Willamette University

Ancestral Dialogues: Conversations in Native American Art

Photos and text by Frank Miller

The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Gallery had changed little since the opening of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in 1998. However, over the past few months, the gallery has been transformed through a complete redesign that not only changes the layout of the exhibition space but also presents an entirely new exhibition. Reflecting the museum's expanding collection of Native American art, the exhibit houses more than 120 objects ranging from traditional to contemporary.

Like any undertaking of this scale, it required the efforts of many people. Native American community members, museum staff, conservators, and university faculty have all contributed to make the exhibit (which is ongoing) an opportunity to engage in a dialogue that examines art, identity and history.