The DMA's new "Hopi Visions: Journey of the Human Spirit" exhibit features a beautiful six-panel mural painting by artists Michael Kabotie and Delbridge Honnie that narrates the history of the Hopi people, a Native American tribe primarily located in northeastern Arizona. The work illustrates the tribe's mythic emergence to the rebirth of Hopi traditions into the information age. Also on display are ceramic vessels, modern kachina dolls and other works of art by contemporary Hopi artists. It is a cultural experience with a universal story.
I sat down with exhibition curator, Dr. Kimberly L. Jones, to get the inside scoop on the exhibit, what makes the DMA special and upcoming events the museum has this year.
AT: Tell me about the Hopi exhibit and what makes it unique?
KJ: It's a wonderful opportunity to feature a mural that was created by two Hopi artists in 2001 as a collaboration at the Museum of Northern Arizona. It's never been shown outside of the museum in Arizona and it's the first time it's traveled, so it's a wonderful opportunity to feature this mural in a new space with new materials in the DMA collection.
AT: What can people expect to walk away with after seeing the exhibit?
KJ: Well, I hope people walk away with an appreciation for what the artists themselves wanted to convey about their vision of Hopi that they put into the mural. This view of Hopi from its beginning to the modern age and their desire to share that with others outside of their immediate community.
AT: What makes the DMA different than other art museums?
KJ: Well especially for the North Texas region, the DMA is really the only, what we call, an encyclopedic museum, meaning it covers cultures from around the world and the materials of the museum spans 5,000 years of human history and human creativity. So, it's a wonderful and unique opportunity in the region to view these materials from all over the globe.
AT: What does the museum offer to "non-artsy" people?
KJ: I think there's so many things that people can come to the museum to enjoy. Both coming to fall in love with a work of art, but also being able to enjoy our public programs. Our education and public programming team are fabulous, and they develop programs like public lectures and talks for a range of interests. There's plenty of opportunities for people to come and do hands-on activities, come and listen to speakers and really enjoy the museum beyond just the galleries and the art itself.
AT: How does the DMA make art accessible to everyone?
KJ: Well for one and probably the most valuable element is that it's free general admission, so anyone can come in at any time. Especially people living in the region, you don't have to schedule a whole day to visit – you can come for half an hour and come back and fall in love with a new piece every time you visit the museum.
AT: Is there any special programming or events coming up this year that visitors should know about?
KJ: For the Hopi exhibition, there's going to be a public talk provided by one of the artists featured in the exhibition, Ed Kabotie, and the Museum of Northern Arizona Curator, Dr. Kelley Hays-Gilpin, who are going to speak on Feb. 22 about the show and the materials in the show. And then of course every third Friday of every month is Late Nights with plenty of events that are offered for a variety of interests to the public.
The "Hopi Visions: Journey of the Human Spirit" exhibit is on display through Dec. 2, 2018 and you can see it for free! Check out the DMA's full calendar of events to see everything the museum has to offer.
Header photo credit: The Dallas Museum of Art