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A new Walnut Creek exhibit showcases Native American voices

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For too long, stories about Native Americans have been told by non-Native people, whether  in movies, TV shows, books or the visual arts.

That’s not the case with “Re-Discovering Native America: Stories in Motion with The Red Road Project,” a stunning exhibition of photos at Walnut Creek’s Bedford Gallery through June 23, or with a June 1 panel discussion, featuring leading Native American artists, including Oakland novelist Tommy Orange.

The exhibition showcases some 100 photos, personal stories and other artworks, collected by Red Road Project founders, Danielle SeeWalker and Carlotta Cardana. The photos document the lives of contemporary Native Americans, from the sweeping landscapes of remote reservations to their living rooms in towns and cities, as they celebrate their communities, traditional practices and achievements, or give voice to the ongoing challenges of historic displacement and oppression.

Julian of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota and his son, Elijah. (Photo/Carlotta Cardana)
Julian of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota and his son, Elijah. (Photo/Carlotta Cardana) 

SeeWalker also joins “There There” author Orange in the June 1 panel discussion. They will talk about their inspiration and process for creating their work. Rounding out the panel are: Tazbah Chavez, co-creator of the FX series “Reservation Dogs”; and moderator Jackie Keliiaa, a comedian, writer and actor known for Amazon Prime’s “First Nations Comedy Experience.”

Details: Both the photo exhibition and the “Contemporary Voices” panel discussion are presented at the Lesher Center for the Arts. The exhibition continues through June 23 in the Bedford Gallery, with a “pay-what-you can” admission. The panel discussion will be at 2 p.m. June 1 in the Margaret Lesher Theatre, with tickets costing $35-$40. https://www.lesherartscenter.org.



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