Visibility Through Art- Celebrating the Nisenan Through Art

California Heritage Indigenous Research Project, known as CHIRP, and  Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan have created a project, Visibility Through Art, that is using art to open the door of our hearts and the windows of our imagination to bring awareness about the people who lived and thrived in Nevada County for the last 2,500 years before the Gold Rush. Viewing this art is an opportunity to connect with the endangered culture of our local indigenous tribe, the Nisenan, and the ancestors inside of each of us.

Visibility Through Art includes two installations on Broad Street and an art show at the Akashic Gallery, Searls Avenue, during the Wild and Scenic Festival. The artworks have been created in collaboration with Shelly Covert, Spokesperson for Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan. Both Broad Street installations are by public artist, Jenny Hale, and the Akashic Gallery Show features many local artists but the themes all focus on our native peoples.

I Am Still Here by Jenny Hale

Jenny’s first installation, “I Am Still Here” is a photo collage of a Nisenan man dancing over an engraving of Nevada City in 1856.  He turns his back on the town that has displaced him. This painting can be seen in Asylum Down’s window at 300 Broad St., NC through Feb 17, 2019.

Jenny’s second installation, “Guardians of the Dance” installed in the Broad St. windows of Oustomah Lodge features images of four archetypical Nisenan woman dancing. As they dance, they look down on us as we stand on Broad Street and remind us of the people who lived in Nevada County for 2,500 years but who now face extinction.  This installation can be seen in the upstairs backlit windows of 223 1/2 Broad from now through Feb 17, 2019.

This project was made possible by a grant from the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce.