UVA Arts, University of Virginia

Vol 07 Winter 17 Library
Shelley Niro

Shelley Niro and ElizaBeth Hill

Learn more at The Fralin

This fall, University and Charlottesville communities had a rare opportunity to learn from, and delve deeply into the work of two renowned Native artists when the Mellon Indigenous Arts Initiative and The Fralin Museum of Art welcomed Shelley Niro and ElizaBeth Hill for a residency that included displays, master classes and more. Shelley Niro (Six Nations Reserve, Bay of Quinte Kanien’kehaka Mohawk Nation, Turtle Clan) is a multimedia artist working in the disciplines of photography, painting, sculpture, poetry, film and beadwork. Niro, who shared her work and experiences in an artist’s talk while on Grounds, regularly uses her work to disrupt stereotypical representation of Native people as “vanishing," to address the objectification of Native women, explore ways to bridge the gap between ancestral traditions and modern realities of indigenous peoples, and examine and comment on contemporary treaty, sovereignty, and land issues. She recently received two prestigious Canadian art awards, including the 2017 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, and the Scotiabank Photography Award. ElizaBeth Hill (Mohawk) is a singer-songwriter whose work reflects both her native background and her experiences of living and working in Nashville. Her work, hailed by the Toronto Star, puts an “aboriginal spin” on the tradition of folk divas like Joni Mitchell and Emmylou Harris. Hill composes song lyrics in both English and Mohawk for dance, theatre, and film. She shared her music in a special concert at The Fralin Museum of Art and joined Niro for a special screening of Kissed by Lightning, a film that Niro directed, which featured Hill’s music. The Mellon Indigenous Arts Program is funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Fralin Museum of Art, and the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Virginia, and is sponsored by the Arts Enhancement Fund for 2017-2018 from the Office of the Provost and the Vice Provost for the Arts...

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