Indigenous Film & Arts Festival Panel - Indigenizing Museums
From Sarah Carlson on August 18th, 2021
Halena Kapuni-Reynolds was born on Hawaiʻi Island and raised in the Hawaiian homestead community of Keaukaha and the upper rain forest of ‘Ōla‘a. He received a B.A. in Anthropology and Hawaiian Studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo in 2013 and an M.A. in anthropology with a focus in Museum and Heritage Studies from the University of Denver in 2015. He is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of American Studies and the Museum Studies Graduate Certificate Program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. For his dissertation, he plans to write a critical place-based history of Keaukaha.
Gregg Deal is a husband, father, member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, artist and activist. As a provocative contemporary artist-activist, much of Deal’s work centers around Indigenous identity and pop culture, touching on issues of race relations, historical consideration and stereotype. With this work—including paintings, mural work, and performance art—Deal critically examines issues within Indian country such as decolonization, stereotype and appropriation.
Deal grew up in Utah and was primarily self taught in art. Having gravitated towards graffiti, Deal spent a significant amount of time honing his craft as a graffiti artist through the 90’s. Upon meeting his wife, Deal went to college in the Washington, DC area and focused his craft in fine art. When Deal completed his studies, he worked for the National Museum of American Indians during its inaugural year, won a mentorship with indigenous performance artist James Luna, and struck out on his own to pursue the arts full time. Amidst this time, Deal worked as an advocate for change of the Washington Football Team name and finished his first major performance piece, “The Last American Indian On Earth”, gaining notoriety and ground as an up-and-coming artist.
After living in the Washington DC area for 17 years, Deal moved his family to Colorado, coinciding with his Native Artist In Residence at the Denver Art Museum. Deal continues to work on various issues while pushing his craft in both painting, mural and performative work; speaking in various places around the country; participating in shows; advocating for various issues affecting Indigenous people; and constantly pushing for critical thought and historical consideration for contemporary Indigenous art.
Most recently, a photograph of Deal was included in the 12.2018 National Geographic Society Magazine article “Native Americans are recasting views of indigenous life”, has been Native Arts Artist-in-Residence at the Denver Art Museum in 2015-2016, and 2017 and Artist In Residence at UC Berkeley for the 2017-2018 school year. His art has been exhibited nationally since 2002. Deal has lectured widely at prominent educational institutions and museums, including: Denver Art Museum, Denver, C.O.; Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H.; Columbia University, New York City, N.Y.; Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, D.C. His television appearances have included PBS’s The Art District, “The Daily Show”.
Dr. Christina Kreps
Christina Kreps is Professor of Anthropology, Director of Museum and Heritage Studies, and University of Denver Museum of Anthropology. She specializes in the study of museums and local and community-based museology cross-culturally and internationally.
Jeanne Rubin serves as General Counsel and Film Festival Director for the International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management. She has directed the Indigenous Film & Arts Festival since its inception in 2004. Rubin has been working in Indian affairs since 1978 in numerous capacities, from federal government service to private practice.
Jessa Fox Phillips is the Adult Programs Coordinator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Sociology from Iowa State University. Jessa has over 13 years of experience in program development and event production and 20 years of experience in the museum field.
Kimberly Varilek is an Eastern Shoshone tribal member and is currently the Tribal Affairs Branch Chief with a federal agency’s Regional Office here in Denver. Kimberly previously served as the Attorney General for the Eastern Shoshone Tribe for over 7 years, and is a University of Denver College of Law Alumni. In her current role, Kimberly advises regional leadership and staff in all facets of regional and national agency tribal policy, consultation, and capacity building for their work with 28 tribal nations. As Attorney General, Kimberly provided tribal government legal representation, which included jurisdictional and civil litigation, tribal law and policy development, transactional and administrative law issues, and tribal enterprise representation. Kimberly is a former Chair and current Commissioner with the Denver American Indian Commission. She lives in Denver, Colorado, and spend time with friends and family located between Wyoming, South Dakota and New Mexico.
Martha Cerny is co-director and curator at the Museum Cerny.contemporary circumpolar art in Bern, Switzerland, the only museum on the European continent to focus on contemporary circumpolar art. She holds a MAS in Curating from the Zurich University of the Arts. Since 1995 she has been working with Canadian Inuit art and artists and since 1998 with artists from other circumpolar regions. Besides providing a platform for the voices from the Arctic at the museum in Bern, she has curated multiple national and international exhibitions, in collaboration with different institutions. such as at the United Nations in Geneva, the State Museum of Oriental Art in Moscow, Shemanovsky Museum in Salekhard, Yamalo-Nenets AO both in Russia, Musée océanographique in Monaco, Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik, Iceland, Arctic Frontiers Conference in Tromsø, Norway, National Museum in Gothenburg, Sweden, as well as, facilitating artists’ participation at various international venues. She is a member of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), one of the founders of the Network of Swiss Museums with Arctic Collections (NASC) and a member of the Northern Art Network.
moderated by Mervyn Tano
Mervyn L. Tano is an attorney and since 1997, the president of the International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management, a law and policy research institution. Mr. Tano has worked with Indian tribes and organizations for over 40 years with stints as the director of planning and budget at the Administration for Native Americans and as general counsel and director of environmental programs at the Council of Energy Resource Tribes. He is adjunct faculty at the Haskell Indian Nations University. He was a member of several national advisory boards including EPA’s Federal Facilities Environmental Restoration Dialogue Committee, the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, DOE Office of Science and Technology’s Community Leaders Network, and several committees of the National Academy of Public Administration and the National Research Council. Mr. Tano has written and taught extensively on indigenous peoples’ law and policy issues related to climate, risk, cultural resources, heritage management, environmental justice, food and agriculture, and science and technology policy.