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Vibeka Turquoise Mitchell, Navajo Life, 2012, monotype, 51 x 41 cm

FLYING: a trans-national cross-cultural print exchange

Wed 2 Apr - Thu 1 May 2014

This exhibition emerged from a 2013 residency at the Gippsland Centre for Art and Design by Navajo artist Professor Melanie Yazzie from Colorado University.

A collaborative print exchange was organised to bring together American and Australian printmakers, both indigenous and non-indigenous and to exhibit the results at both universities.

It included the work of local Aboriginal artists, Inupiaq artists from Alaska, Navajo printmakers from Arizona and New Mexico and Menominee artists from Washington state.

Prints are a portable and multiple form, which lends itself flying - Melanieto exchanges across great distance and across cultures. The artists shared their culture and what is important to them in their imagery. Viewers will see great commonalities in what they hold precious.

The USA prints included in the exhibition were created by the Wakanyeja Early Childhood Education Initiative partners and tribal college grantee teams from Alaska, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Washington in the United States.

The focus of the Wakanyeja ECE initiative is to strengthen early childhood learning opportunities from birth to adulthood for Native children and families. Wakanyeja means "Sacred Little Ones" in the Lakota language.

The children, the sacred little ones, are the centre of the work administered by the American Indian College Fund, and implemented by four tribal colleges and universities in the United States.

Funding was provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

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