From Oct. 9 to Nov. 30, the university community can experience a deeper understanding and appreciation for Indigenous art, traditions, and storytelling by visiting the Exist, Express, Embrace—Beyond Indigenous Peoples’ Day gallery walk at 2nd level in the Union.
This collaborative effort by Student Affairs, the American Indian Resource Center and the College of Fine Arts is more than just an exhibition; it’s an opportunity to inspire our university community to recognize and advocate for Indigenous communities beyond commemorative holidays like Indigenous Peoples Day and Native American History Month.
The gallery is a showcase of remarkable talents, featuring works from artists like Mer Young and Micheal Langan, along with our very own University of Utah students, to create an immersive and enlightening experience that celebrates Indigenous communities through their artistic expressions.
MEET THE STUDENT ARTISTS:
Precious Harrison (Dine – Navajo):
Precious Harrison, originally from the Navajo Nation in New Mexico, is a student at the U, studying medical laboratory science. Her journey into the world of art began with film photography, where she discovered the beauty of capturing cultural and Indigenous elements through her lens. Harrison has a passion for using film photography to celebrate her Navajo culture and other Indigenous cultures.
Deana Mitchell (Navajo Nation):
Deana Mitchell is an undergraduate student studying health and kinesiology at the U. She is deeply involved in promoting BIPOC student belonging and cultural heritage. As an intern for the athletics department, Mitchell assists with sports medicine development for the Utes football team. She also serves as a liaison for the U of U Intertribal Student Association group, is a committee member for the annual U of U Powwow, and is also a member of the inaugural CIRCLE program. Mitchell’s dedication was crowned as Miss American Indian Women Scholar 2023-2024, where she represented Indigenous students and actively fostered cultural awareness and student engagement.
Anisha Marion-Pasaghesic (First Nation Aniishinaabe; First Nation Abenaki):
Anisha Marion-Pasaghesic is a second-year Ph.D. student studying clinical psychology at the U. Marion-Pasaghesic recalls her father’s stories, which depict the traumatic experiences her family endured while attending residential schools that were committed to erasing their Indigenous traditions. In her art, Anisha commemorates this heritage and the enduring traditions by grounding her work in the rich history of Indigenous cultures, serving as a testament to the spirit of her ancestors.
Learn more about the featured Indigenous artists and check out the Virtual Gallery Walk here.