Native American Gallery

Opportunities to view indigenous peoples through the eyes of indigenous photographers are rare and recent. On display at the Goudi’ni Gallery through March 13, “Our People, Our Land, Our Images” presents the works of three generations of indigenous photographers from the North America, South America, the Middle East, and New Zealand. They include newly discovered, nineteenth-century trailblazers, well-established contemporary practitioners, and emerging photographers from the next generation.

The 51 works in the exhibition tell their stories through differing photographic approaches, ranging from straightforward documentary to aesthetically altered images that combine overlays and collage. The images stand united, however, in exploring their creators’ connections to their land, community, and traditions. Artists’ statements accompanying the exhibition convey a variety of indigenous voices and concerns. The 26 artists in the exhibition include Cherokee Jennie Ross Cobb, the earliest known female Native American photographer.

The many perspectives represented in the exhibition offer an open-ended experience that asks audiences to think about how the camera in the hands of indigenous peoples becomes a tool with the power to confront and analyze stereotypes, politics, and histories. “Our People, Our Land, Our Images” also demonstrates the longevity and continuing vitality of Native photographic traditions.


To accompany the exhibition, on Friday, Feb. 27, exhibit and University of Davis, C.N. Gorman Museum Curator, Veronica Passalacqua and C.N Gorman Director, Native American Studies Associate Professor and exhibiting artist, Hulleah J. Tsinhnahjinnie (Seminole/Muscogee/Diné) will present a two-woman talk engaging with a theme of Visual Sovereignty, from 5 to 6 p.m. A reception in the gallery will follow from 6 to 7 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

The exhibition is toured by ExhibitsUSA, a national division of Mid-America Arts Alliance and the National Endowment for the Arts with partial funding for the exhibit and events at Humboldt Sate University provided by Instructionally Related Activities Fees and the HSU Diversity Program Funding Committee. The Goudi’ni Gallery is situated on the ground floor of the Humboldt State University Behavioral & Social Sciences building located near Union St. and 17th St. in Arcata. The gallery is open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between the hours of 12 and 5 p.m., Thursday 12 to 7 p.m., Friday 12 to 5 p.m., and Saturday 10 to 2 p.m. For more information, please contact the gallery office at (707) 826-5814.