Free and open to the public.
Reception, March 8, 5-8pm
In partnership with South Puget Sound Community College, yəhaw̓ presents And Now We Know: Indigenous Artists Write the World. The exhibition features Indigenous artists of the Pacific Northwest working across media at the intersection of literary and visual arts. The gallery will also host a library with a selection of publications by local Native writers. Join us February 8th, 6-8pm, for an opening reception with refreshments and readings.
Language plays a prominent role in the Lifting the Sky story, as told by Upper Skagit elder Vi Hilbert. She speaks of a time when Indigenous people from diverse communities gathered because the sky was too low. Although they spoke different languages, by creating just one word with shared meaning - yəhaw̓, which means to do the work - together they were able to raise the sky, creating a better world for themselves and each other. Vi Hilbert ends her telling with the phrase “and now we know”, teaching us not only how the world came to be, but our role in its transformation, and that through ingenuity and creativity we shape our collective futures.
Whether using Native dialects, or subverting colonizers’ vernacular, the artists in this exhibition embrace verbal and visual languages to tell their own narratives. Indigenous creatives continue to explore new forms in storytelling to communicate experiences simultaneously personal and political in impact: a poem, a prayer or protest, a lullaby as much as love letter. As in the Lifting the Sky story, artists are creating worlds with their work.