• Dates:
    Jun 16 - Sep 11 2022
  • Ages:
    All ages
  • Where:
    Fifth floor
  • Tickets:

    Included with museum admission, free for WSHS members.

  • Accessibility:

    Mobility-accessible. Exterior ramps provide building access, elevators access all floors in the building, and wheelchairs are available at admissions. 

IN THE SPIRIT is an annual summer celebration of diverse Native American arts and culture. A juried exhibition of exciting new works by contemporary Native artists opens in June and is on view through the summer at the Washington State History Museum, accompanied by programs, artist talks, and an Artist Awards event.

On August 6, the IN THE SPIRIT Arts Market & Northwest Native Festival will be held collaboratively between the Washington State History Museum, the Tacoma Art Museum, and Museum of Glass. Stay tuned for details as we get closer to the festival date! Interested Festival Vendors – You can apply starting May 1! 

IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts Exhibition
June 16 through September 11, 2022

See exciting new works by Native artists from our region and beyond during this very special exhibition at the Washington State History Museum. Each work is accompanied by the artist’s statement. Step into the gallery and explore art that relates to a wide variety of themes, presented in a range of mediums including textiles, paintings, carvings, beadwork, mixed media, basketry, and digital works. Vote for your favorites; two People’s Choice Awards will be announced at the end of the exhibition.

Jurors for the 2022 exhibition include:

  • HollyAnna CougarTracks DeCoteau Littlebull (Yakama, Nez Perce, Cayuse, Cree)
  • JD Olney Shellenberger (Yakama)
  • Alyne DeCoteau (Yakama and Cayuse)
The slide show below features the award recipients from the 2022 and 2021 edition of IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts.
  • 2022 Best in Show Award
    PḰȺELWEȽTEN Charles W Bloomfield,
    Pyramid Lake Paiute
    In Remembrance of the Missing and Murdered
    Wool blanket and ink, 87x 67x 6 inches

    “They are our sisters, our mothers, cousins, brothers, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, grandparents, children, our neighbors, teachers, artists, friends. They are our loved ones. They are also missing or are presumed murdered. Some may never be located, that doesn’t stop us from remembering and holding a very dear space in our hearts for them. We long to find them, to bring them home to their people, to their land and to their ancestors so that they may be put to rest in a respectful and good way. We want to know what happened to them and why. We want this horrific practice to end. We need the world to know the horrific statistics on violence towards us as a people, to stop fetishizing our women, to see us as a people who deserve human rights, dignity and respect.”

  • 2022 Spirit of the Northwest Award
    Alison Bremner,
    Through the Smokehole
    Custom dyed wool, 43 x 43 inches

    “The wool was custom dyed to achieve the effect of Raven turning from white to black. In Tlingit mythology, on one of his adventures Raven stole the water to release into the world. As he was escaping, the owner of the water called for the smokehole to close. Raven’s once-white feathers turned black as he shot through with the water. The style of the blanket alludes to Raven’s transformative abilities, as the cloak represents the body, wings and tail of a bird. When worn, the wearer becomes the bird.”

  • Honoring Innovation
    Linley Logan
    , Seneca Nation
    Yo:weo’ Floral Glass Box
    Blown Glass, red cedar, spray paint, and LOVE, 8.25 x 6 x 6 inches

    “I have translated my version of Onondowaga beadwork design concepts to include in my multi-disciplinary artwork. I have created similar designs prior to my NMAI CRC research, but folks are not familiar with my beadwork influenced design approach to my contemporary art applications. My contemporary designs are based on traditional clothing potentially from the early to mid-1800s. I researched these beadwork clothing designs from the Cultural Resource Center at the National Museum of the American Indian through the NMAI Artist Leadership Program award. The NMAI CRC research is to justify what I know, but most folks are unaware of regarding Onondowaga beadwork pattern designs. As a contemporary artist, I create my own design interpretation of our historic beadwork patterns with my contemporary design twist on the original beadwork clothing patterns. The original beadwork designs are very contemporary for their time of creation. Creativity is our tradition.”

  • Honoring the Ancestors
    Terresa White
    , Yup’ik
    Sculpted in plastilene clay, cast in bronze, 16 x 7 inches

    Antidote addresses climate change and lifts up interconnection as an antidote to environmental destruction. It is my hope that we humans become mindful of the interconnected nature of being and begin to respect and honor our relationships with water, land, each other, and the non-human people with whom we share this planet. I aspire to understand and embody this knowledge. I believe this understanding can help our minds heal and can help us make beneficial choices that will lead us to survival.”

  • 2022 Purchase Prize
    Cynthia Masterson, Comanche
    Time Back
    Alder wood and abalone, 18.5 x 12.5 x 8 inches

    “My annoyance at YouTube stealing pieces of life ten seconds at a time sparked this piece. Once underway my thoughts deepened to all the ‘if onlys’ in life. This project grew more heartbreaking when beading while listening to the news of March 2022. I took many long pauses to ruminate on times I could have grabbed moments of grace or given achingly heartfelt farewells. Then, was left to cope with the weight of an impossible wish for a do-over when a single moment could have changed everything.”

  • 2022 Purchase Prize
    Annette Pierre, Kalispel Tribe
    ƛum̓ šinmsči
    Brain tanned hide, hemp, beads, 6 x 4 x 4 inches

    “I draw my inspiration from the many elders, culture bearers, and weavers that have come through my life. They have given me strength and influenced my weavings. I hold close to my heart things made by our people, to remember, to preserve and to keep our traditions alive.”

  • 2022 Purchase Prize
    Carly Feddersen, Colville Confederated Tribes
    Flora Basket
    Hemp, 5.75 x 5 x  5 inches

    “Flora Basket is a twined hemp basket patterned with flowers and animals of the Northwest. It is adorned with the flowers columbine, yellowbell, and bleeding heart. The animals include black-chinned hummingbird, pacific sideband snail, dragonflies, and butterflies.”

  • 2021 Best in Show award
    Ursala Hudson, Tlingit
    We Are the Ocean
    Wool, silk, cedar bark, steel cones, leather, mother of pearl.

    IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts 2021 4
  • 2021 Spirit of the Northwest award
    Heather Johnson-Jock, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe
    Painted Desert Dance Shawl and Skirt
    Painted Desert Dance Woven Top
    Handspun wool yarn and commercial wool blend yarn.

    IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts 2021 5
  • 2021 Honoring Innovation award
    Kathryn Miller, Spokane
    Repurposed zippers, glass beads, shells, acrylic gel
    medium, polyester fabric lining on a form: wire, paper & fabric mache, dry wall compound, acrylic paint.

    IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts 2021 3
  • 2021 Honoring the Ancestors award
    Gilmore Scott, Diné (Navajo) Nation
    Female Storm Dazzler
    Acrylic on wood panel.

    IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts 2021 2
  • 2021 Purchase Prize award
    Lily Hope, Tlingit
    Black Lives Matter ALLIES Armband
    Chilkat weaving techniques on hands-on merino and cedar bark warp, hand-dyed yarns, 7 × 15½ inches.

    IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts 2021 17
  • 2021 People’s Choice award
    Sonia Barry, Aleut
    Acrylic on canvas, 20×16×24 inches.

    IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts 2021 20
  • 2021 People’s Choice award
    Shaun Peterson, Puyallup
    Holding the Door Open
    Mixed media on canvas, 36×36 inches.

    IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts 2021 21
IN THE SPIRIT Arts Market & Northwest Native Festival –  Saturday, August 6, 2022

The IN THE SPIRIT Arts Market & Northwest Native Festival is hosted collaboratively by the Washington State History Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, and Museum of Glass. Enjoy shopping among and talking with artist vendors, listening to Native music, watching dynamic cultural dance, making art, exploring exhibitions, and more.

The 2022 festival is in the planning stages! Festival vendor applications are open; dealine to apply is June 1.

Festival details Vendor Application


NOTE the entry period for the 2022 IN THE SPRIT exhibition has closed and the jury has selected works for the exhibition. This is an annual exhibition, so interested artists can apply next year, look for the application in April 2023.
IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts 2021 6

Selections from the IN THE SPIRIT exhibition, 2021

Call for Entries
IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts
Juried Exhibition
Application deadline: April 4, 2022


General Information

The Washington State History Museum (Washington State Historical Society) is hosting the 17th annual IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts Exhibition. The juried exhibition seeks to highlight both contemporary and traditional visual art forms. We are honored that you have an interest in submitting your work for consideration. Please read the details below, review the application form (button below), and read the Terms and Conditions (see button below to download a PDF). 

Note that the application is via SurveyMonkey form, so you will not be able to save your application and go back to complete it later. For an easier process, we recommend that you review the application form and gather all the necessary information and images before you start filling out the form.



