Photo: Installation view of Elk Dogs, photo courtesy of MAM.

Elk Dogs

October 8 2008 - March 1 2009

This exhibition is focused on contemporary horse imagery created by contemporary American Indian artists. The exhibition will feature invited artists Damian Charette (Crow), David Dragonfly (Blackfeet), Jeneese Hilton (Blackfeet) and Jay Laber (Blackfeet), as well as selected works from MAM's Contemporary American Indian Art Collection including Susan Stewart (Crow), and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (Salish-Kootenai, Shoshone-Bannock, Metis-Cree). The exhibition will also accentuate the recently published book by The Nicolaysen Art Museum, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith's She Paints The Horse, which is available in the MAM bookstore.

The name "Elk Dog" comes from well-documented references originating in many Indian languages. The term Elk Dog was widespread through the Native American population as noted in the Lewis and Clark journals. The term seems to be a logical combination of the traits of the two animals. The horse was the size of an elk but used for carrying goods as well — a role dogs also fulfilled in the Native American culture.

Among the works included in the exhibit were the following:

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Horse Sense

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Winds of Change

Susan Stewart, Untitled ( from Red Elk Dog series )