UNCW honors indigenous peoples of southeastern NC with artwork installation | Catch My Job


Monday, October 24, 2022

Public artwork honoring the indigenous people of southeastern North Carolina will be installed Nov. 3 on UNCW’s campus. Artist Jessica Clark, a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, was commissioned to create the piece.

“UNCW’s Office of the Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging and believes this stunning artwork honors the indigenous peoples of southeastern North Carolina in such a beautiful and complex way,” said Dr. Jeanine Minge, Associate Provost for Community Engagement and Impact. and Executive Director of the Office of the Arts. “We must continue the conversation and strengthen our commitment to indigenous peoples in the region and beyond.”

Clarke is known for his figurative works of Southeast Aborigines, which document and preserve their daily lives. His work has been exhibited in the United States and France, including Duke University’s Nash Museum of Art, Pennsylvania State University, the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, and the Painting Center in New York.

“Even though the images are of Southeast Asians, there are themes that people of every ethnicity can relate to,” Clark said. “I hope the audience will walk away with a better understanding of contemporary indigenous people. So often, indigenous people are portrayed and told as living in the past, but that’s not true. We walk in two worlds, respecting our heritage and culture. Time to thrive in the contemporary world. “

He praised UNCW for honoring the tribal communities of southeastern NC.

“Universities are educational institutions, and should educate students in the land on which these institutions are built and the communities that surround them,” he said. “Indigenous communities are left out of many programs and conversations, so a project of this magnitude is a start. Visual art is something that many can relate to, regardless of language or background. Art is a universal language.”

The project is a collaborative series of arts events and programs between the Office of the Arts, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, members of several North Carolina tribal communities, and the Office of the Arts’ “Artivism for Social Change” initiative.

“As we continually strive to embody ourselves on this campus, we believe in the power of public art to inspire meaningful conversations among us, reflection on our history and our lived experiences,” said Dr. Danielle Roseborough, Chief Diversity Officer. “This mural represents the complexity of identity in many ways as it honors the presence of North Carolina Native Americans.”

The event begins at 2pm in the UNCW Amphitheater with a drumming and singing performance. The unveiling will take place in the Fisher Student Union’s Clock Tower Lounge at 5 p.m. Nancy Strickland Fields, director and curator of the Southeast American Indian Museum in Pembroke, NC, was the event’s keynote speaker. The event is free and open to all.

Venita Jenkins



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