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Return from Exile: Contemporary Southeastern Indian Art

Exhibition: August 21 - December 8, 2017 | Reception: November 10

Joseph Erb, Petition, Return from Exile


Shan Goshorn, Artist in Return from Exile

Shan Goshorn, Self Portait
(From the Earth Removal Series)

The exhibition features more than thirty contemporary Southeastern Native American artists working in a variety of media including painting, drawing, printmaking, basketry, sculpture, and pottery. 

The WCU Fine Art Museum will be hosting the national traveling exhibition Return from Exile: Contemporary Southeastern Indian Art, curated by Tony A. Tiger, Bobby C. Martin, and Jace Weaver. Return from Exile is one of the first major exhibitions to focus on contemporary artists from tribal nations with an historical connection to the Southeastern United States. These include the so-called Five Civilized Tribes, the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, and Muscogee (or Creek), and Seminole, all of whom were forcibly removed in the 1830s to present-day Oklahoma as a result of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The title of the exhibition represents the return of these artists to their ancestral homelands.

As part of the exhibition, on November 10 the WCU Fine Art Museum at Bardo Arts Center will host a full day Contemporary Native American Art Symposium.

  • 9:00am-4:00pm: Full Day Symposium | Free registration required  
  • 5:00pm-7:00pm: Reception honoring Return from Exile | Free and open to the public, registration not required.
  • 7:30pm-9:00pm*: Keynote Performance from Canadian First Nation electronic music group, A Tribe Called Red 
    *Ticketed event. Details at

Click here to learn more about the Contemporary Native American Art Symposium 

Marcus Amerman (Choctaw), Roy Boney, Jr. (Cherokee), Dylan Cavin (Choctaw), Toneh Chuleewah (Cherokee), Mel Cornshucker (United Keetoowah Band), Faren Sanders Crews (Eastern Band Cherokee), Jeff Edwards (Cherokee) Joseph Erb (Cherokee), Bill Glass, Jr. (Cherokee), Demos Glass (Cherokee) Shan Goshorn (Eastern Band Cherokee), Brent Greenwood (Chickasaw/Ponca), Starr Hardridge (Muscogee Creek), Benjamin Harjo Jr.(Absentee Shawnee/Seminole)Norma Howard (Choctaw/Chickasaw), Troy Jackson (Cherokee) Linda Lomahaftewa (Hopi/Choctaw), Bobby C. Martin (Muscogee Creek), America Meredith (Cherokee), Gary Montgomery (Seminole), Randi Nicole Narcomey-Watson (Seminole/Muscogee Creek), Jessica Osceola (Seminole Tribe of Florida), Sallyann Paschall (Cherokee)Sarah Sense (Chitimacha/Choctaw), Erin Shaw (Chickasaw/Choctaw), Tony A. Tiger (Sac & Fox/Muscogee Creek/Seminole)Karin Walkingstick (Cherokee), Margaret Wheeler (Chickasaw), Richard Ray Whitman (Yuchi/Muscogee Creek), Holly Wilson (Delaware/Cherokee) 

Traveling Return from Exile to the Western Carolina University Fine Art Museum at Bardo Arts Center and reprinting the catalogue has been made possible through a number of generous sponsors. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Special thanks also to the WCU Cherokee Theme Committee and The Sequoyah Fund.  

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