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Arts Playlist: Delaware Art Museum features Indigenous culture in photography exhibit

In Conversation Will Wilson.jpg
Will Wilson
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Will Wilson via Delaware Art Museum
How The West is One (2014) from In Conversation: Will Wilson exhibition at the Delaware Art Museum

Work from Navajo photographer Will Wilson's visit to Delaware First State is now on display at the Delaware Art Museum

In this week’s Arts Playlist, Delaware Public Media’s Kelli Steele is joined by the Museum’s chief curator Heather Campbell Coyle and community engagement specialist Iz Balleto to discuss the photos and upcoming events connected to the exhibition.

Delaware Public Media Kelli Steele interviews Delaware Art Museum chief curator Heather Campbell Coyle and community engagement specialist Iz Balleto.

Indigenous culture is being celebrated in a summer exhibition at the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington.

In Conversation:  Will Wilson'' opens this weekend.

“And the title tells you a lot," said Heather Campbell Coyle - the chief curator at the Museum. "So this is the work of photographer Will Wilson; he is a Native American photographer - he’s Dine or Navajo - working out of the Santa Fe (New Mexico) area and he is producing a series of portraits of Native Americans all across the U.S.”

Campbell Coyle says Wilson visited the First State in May to photograph members of the Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware and the Nanticoke Indian Association.

Thirty eight of those photos can be seen through September 11, before heading to the Nanticoke Indian Museum in Sussex County.

Wilson Photo1.jpg

The exhibit is being paired with a pow wow of arts and culture scheduled for later this month according to Museum’s community engagement specialist Iz Balleto.

“With the guidance of the Nanticoke and Lenape Tribes doing this together, it took about two years to put this (one) event together - bringing together different tribes and different dancers. We’re going to have over 50 dancers here - participating in the Pow Wow; we’re going to have the Red Blanket Singers of the Lenape Tribe coming down from New Jersey - Bridgerton. And we’re going to have a day of culture - even among the Aztec culture - the Parroquia.” 

The pow wow is set for Saturday, July 23 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m..

There will also be a program offering community members’ stories on September 8,, called My Land, My Roots.

In Conversation: Will Wilson is joined by Indigenous Faces of Wilmington, an exhibition by local photographer Andre’ L. Wright, Jr.,

The national tour of In Conversation: Will Wilson is supported by the Art Bridges Foundation.

Delaware Public Media' s arts coverage is made possible, in part, by support from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.