MSV to Present Exhibition Organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

February 17 through July 22, 2018


Winchester, VA 02/07/18… Opening in the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) on February 17, Hear My Voice: Native American Art of the Past and Present explores Native American artists and their art across centuries, a continent, and 35 indigenous cultures. Organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) and making its first stop on a statewide tour at the MSV, Hear My Voice will be on view at the MSV through July 22, 2018.

According to MSV Executive Director Dana Hand Evans, the exhibition is traveling to the Shenandoah Valley thanks to a longstanding collaborative partnership between the VFMA and the MSV. She notes that Hear My Voice is the first Native American-themed exhibition to be presented in the MSV and the sixth exhibition that the Museum has presented in partnership with the VMFA since the MSV opened in 2005.

Hear My Voice: Native American Art of the Past and Present features 54 works that illustrate the ways in which Native American art speaks of a shared knowledge and history while also being widely diverse in subject matter, style, medium, and age. Works in the exhibition are drawn from the VMFA Collection and also include loans from other institutions and individuals.

From a war shirt crafted by a member of the Crow Nation in the late nineteenth century to contemporary works by Cherokee painter Kay WalkingStick and Passamaquoddy basketmaker Jeremy Frey, objects in this exhibition point to the deep and intimate understanding Native Americans have of their land. Audio recordings of some present-day artists discussing works from the past provide greater insight into how Native Americans use art to maintain a connection with their history. Objects in the exhibition date from 400 A.D. to the present day.

“While art is certainly a universal language that bridges our diverse cultures, different mediums of art also can be the vehicles that connect people within a culture to each other,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA Director. “With Hear My Voice, VMFA brings this communication—indeed, this storytelling—to life, as the exhibition uses unique objects to show how Native American artists over the centuries have captured and conveyed their shared experiences.”

Curated by Johanna Minich, PhD, VMFA curator of Native American art, Hear My Voice: Native American Art of the Past and Present is organized into three themes: Artist and Nature, which examines how artists communicate about and with the natural world; Artist and Community, which reflects on the sense of belonging that has always been a common consideration among Native American groups; and Artist and Outsider, which illustrates ways in which Native American artists have been inspired to use new materials or adopt new artistic styles.

Following its display in Winchester, Hear My Voice: Native American Art of the Past and Present will travel to the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke. The exhibition’s statewide tour is generously sponsored by The Schiller Family, and its MSV display is made possible, in part, by the support of the MSV Compass Society.

The MSV will host an opening reception for the exhibition from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 17. Those interested in attending should register in advance HERE or by calling 540-662-1473, ext. 240. The fee to attend the reception—which includes admission to the exhibition and refreshments—is free to MSV Members and $20 for all others. Also on February 17 and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the MSV is celebrating the opening of Hear My Voice with a free-admission community day that includes guided exhibition tours; traditional Native American dancing, singing, and drumming; basketry and craft demonstrations; and a yarn-weaving family activity. Native cuisine from Wampanoag chef Sherry Pocknett, including a venison plate ($15), smoked salmon plate ($15), Indian tacos ($10), buffalo burgers ($10), native fried bread ($4), sassafras tea ($4), and strawberry lemonade ($4) will be available for purchase. Get more information HERE.

A regional cultural center, the MSV is located at 901 Amherst Street in Winchester, Virginia. The MSV includes galleries, Glen Burnie House, and seven acres of gardens. The galleries and exhibitions are open year-round; the house and gardens are open April through December. The site is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. January through March and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April through December. Admission is $10 or $8 for seniors and youth ages 13 to 18. General admission is always free to youth ages 12 and under and to MSV Members. Thanks to corporate partner Howard Shockey & Sons, Inc., admission is free to all every Wednesday. Additional details about the exhibition and a variety of complementary programs are available at or by calling 540-662-1473, ext. 235. –END–