Texas Tech University

As I Am

As I Am: Native American Artists in the Dr. Robert and Louise Arnold Collection is a selection of contemporary paintings by late 20th and 21st century Native American artists. All of the artworks were donated to the Museum of Texas Tech University Association by Dr. Robert and Louise Arnold, long-time supporters of the Museum.

As I AmA major theme of these artworks is the intersection of personal, cultural and historical identity. Since colonization of this continent, indigenous peoples in the United States have been systematically killed, displaced, and enslaved by dominant Europeans or European Americans. In response, Native peoples developed and advanced a complex array of adaptations in efforts to ensure their survival. Survival and maintaining—at times rebuilding—their lives and identity under duress has demanded resolution, strength, and astonishing resourcefulness. The artworks in this exhibition exemplify a small sample of their successful efforts in one arena: the universe of contemporary visual art.

"This is who I am" and "This is who we are" have been, and continue to be, important themes in contemporary Native American art.

The image above is titled Elk Spirit/Maywitle Nico by Rick Bartow. It is acrylic on panel.

This exhibition has been curated by Nicole Hawke as part of a practicum in the Museum of Texas Tech's graduate program in Heritage and Museum Sciences.