“Blurring the Line” featuring five Native artists Nov. 16-Feb. 2 at Eiteljorg Museum

Joey Amato | October 9, 2019

As part of the Eiteljorg Museum’s ongoing commitment to contemporary Native American art, five artists who are this year’s Eiteljorg Fellows will be celebrated through a new exhibition: Blurring the Line: The Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship 2019.

From Nov. 16 to Feb. 2, the Blurring the Line exhibition at the Eiteljorg will highlight paintings, drawings, mixed media and installations by the 2019 Fellowship artists:


Hannah Claus
  • Rita Letendre (Abenaki), a renowned abstract painter from Toronto, originally from southern Quebec, whose works are in Canadian and American museums and who is the invited artist this round
  • Hannah Claus (Bay of Quinte Mohawk), an installation artist in Montreal who creates suspended sculptures and has created a “Miami watersong” piece for the exhibition
  • Demian DinéYazhí (Diné), a multidisciplinary artist from Portland, Oregon, who has been awarded several grants and fellowships and creates installations, textile pieces and video
  • Matthew Alan Kirk (Navajo), a painter based in Ridgewood, Queens, N.Y., whose geometric compositions resemble road maps, Navajo rugs and urban landscapes
  • Dyani White Hawk (Sičáŋğu Lakota) of Minneapolis, who creates intricate mixed-media paintings that incorporate, among other elements, porcupine quills and beads with painted geometric patterns.

Demian DinéYazhí

Each Eiteljorg Fellow receives a $25,000 unrestricted award and their work is part of the exhibition, catalogue and video documentation. In addition, the museum purchases $115,000 of the Fellows’ work for its permanent collection.

“The Eiteljorg Museum has an incredible collection of Native American and Western art, but what really sets it apart from other institutions is the longstanding institutional commitment to Native American contemporary art,” Eiteljorg Vice President and Chief Curatorial Officer Elisa Phelps said. “There are important collections of contemporary Native art in other museums, but the relationships, publications, exhibitions and collection resources that have been developed through the biennial Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship are unparalleled,” she added.


Dyani White Hawk

“Native contemporary art cannot be judged by whether there is a recognizably Native design, or form, integrated into the art,” Eiteljorg curator of contemporary art Jennifer Complo McNutt said. “Native art connects to individual artists, it rejects stereotypes; it reflects today and like all art, has changed over time. It not only blurs the line; it challenges the narrow definitions assigned to contemporary Native art and overcomes them.”

Every other year since 1999, the Eiteljorg has awarded Fellowships to five contemporary Native or First Nations artists, a different class each round. In that time, the Eiteljorg Fellowship has presented approximately $1.25 million to 55 artists and purchased more than 180 of their works. The Lilly Endowment Inc. and Efroymson Family Fund – a Central Indiana Community Foundation fund – provide generous support for the Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship.

The exhibition Blurring the Line: The Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship 2019 is curated by Jennifer Complo McNutt and Dorene Red Cloud, museum assistant curator of Native American art. For more information, visit https://contemporaryartfellowship.eiteljorg.org/.