The Hood's Jami Powell to Receive Arts Leadership Award

Posted on February 03, 2020  by Charlotte Albright

The associate curator for Native American Art is one of four awardees nationwide.

Jami Powell, associate curator for Native American Art at the Hood Museum of Art, will receive an Arts Leadership Award from ArtTable, a professional organization dedicated to advancing the leadership of women in the visual arts.

"We are privileged to recognize such an outstanding group of women as we look to ArtTable's future during our 40th anniversary year. We look forward to their contributions and achievements during this pivotal time for women," says ArtTable's executive director, Jessica Porter.

Powell says she is thrilled by the recognition, not just for herself, but also for the Hood's growing collection of Indigenous art.

"As a citizen of the Osage Nation who grew up with a father in the Navy, I spent my childhood years moving constantly, but always spending part of the summer in Oklahoma with my Osage family," she says. "I have always loved museums, and spent a lot of time as a kid visiting different museums in all of the places we lived. One thing that always disappointed me, however, were the ways that Indigenous peoples were represented within museum spaces. What I saw in the dioramas and on the mannequins at these institutions were not reflective of my Osage family or any Indigenous people I knew. From an early age, I knew that if I wanted to make a change within these spaces, I was going to need to be the person in charge of presenting this information."

Powell is the Hood's first associate curator of Native American art, and was recently appointed a lecturer in Native American studies. A citizen of the Osage Nation, she holds a PhD in anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research examines representations of Indigenous peoples in museums as well as the interventions contemporary Indigenous artists make through creative acts of self-representation. She is working on a book, Stitching an Osage Future: Aesthetic Resistance and Self-Representation.

With fellow awardees Wassan A-Khudhairi (Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, Mo.); Erin Christovale (Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Calif.); and Lauren Hayes (Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Ark.); Powell will be honored at an ArtTable anniversary reception in Los Angeles. The awards will be presented a ceremony in New York City on April 24.

Charlotte Albright can be reached at [email protected].