“I believe it is crucial – especially in these crazy times – to speak as loud as we can as Native people of this country. Our culture is more than what we have been told, our culture is more than what we expect from ourselves. We are going to continue to evolve and conquer our fears; I chose to do it through my art. I am proud to be a Native Painter. I am proud to be a woman gallery owner, and I will work very hard to do right by the people I love.”
— Jennifer White via South Dakota Arts Council
Post Pilgrim’s walls are filled with paintings, 3D pieces, and photography. The variety of work and contexts behind the pieces are what distinguish this gallery from most. These artists are showing a glimpse of their culture, their history, and their experiences of being native in this country. This is not what we read in textbooks or learn in school. These stories are first-hand, giving us a completely new perspective on native culture.
As you may have read in an earlier post, J.white is an artist and gallery owner shining a light on native work through a modern lens. Post Pilgrim Gallery, located in Last Stop CD Shop, is a space that represents native artists from all over the region. J.White is breaking down the stereotypes of native work by showcasing artists who are stepping outside the norm.
J.White is opening our eyes to this type of work and creating a platform for these artists. This sense of freedom allows them to express themselves, openly and honestly. As a society, very few of us know about Native culture. We place it in the past when we explore what little we may know. But this culture is still thriving today, evolving, and becoming more important than ever. This is the sad reality of the majority of the population. We believe what we learned in elementary school and do not question the accuracy of those events. It’s time to open our eyes to their story. It’s time to learn and understand the history of Native peoples.
Witnessing what is happening today with the pipeline and the lack of coverage of the treatment of Natives is unacceptable. We continue to view them as other and not a part of our society. But there is no us and them. There can be no us and them. We have to come together. This is how things will change. It begins with us being open to learning about Native culture and listening to what they have to say. Post Pilgrim Gallery is the perfect place to start this dialogue.
Wherever you may be located, reach out to your local resources to expand your mind to other ways of being, other cultures, other identities, or other histories. There is a plethora of knowledge all around us, we have to start engaging with these outlets.
For a little inspiration, to be the change you seek, I will leave you with these words from J.White: