The Washington State History Museum is open for visitors Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM. Masks are required. Special hours on the third Thursday of each month, 10:00 AM-8:00 PM with free admission 3:00-8:00 PM.
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15th Annual  IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts Virtual Exhibition 2

IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts 2021

16th Annual Exhibition
  • Dates:
    Jul 15 - Aug 29 2021
  • Ages:
    All ages
  • Where:
    Washington State History Museum, fifth floor
  • Tickets:

    Included with museum admission, free for WSHS members

  • Accessibility:

    The History Museum has elevators and ramps. Wheelchairs are available on-site.

IN THE SPIRIT is an annual summer celebration of diverse Native American arts and culture, including a juried exhibition at the Washington State History Museum, an Artist Awards event, artist talks, and an indoor/outdoor community festival with an arts market.

The Exhibition – July 15 through August 29

The IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts exhibition kicks off with a virtual artist awards ceremony on opening day, July 15. Explore the art exhibition in person at the Washington State History Museum through August 29.

This year, 40 works by 23 Indigenous artists were submitted for consideration. The jurors selected 37 works by 22 artists to be displayed in the exhibition. Visitors will be able to explore art that represents a wide variety of themes presented in a range of mediums including textiles, paintings, carvings, beadwork, mixed media, basketry, and digital works.

Visitors can vote in the gallery for two People’s Choice awards, to be presented at the IN THE SPIRIT Arts Market and Northwest Native Festival on August 7.

The Festival – August 7

The IN THE SPIRIT Arts Market and Northwest Native Festival is hosted collaboratively by the Washington State History Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, and Museum of Glass. Admission to all three museums is free for the day! Enjoy activities in and around each of the three museums, meet artist vendors and shop their hand-created wares, and explore the exhibitions.

The Advisory Committee

IN THE SPIRIT  is a summertime favorite in the South Sound. We thank the Advisory Committee for their guidance and collaboration with Washington State Historical Society’s Tribal Liaison Michael Finley and Lead Program Manager Molly Wilmoth.

Exhibition Jurors

We are grateful to the 2021 exhibition jury for their time and work in reviewing artist’s submissions, selecting works for the exhibition, and presenting the Artist Awards. You can read about the jurors below.

Questions about IN THE SPIRIT exhibition or festival? Contact Molly Wilmoth at 253-798-5926 or molly.wilmoth@wshs.wa.gov.

  • Todd Clark, Wailaki

    Todd Clark is Program Manager for the Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the University of Washington. In this role, he manages a series of programs funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to help recruit, support, and retain Native and Indigenous students. He is also the founder and curator of IMNDN, a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for contemporary Native art and artists. As an enrolled member of the Wailaki tribe, he brings a unique curatorial voice to his exhibitions by understanding what it means to be Native in the 21st century.

    Prior to starting IMNDN, Todd worked in the museum field for over 20 years in the collections, exhibitions and curatorial departments at the Portland Art Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Petersen Automotive Museum and the Autry Museum of the American West. Todd has served as a panelist for several organizations including the Native Arts & Cultures Foundation Panel for Visual Arts in Portland, Oregon, and has been a judge/panelist for the American Indian Arts Marketplace for the Autry Museum in Los Angeles on multiple occasions. Todd is also a member of the curatorial roster of the Washington State Arts Commission, ARTSWA, program.

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  • Laura VerMeulen, Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska

    Laura VerMeulen is the Managing Director of the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center at The Evergreen State College. An enrolled citizen of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Laura served as the Assistant Director of the Longhouse from October 1999 to February 2021. She has worked to support its mission: to promote Indigenous arts and cultures through education, cultural preservation, creative expression, and economic development by supporting artist workshops, residencies, cultural programming, the business of art workshops, art markets, and exhibitions.

    IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts 2021
  • Philip H. Red Eagle, Dakota and Puget Sound Salish

    Philip Red Eagle is a born and raised Northwest writer, artist, metalsmith and carver. He is the author of Red Earth: A Vietnam Warrior’s Journey, styled in mythical realism and now in its second edition (saltpublishing.com). He is also the originator and a co-founder of The Raven Chronicles: A Journal of Art, Literature & The Spoken Word, established 28 years ago and currently based in Seattle. An “occasional poet,” these days Philip spends most of his time working with Tribal Journeys, a cultural movement using the canoe as a vessel for cultural renewal.

    Philip Red Eagle began shooting film with a small 35 mm Canon camera while in Vietnam in 1971. When back in the fleet in 1972-1973 he upgraded to a Canon F-1, 35 mm SLR (top of the line). Upon returning to the states and while stationed in San Diego, California, Philip took photography classes at San Diego City College. He began taking wedding photos for his buddies. He came to the University of Washington in 1976 and continued his education and his camera expertise moving to professional levels in the 1980s, shooting headshots, modeling portfolios, and advertisement photography, then moving into gallery-level photography in the early 1990s. He has currently started digitizing his old slides and black and white work and is now shooting with a Sony digital camera.

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