In Focus: Contemporary First Nations and Native American Women Artists and Curators

This series invites Native American and First Nations women artists and curators living and working in the United States and Canada to highlight their individual practices and share their experience as knowledge producers in the contemporary art world. The speakers will share their art- and exhibition-making processes and collaborations, as well as thoughts about their roles and responsibilities as cultural stewards.

Pre-registration for this series has ended. Please see Single Ticket policy below for remaining lectures.

Generous support for the program In Focus: Contemporary First Nations and Native American Women Artists and Curators is provided by the Snoqualmie Tribe.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

Thursday, August 15 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
In Focus: Marianne Nicolson
British Columbia is celebratory of Indigenous visual culture but silent on the issue of Indigenous Land Rights, which, for the most part, was sidestepped by colonial authority during the establishment of the province. Nicolson's artwork seeks to bring these issues back into the discussion of Indigenous art and its deep connection to the land.

Thursday, September 19 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
In Focus: Marie Watt
What would the world look like if we thought of ourselves as companion species? Marie Watt doesn’t pretend to have the answer to this question, but her work does seek to forge relationships and reveal aspects of our connectedness to one another, to animals, and to the natural world. Rather than presenting her extensive body of work in chronological order, Watt will piece together themes in a way that might resemble sewing together a blanket.

Thursday, October 17 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
In Focus: Asia Tail
Asia Tail will present on recent projects, and her plans for the future, as she continues to explore the intersections of community organizing and personal practice as a mixed Urban Indigenous artist.

Thursday, November 21 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
In Focus: Merritt Johnson
Borders are lies unless they are mountains or water. Weaving & stitching serve as physical embodiments of overlapping & intersecting nature of creation in relation to land/water to their dependents (plant/animal) and to cultures and sociopolitical constructs. Merritt Johnson will share her aesthetic considerations of the layering of the image as engagement with seen and unseen, impossibility and limitation in sight as it relates to our capacities based on lifespan, experience, culture, expectation in connection to land and water.

Thursday, December 19 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
In Focus: Wanda Nanibush
Performance is an act of cultural and political resistance as well as a means of remembrance and commemoration. It offers glimpses of a forgotten past, and uses creative fiction as a force against colonial narratives of capture, savagery, loss, and disappearance. Contemporary artists contend with the legacy of colonial representations as well as the legacy of cultural performance by utilizing a variety of aesthetic strategies such as reenactment, remixing, memorialization, mimicry, parody, masquerade, and portraiture. They return to the history of performing ‘Indian’ and its conundrums to recuperate the erased and objectified performer as an ancestor, an artist, and an Indigenous subject. Through this return they seek to understand their own relationship to performing culture in a contemporary art context, often turning the gaze back on to an audience and making the colonial desires that underpin colonial imagery visible. Lastly, some of the artists use performance itself as an entry point in rewriting colonial historical narratives from an Indigenous point of view.

Marianne Nicholson, 1763, vinyl banner 2019. Image courtesy of artist.


Tickets to individual lectures may be available the day of the lecture on a space-available basis. Standby is first-come, first-served, one hour prior to the lecture. Individual tickets Members: $16; Non-members: $24.


Continuing-education credits and clock hours are available to educators through Seattle Pacific University (SPU). Payments for fees are paid directly to SPU online. All registered participants will receive the necessary information to register one week in advance of the start of the lecture series. Do not include payment for fees with your registration. Lecture Series: $15 for five clock hours.


The Frye Art Museum reserves the right to cancel any lecture series. If the Museum cancels a course or class, a full refund will be issued. If participant cancels enrollment more than two weeks prior to start date, a full refund will be issued, less a $25 processing fee. No refunds issued with less than two weeks’ notice. To cancel registration, call 206 432 8200 between 9 am–5 pm Monday–Friday.