The Story of Land, Water, and People exhibition opening at ‘Uba Seo | News

The Story of Land, Water, and People, will be the 6th exhibit showing at ‘Uba Seo: Nisenan Arts and Culture in downtown Nevada City. The Gallery and Culture space serves as a strong focal point for raising visibility and telling the stories of the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe. This exhibit is part of California Heritage: Indigenous Research Project (CHIRP)’s Visibility Through Art (VTA) initiative; by coordinating collaborations among artists and Tribal Culture bearers to increase public awareness and engage the public related to social justice, through the lens of environment-related issues including, land, water, and people. This exhibit is funded in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency, through the Upstate California Creative Corps program, administered by Nevada County Arts Council.

Visibility Through Art is a community art initiative produced annually as part of CHIRP’s Arts & Culture Program. Visibility Through Art is an intentional and informed collaboration between local artists and members of the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe. Each project year explores a theme or subject of importance to the Tribe, culminating in an annual exhibit. Art opens the way for meaningful conversations around topics that can reveal solutions that may otherwise remain unseen. The Nisenan people are working to revitalize their Culture and traditions after the intense erasure of colonization and the California gold rush. Many traditional lifeways and ecosystems were completely disrupted by exploitation and modernization. The once intimate, traditional, and intuitive connection and understanding of the land was forever altered. Current revitalization efforts for earth-based traditional Nisenan Culture are made nearly impossible by the compounded layers of deracination, historic and generational trauma caused by genocide, removal from sacred lands, the forced assimilation of Indian boarding schools, outlawing of traditional and religious practices, and the prohibition of Native Language and Culture. Through creative and artistic means, the Nisenan are gathering and re-weaving the remaining traditional Indigenous knowledge to process the complex layers of trauma, bring visibility to their stories, history, and Culture, and to envision a path forward in a forever-changed landscape.

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