Visual Arts

The ambitious Cross Currents at CVA highlights Native American art

Put together by Cecily Cullen, creative director for the Center for Visual Art, Cross Currents is an ambitious exhibit that showcases contemporary art by Native Americans from across the country. It is a follow-up to Currents, a show Cullen did at the old LoDo CVA in 2009 that was on the same theme and was equally intelligent in its conception. Incidentally Currents also marked Cullen's curatorial debut.

In a way, this show picks up where that show left off, and includes three artists who were also in the earlier version: Nicholas Galanin, Marie Watt and Will Wilson. In the earlier show, Cullen points out, the three were cast in the roles of emerging artists, but in the current endeavor, they represent the old guard who are firmly established in their careers.

See also: Photo preview: Kristen Hatgi Sink's Flower Face opens tonight at the Byers-Evans house

Taking advantage of the series of small galleries that make up the CVA, all the artists included are essentially given small, clearly defined solos which taken together form the overall thematic group show.

The other featured artists included are Cannupahanska, Frank Buffalo Hyde, Merritt Johnson, Sarah Ortegon, Wendy Red Star and Sarah Sense.

Through February 8 at the MSU Center for Visual Art, 965 Santa Fe Drive, 303-296-5207, msudenver.edu/cva.

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Michael Paglia is an art historian and writer whose columns have appeared in Westword since 1995; his essays on the visual arts have also been published in national periodicals including Art News, Architecture, Art Ltd., Modernism, Art & Auction and Sculpture Magazine. He taught art history at the University of Colorado Denver.
Contact: Michael Paglia