Jill Ahlberg Yohe and heather ahtone will present at the Indigenous Arts in Transition Seminar. They will each give a short paper followed by a moderated conversation and Q&A session.

“A Story in the Making: Creating Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists” (Jill Ahlberg Yohe)

In this talk, Dr. Ahlberg Yohe will discuss the development of the recent exhibition Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists. Along with Teri Greeves (Kiowa; co-curator) and an Exhibition Advisory Board of twenty-one Native artists and Native art scholars from across the United States and Canada, Native Women Artists was an attempt to incorporate alternative curatorial approaches to a large traveling Native art exhibition. Dr. Ahlberg Yohe will reflect upon this process and share her experiences of creating this exhibition, and the stories that emerged through the making.

“Decolonizing the Museum: An Indigenous Curator’s Thoughts” (heather ahtone)

In 2019, dr. ahtone was asked “what has to happen to make sure that good curatorial work is not personality based but institutionalized for a longer lasting effect?” Considering this question, ahtone uses her current work at First Americans Museum as a point of examining how long term change can be effected to the benefit of the institution, audiences, and donors.

Jill Ahlberg Yohe is the Associate Curator of Native American Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. In 2008, Ahlberg Yohe received her PhD from the University of New Mexico, where her dissertation focused on the social life of weaving in contemporary Navajo life. Along with Kiowa artist and curator Teri Greeves, Ahlberg Yohe is the co-curator of the traveling exhibition Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists. At Mia, Ahlberg Yohe seeks new initiatives to expand understandings and new curatorial practices of historic and contemporary Native art.

heather ahtone is Senior Curator at First Americans Museum (FAM) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She examines the intersection between Indigenous cultural knowledge and contemporary art. Working in the Native arts community since 1993, she has curated numerous exhibits, publishes regularly, and continues to seek opportunities to broaden discourse on global contemporary Indigenous arts. She is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation and descended from the Choctaw Nation. She and her team are working to prepare a global destination celebrating the histories and culture of Oklahoma’s tribal communities, set to open in May 2021.