Increasing Exposure for Native Artists — By Alex V. Cipolle

New York Times, 03.13.2019

PENDLETON, Ore. — In the foothills of the Blue Mountains in Eastern Oregon, a short drive from the rodeo town of Pendleton and about 200 miles east of Portland, is the only professional print house on an Indian reservation in the United States.

The Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, known as C.S.I.A., is a nonprofit on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and has become a hub for contemporary Native American artists nationwide.

For more than 25 years, some of the biggest indigenous names in contemporary art — Rick Bartow, Marie Watt, Jeffrey Gibson, Kay WalkingStick, Wendy Red Star — have flocked to its printmaking residency program, housed in the ground floor of an old Catholic mission schoolhouse.

“The fact that it exists in this rural indigenous community is sort of extraordinary and part of its magic,” says Ms. Watt, a member of the Seneca Nation, who has attended the residency five times since 2002. “Conversations by artists are important everywhere, and they’re happening in rural areas, too. It shifts the paradigm.”