The exhibition of traditional and contemporary Native art is presented by ‘Tis and the Museum of Indigenous People with additional funding from the City of Prescott and the Prescott Area Arts and Humanities Council

“Journeys in Spirit” is an annual exhibition to give Native artists the opportunity to show and sell their work within the fine art gallery setting of the ‘Tis Art Center and Gallery.

‘Tis created the event more than eleven years ago, bringing in accomplished Hopi artist Filmer Kewanyama to produce and curate the first show, which ran from Memorial Day weekend through mid-June in 2011. He is still at the helm and has since become a member of the ‘Tis Board of Directors.

What started as a simple show with Hopi art has now become a month-long exhibition that integrates visual, music, dance, and storytelling arts by Native artists with various tribal affiliations and cultures.

The artists come from varied backgrounds; Quechan Hopi, Cherokee, Dine’, Yaqui, Choctaw, Muskogee Creek, Yavapai, Aamjiwnaang Ojibwe First Nations, Apache, Hopi, and Yaqui- Comanche. Some live within their tribal communities, some live outside, and some divide time between the two. And there are others who have been disconnected from their Native roots and are seeking knowledge of their ancestral history, customs, and belief systems.

The styles, mediums, and topics of the work are vast.  Many of the artists work in the traditional mediums of bead working, basketry, katsina carving, weaving, and metalsmithing, some of which are integrated into the crafting of tools, accessories, and ceremonial attire. Others work in the more contemporary mediums of painting and mixed media.

In 2013, ‘Tis teamed up with the Museum of Indigenous People and invited the Buffalo Dancers of the Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico to perform for a day in the main gallery. Dance has since become part of the exhibition; Tony Duncan, a world champion hoop dancer, has performed with his family, and the Polequaptewa dance group from Hopi will perform in 2023.

Since its inception, the scale and purpose of the exhibition has turned into something far greater than any of the organizers expected. Not only does it provide income and exposure for the artists, but also it has become a multifaceted educational experience for everyone involved.

Many of the artists are emerging, while others have extensive experience in the art world. Together they learn from, mentor, and establish intertribal and cross-cultural relationships.

The event also provides the public with a greater understanding and respect for Native people. The personal interactions with the artists and their art give visitors insight into each artist’s creative mindset and unique cultural background.

The arts play an integral role In Native society. Color and imagery have symbolic meaning. Music and dance are an essential part of social and ceremonial gatherings. And storytelling, the oldest of all the arts, is what keeps cultural history and sacred beliefs alive.

The ’Tis Art Center and Gallery is located at 105 S. Cortez Street in Prescott. For more information about “Journeys in Spirit,” visit