An exhibit featuring the work of six artists from the Northern Arapaho Artists Society and the Creative Indigenous Collective is currently on display at the Wyoming State Museum.

The exhibit, We Were. We Are., features the works of Bruce Cook and Robert Martinez, from Riverton, Wyo.; Lauren Monroe, Ben Pease, and John I Pepion, from Montana; and Louis Still Smoking, from South Dakota.

Born out of a lack of exhibition opportunities for Native artists in Wyoming, the Northern Arapaho Artists Society has arranged 3-4 exhibitions of Native artwork per year since 2012.

A group of friends formed the Creative Indigenous Collective in 2016. Their work deals with contemporary Native perspectives on politics, society, history, and culture.

Curator Robert Martinez, of Riverton, Wyoming, is a founding member of both groups.

The artists in this exhibition have shown internationally and extensively throughout the American West, and their work is held in many collections, including the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

We Were. We Are. is the first exhibition of contemporary Native art at the Wyoming State Museum.

A Meet the Artists event will be held at the museum on July 13 from 5-7 p.m., with a panel discussion to follow.

This panel is funded in part by a grant from Wyoming Humanities and will be moderated by Dr. Caskey Russell, director of the American Indian Studies Program at the University of Wyoming.

A full-color exhibit catalog featuring all the works in the show, available in July, is made possible by a generous gift from Clay Paper Scissors Gallery and Studio.

The Meet the Artists event is sponsored by Danielmark’s Brewery of Cheyenne.

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