Woven Being: Indigenous Art Histories of Chicagoland (working title) : Block Museum - Northwestern University
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Woven Being: Indigenous Art Histories of Chicagoland (working title)

Lake at sunrise
January 24-July 13, 2025
Main & Alsdorf Galleries
Ininwwewi-gichigami, also known today as Lake Michigan, as seen from the lakefront near the Block Museum (Kathleen Bickford Berzock, 2021)

We are forming the exhibition Woven Being: Indigenous Art in Chicagoland (working title) through Indigenous curatorial methodologies that prioritize collaboration, reciprocity, and sustained dialogue with an expanding, intergenerational community of Indigenous knowledge sharers and non-Indigenous allies. Woven Being will speak to the interwovenness of Indigenous art, materials, and time in the Chicago region. Artworks will engage themes including kinship between materials; relations across regional water and land ways; and the weaving together of past, present, and future.  

Project development is led by a team including Jordan Poorman Cocker ([Gáuigú (Kiowa)), Terra Foundation Guest Co-Curator); Lois Taylor Biggs (Cherokee Nation and White Earth Ojibwe, Terra Foundation Curatorial Research Fellow); Kathleen Bickford Berzock (Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs); Janet Dees (Steven and Lisa Munster Tananbum Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art); and Erin Northington (Susan and Stephen Wilson Associate Director, Campus and Community Education and Engagement). We are grateful for the participation of Indigenous artists, activists, community leaders, scholars, and non-Indigenous allies who are contributing to the exhibition process and to Woven Being’s presentation at Northwestern University. This description will be updated as the project advances.

For more information about Native American and Indigenous research at Northwestern University visit Center for Native American and Indigenous Research (CNAIR)

Exhibition dates subject to change.  Exhbition will run late January to mid-July 2025.

Woven Being is made possible through support from the Terra Foundation for American Art.  


In the collaborative spirit of this project, we offer here a selected list of published resources that are guiding our process. We will add resources as our work continues:

About Art Design Chicago

Art Design Chicago is a platform for collaboration and collective action to explore and elevate Chicago’s rich visual art and design histories and creative communities. The project is intended to build new understandings of the city through art and design, and to strengthen vital connections between its cultural organizations, creatives, and communities.

Developed by the Terra Foundation for American Art in partnership with cultural leaders from across the city, this initiative celebrates the diverse individuals, groups, and movements that have made and continue to make Chicago a distinctive hub for creative innovation.

Art Design Chicago 2024 examines the confluence of cultures and ideas that have shaped the city’s art worlds and reveals how the city’s culture has been formed by migrations: of peoples across geographies, of ideas across disciplines, and of influences across time. The initiative explores how this flow and influx of people and ideas have altered creative practices or generated new ones and have furthered the development of networks whose contributions to the history of art and design have been significant.


Project Stories