© 2019 Creative Indigenous Collective. Website by Ben Pease

Contemporary Indigenous Identity

September 13, 2019

[Bozeman, Montana] Old Main Gallery is pleased to feature the work of the Creative

Indigenous Collective for a group exhibition, Contemporary Indigenous Identity , in the

months of September & October. An Opening Reception will take place on Friday,

September 13th, 6-8 PM. This event is open to the public. An Honor song will be

performed by Shane Doyle.

The Creative Indigenous Collective is made up of seven Contemporary Indigenous artists

from the region, Ben Pease, Gina Still Smoking, Holly Young, John Isaiah Pepion, Lauren

Monroe, Louis Still Smoking and Robert Martinez.

“There are misconceptions. There are romantic ideals. There are miscommunications and

there are stereotypes of what and who indigenous people are. Like the range of artistic

styles, colors and sizes the answer to ‘What is Contemporary Indigenous Identity?’ Is not

just one thing. It is a bunch of things, a mass, an assortment, a cluster, a multitude.

Our past is shared, however each tribe is unique. Our Heritage is similar, but each is

separate. Our tribes all lived on this continent, yet each had its own homeland. Our present

is now but through each of our eyes looks slightly different. We grapple today's issues

through a lens that sees the past but points to our future.

Through the use of paper, canvas, buckskin, with colored pencils, paint and beads, with

imagery, symbols and fabric, the artists of the Creative Indigenous Collective show you our

individual vision of what it means to be Indigenous in Contemporary Society.”

- Creative Indigenous Collective

Established in 1964, Old Main Gallery offers original art by artists from Montana and beyond, in

downtown Bozeman, Montana.

For Immediate Release

Contact: Lindsey McCann Jastram

T: 406.587.8860


Native Nations Now: An Exhibition of Contemporary Native Art

May 17, 2018

Native Nations Now: An Exhibition of Contemporary Native Art

Plains Indian Museum at The Buffalo Bill Center Of The West

  May 17 – October 29, 2018


Exhibition Format:

The exhibition opened on May 17, 2018, with an opening reception that will feature the artists in the Plains Indian Museum with their art as an opportunity for direct interaction and dialogue between artists and guests. The Native Nations Now works will be featured on the “Contemporary Voices” panels (four panels, with 1–3 works on each panel depending upon size, and possibly sculptures) in the Plains Indian Museum, with additional works and information about the Creative Indigenous Collective in the new Native Arts Gallery on the lower level of the Plains Indian Museum. The exhibition will introduce the Creative Indigenous Collective as a regional force of national significance—seven Native artists (from Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota) featured in the temporary exhibition. The event and the exhibition are the first of many future opportunities to establish the presence of Native art in the Plains Indian Museum with dynamic, emerging, and impactful contemporary Native artists. With the partnership of the Creative Indigenous Collective and other Native artists in the future, our goals are to explore the diverse media, messages, and relevance of contemporary Native art; and to provide dynamic outreach exchanges for audiences and artists.

The Plains Indian Museum has also purchased various works from the Collective for their permanent collection. 

Resilience: An Exhibition of Strength and Reverence

June 02, 2018

Resilience is an essential facet of virtually every Indigenous culture across the world. In the face of adversity, our collective strength of character and belief will win through to another day. This exhibit will focus on the beauty and resilience which our cultures have consistently implemented merely to continue existing.
— Creative Indigenous Collective


July 13, 2017

We Were. We Are. An exhibit featuring the work of six artists from the Northern Arapaho Artists Society and the Creative Indigenous Collective is currently on display at the Wyoming State Museum.

The exhibit features the works of Bruce Cook and Robert Martinez, from Riverton, Wyo.; Lauren Monroe, Ben Pease, and John I Pepion, from Montana; and Louis Still Smoking, from South Dakota. 

Born out of a lack of exhibition opportunities for Native artists in Wyoming, the Northern Arapaho Artists Society has arranged 3-4 exhibitions of Native artwork per year since 2012.  

A group of friends formed the Creative Indigenous Collective in 2016. Their work deals with contemporary Native perspectives on politics, society, history, and culture. 

Curator Robert Martinez, of Riverton, Wyoming, is a founding member of both groups.

The artists in this exhibition have shown internationally and extensively throughout the American West, and their work is held in many collections, including the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

We Were. We Are. is the first exhibition of contemporary Native art at the Wyoming State Museum.  

A Meet the Artists will be held at the museum on July 13 from 5-7 p.m., with a panel discussion to follow.

This panel is funded in part by a grant from Wyoming Humanities, and will be moderated by Dr. Caskey Russell, director of the American Indian Studies Program at the University of Wyoming.

            A full color exhibit catalog featuring all the works in the show, available in July, is made possible by a generous gift from Clay Paper Scissors Gallery and Studio.

The Meet the Artists event is sponsored by Danielmark's Brewery of Cheyenne. 


Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @WyomingStateMuseum for more updates.

Emergence: A Collective of Plains Indian Warrior Artists

Emergence: A Collective of

Plains Indian Warrior Artists
October 20, 2016 – April 8, 2017

Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art invites you to experience the exhibition, Emergence:  A Collective of Plains Indian Warrior Artists, in the Thayer Gallery beginning October 20, 2016.  Emergence brings together an award-winning group of Native American artists from the Northern Plains: Robert Martinez, Lauren Monroe Jr., Louis Still Smoking, Ben Pease and John Pepion. The objective of this exhibition is to allow museum visitors to encounter powerful and diverse contemporary Native voices through a variety of mediums.  Join us in celebrating the innovative and expressive art work in this unique exhibit created by members of the newly formed collaborative group- Creative Indigenous Collective.  The Creative Indigenous Collective and this special exhibition honors imagery that celebrates contemporary indigenous art that is thought-provoking and empowering.   Artist and member of the Collective,  John Pepion, states, “I think it's time to tell the world of our stories from our perspective and not by a textbook or movie. I hope we can educate the public and build better relationships with museums, galleries and art centers.”   

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