In her new art installment “I Honor You” at Mestizo Institute of Culture and Arts, Denae Shanidiin will commend the “500+ year battles” fought by indigenous populations in the United States. Not to sound biased, but 500+ years is kind of a long time and maybe deserves a bit more recognition in mainstream media. So consider this art installment baby steps towards recognition of larger narratives for a population that inhabited this land long before Chick-Fil-A and Starbucks swept every square mile.
Shanidiin’s art commemorates the personal experience and unification of a new generation of Native American youth. Says Shanidiin, “We recognize and honor that we are more truthfully alive when we give attention to our life sustaining air, our sacred water, the land we walk on.”
Mestizo says the installment is “dedicated to the living and breathing warriors… [and] embraces the importance of indigenous persons documenting a significant part of their identities.” Shanidiin’s work focuses both on pride in the heritage and roots of Native Americans while also honoring the strength a new, rising generation. Her photography frequently offers an intimate glimpse into her Korean-Navajo family and intends to foster pride in a culture frequently hidden from mainstream media.
The opening reception will be during this month’s gallery stroll at Mestizo on Friday, April 21st from 6-9pm. For more information, call 801-361-5662