  • HollyAnna CougarTracks DeCoteau Littlebull (Yakama, Nez Perce, Cayuse, Cree)
  • JD Olney Shellenberger (Yakama)
  • Alyne DeCoteau (Yakama and Cayuse)

Exhibition Dates: June 16 – September 11, 2022
Location: Washington State History Museum, Tacoma, McClelland Gallery, 5th floor 

How to Submit

  • An artist may submit up to two individual works for consideration 
  • Submit one image per entered work – if the image is a detail of the work, clearly label the file as “TITLE OF WORK_Detail” 
  • Images must be in a JPEG format, not to exceed 1MB or 1024KB. Larger files will not be accepted and the work will not be considered for the exhibition.  
  • Images submitted must be of the actual completed works.
  • Works that are selected for exhibition must be available to the museum from May 16, 2022 through October 5, 2022 to allow time for installation, display, and de-installation.   

Substitutions will not be permitted for the exhibition: Only the works that have been considered and selected by the jurors may be exhibited. Once a work has been juried into the exhibition, no substitutions may be made. All work submitted for consideration should be the artist’s original concept, design, and interpretation. 

WSHS reserves the right to use photos of the images for marketing, communications, and/or promotion. 

Artwork Size Limitations* 

  • Weight limit for wall mounted objects is 200 pounds 
  • Freestanding objects cannot exceed 500 pounds 
  • Overall dimensions of artwork should not exceed 5 feet in length by 5 feet in width by 5 feet in height.
  • While works exceeding the suggested size limitations will be considered, please note that due to physical constraints within the exhibition gallery space, selected works exceeding the suggested dimensional limits may be restricted.


Eligibility for the exhibition is in compliance with the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-644).  Under the Act, an artist must be a member of a state or federally recognized tribe or be certified as a tribal artisan by a tribe. 

If this is your first time applying for the IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts exhibition: 

  • Provide a copy of your tribal enrollment documentation listing your enrollment number and/or tribal center phone number. 

If you have previously submitted to the exhibition, no tribal enrollment documentation is needed. 

Please read the Terms and Conditions before applying.

Terms and Conditions

Submit your application online by April 4, 2022.  A staff member will contact you upon receipt of your application. 

Jurying and Notification Process

The jury is comprised of qualified Native artists and museum curators who will, together, review all of the works submitted for consideration and make their final selections. Artists’ names will be omitted from the images during the jurying process for blind consideration. 

Notification of selection for the exhibition will be e-mailed to individual artists by May 2, 2022, and posted on the Washington State Historical Society website ( by May 13, 2022. A follow-up notification will be sent to each applicant via e-mail and regular mail. 

Questions about submitting work for consideration?

Contact Gwen Whiting, Lead Curator, at Washington State Historical Society, at or 253.798.5927. 

NOTE: This application process is for the IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts exhibition only. A companion community festival is held in August. IN THE SPIRIT Arts Market & Northwest Native Festival includes an artist vendor market and more. It is a single, day-long event and is held on a Saturday in August, in partnership with the Tacoma Art Museum and the Museum of Glass. The application process for the festival is separate from the exhibition application process. Further details and separate call for participating vendors will be announced during March 2022.

The IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts exhibition jury is comprised of qualified Native artists and museum curators who will review all of the works submitted for consideration and make final selections to be included in the exhibition.  

We are grateful to these visual arts professionals for jurying the 2022 exhibition:

  • HollyAnna CougarTracks DeCoteau Littlebull, Yakama, Nez Perce, Cayuse, Cree
  • JD Olney Shellenberger, Yakama
  • Alyne DeCoteau, Yakama and Cayuse
The IN THE SPIRIT Advisory Committee provides guidance and collaboration throughout the year in support of both the exhibition and the festival.

Our sincere thanks to the members of the Advisory Committee:

  • Charles W. Bloomfield, Pyramid Lake Paiute, Saanich, Lummi
    Longtime IN THE SPIRIT artist and award winner, previous exhibition juror and educator
  • Todd Clark, Wailaki
    UW Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies
  • Linley B. Logan, Seneca
    Evergreen Longhouse and longtime IN THE SPIRIT artist and advisor
  • Tisa Matheson, Nimiipuu
    American Indian Collections Specialist at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture
  • Alexander McCarty, Makah
    Evergreen State College instructor, Evergreen Longhouse, and artist
  • Dr. Danica Miller, Puyallup
    University of Washington Tacoma, Associate Professor of American Indian Studies and Co-Director of the UW Center of American Indian and Indigenous Studies