Daily Art Moment: Marcus Amerman

The Gathering, Marcus Amerman, 10 1/8 x 17 inches, glass beads on cotton cloth. A horizontal, rectangular work depicting a grouping of individuals on horseback arranged in a line in front of the Portland skyline with Mt. Hood in the distance. The grouping takes up the lower half of the work. They are shown on a patch of pale green grass wearing white feather headdresses and finery in blues, brick red, white and yellow. Their brown and white horses are adorned in similar colors. Just behind the group on the left are 2 brown tipis. The cityscape in the middle ground is composed of geometric buildings beaded in gray, white and black set against the blue and white mountains and blue sky in the upper half.

For #NativeAmericanHeritageDay, it seemed a most appropriate choice to feature this celebratory work by Marcus Amerman (American and Choctaw, b.1959), titled, The Gathering (1997). In this completely beaded panel, the artist has depicted a group of Native American riders, bedecked in their finery, including feather headdresses and beaded horse gear, standing proudly against a Portland cityscape. It is an idyllic, brilliant sunny day with Mount Hood’s snowcapped peak gleaming in the distance and the distinctive buildings in Portland’s downtown neighborhood rising in the middle distance. Although Amerman was inspired by a historic photograph of Nez Perce Chiefs on the Umatilla reservation, the work is a tribute to the continued presence and vitality of all of the Native people of Oregon.

Kathleen Ash-Milby, Curator of Native American Art

Marcus Amerman (American and Choctaw, born 1959). The Gathering, 1997. Glass beads on cotton cloth. Museum Purchase: Caroline Ladd Pratt Fund, 1999.7 © artist or other rights holder.

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