Portland Art Museum
May 8, 2022
In 2017, NACF launched the Mentor Artist Fellowship program awarding the first mentor-apprentice cohort. Throughout the life of this program, 31 Native artists and culture bearers received support to foster emerging artists through mentorship in a new generation of artists.
The success of the Mentor Artist Fellowship program led to a partnership with the Portland Art Museum (PAM) in Portland, Oregon, and NACF’s support of the Mesh exhibition, which opens Saturday, November 6. Mesh features the bold work of four early-career artists who apprenticed with an established artist as part of the Mentor Artist Fellowship program. Their multidisciplinary work addresses current social issues, including the ongoing fight against racial injustice and conflicts over Indigenous land rights. At the same time, through photography, painting, sculpture, and mixed media, they celebrate the ongoing presence of Native American art and culture. Curated by Kathleen Ash-Milby, PAM’s Curator of Native American Art, the exhibition is a vivid example of the power of Native arts to lift contemporary artistic expressions as an act of Indigenous resilience.