The We Shall Remain project is a collaborative effort from participants such as KUED, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, the Salt Lake City Library and others showcasing the heritage of Utah Native Americans, venerating historic culture with heritage and traditions flourishing today. The Rio Gallery is currently hosting Living Art of Utah’s Tribes: We Shall Remain, an exhibition of contemporary Utah Native American art.
The presentation is from the State Folk Arts Collection, the Ken Williams Jr. Collection, and the division of State History. Folk arts program manager and curator Carol Edison said, “The exhibition illustrates that there are still native artists living in Utah creating art just like their ancestors before them.” The art shown in this exhibition is from the five primary Utah tribes: Northern and Mountain Ute, Navajo, Paiute, Goshute and Shoshone. The work is vibrant, complex and utilizes sophisticated techniques such as beading, leatherwork, weaving, design and sculpture that render ordinary items such as shoes, bowls or rugs into astounding works of art. These masterfully created objects manifest cultural customs, traditions and spiritual beliefs.
This impressive collection is one of the final installments of the We Shall Remain umbrella of projects and a reminder of the integral presence of native tribes in Utah. Theirs is not a dying heritage, and their unyielding culture, seen here in their contemporary art, is very alive. Said Edison “This artwork looks historical, from traditional styles, but is contemporary, emphasizing the fact that native artists are still productive and shall remain.”