Native American Artist Luzene Hill Talks About Her New Exhibit

Luzene Hill drawing of crossed legs
Luzene Hill’s new exhibit “Now That the Gates of Hell Are Closed” is on display at the Different Trains Gallery. CREDIT LUZENE HILL

Atlanta-based contemporary artist Luzene Hill, known for her conceptual installations focusing on issues that relate to Native American women, is a member of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee tribe.

Her latest exhibit, “Now That the Gates of Hell Are Closed,” is currently on display at Different Trains Gallery in Decatur.

The exhibit is a response to contemporary male-dictated hierarchies and female sexuality.

Hill sat down with “City Lights” last week, and she began by describing how she has seen Native American artwork evolve from romanticized portrayals to more contemporary works of indigenous people.

“I’ve seen it change pretty rapidly in the past 10 years. I generally do abstract and conceptual work and wasn’t certain on portraying Native American topics because people expect those iconographic images, such as Indians on ponies in front of the sunset, and that’s not the kind of work I do,” Hill said. “But since seeing it change over the years, I feel more comfortable doing the work that I do, which is conceptual work formed by early indigenous culture (pre-contact culture). I feel that our work is being more readily accepted both in Native American venues and also in mainstream museums and galleries.”

Her exhibit is on display at the Different Trains Gallery in Decatur through Dec. 20. There will also be an artist talk Dec. 7 at the gallery.

This story was originally published with audio on WABE.org.

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