“The Woman Who Sings to Birds,” by Terry Howard

Through Our Own Eyes: A Native American Youth Art Exhibition

Through Our Own Eyes is a temporary exhibit that features paintings by Native American students from Owyhee Combined School, located in the Duck Valley Indian Reservation, Owyhee, Nevada.

The Duck Valley Indian Reservation is in both Nevada and Idaho, and is occupied by descendants of the Western Shoshone and Northern Paiute tribes.

“Through Our Own Eyes:  A Native American Youth Art Exhibition” opened on July 1 and will run through October. The exhibit includes 49 paintings by Owyhee junior high and high school students.

“The exhibit allows students to present their artwork in a gallery setting, and shown to the world. The title of the exhibit is, ‘Through Our Own Eyes,’ because students see the world around them differently than you and I,” said Kit Julianto, art teacher at Owyhee. “In this exhibit, students were able to express what they were feeling.”

Many of the students included artist statements with their artwork. Terry Howard created the painting, “The Woman Who Sings to Birds.” Howard attached the following statement with his painting: “The cross that the woman holds in her right hand with the sage bundle depicts the relationship between the Christian and Native American religions. The woman is looking at a fiery sky, which symbolizes the resilience of the Native American people.”

Julianto worked closely with California Trail Interpretive Center staff to create the exhibit.

“There is a tremendous amount of talent and creativity at Owyhee Combined School,” said Supervisory Park Ranger Alex Rose. “The exhibit includes many provocative artist statements. The paintings, combined with the statements, allow the artists the opportunity to interpret their culture, experiences and insights through both paint and words.”

Most of the paintings are for sale through the Southern Nevada Conservancy, a Trail Center partner.