As Miami Art Week approaches, galleries and art fairs are organizing for major events in South Florida.
But a group of native artists from the Miccosukee and Seminole tribes will be holding their own art exhibit this Saturday in the heart of the Everglades.
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Organizers hope this will usher in a new chapter in indigenous art in South Florida and also encourage more young tribal artists to participate in the larger art scene.
âA lot of artists in the tribe are being told by family to do this or that instead – that ‘it won’t make you money,'” said Cayla Willie, member of the Miccosukee Tribe.
Willie is an artist and she helped organize the exhibition.
âSo by doing that, I feel like it will really help them appreciate being able to work on whatever projects they have, and knowing that it’s going to be shown. Let them not do it for no reason, âshe said.
The exhibition will feature photographs, woodcarvings, paintings, and fashion designs that include nods to traditional indigenous art, but are not limited by it.
âI want to move beyond this stereotypical Native American art,â Willie said. “You will see the traditional, but you will also see the modern.”
The staging of the exhibit in the heart of the Everglades is also a statement about indigenous history and its connection to the contemporary culture of the tribe members.
âBeing in the Everglades really says it out loud. We are there physically, emotionally, mentally, âshe said. “We are here, and we are not going to leave.”
Willie is already planning more art exhibitions for the start of next year. She hopes that a constant flow of contemporary art from indigenous artists will encourage more young members of the Miccosukee and Seminole tribes to want to participate.
âI think this is a great way to start,â said Willie. “This is just the beginning.”
The event will take place on Saturday, November 27 from noon to 6 p.m. at the Buffalo Tigers Airboat at 29701 SW 8th St Miami, 33196.