Kenkeleba house and the Wilmer Jennings gallery


Press Releases 

Recovering Memories: Vernacular Photography from the historical Native American Brooklyn neighborhoods and Contemporary Photography from the New York Movement of Contemporary Native American Art


From May 6 to July 7, 2018, the Wilmer Jennings Gallery at Kenkeleba, will present a photography's exhibition that reveals life within the historical Native American neighborhoods of Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill sections of Brooklyn during the 1940's -1960's. It will in effect recover memories of a time and place that has disappeared. The exhibition os curated by David Martine (Nednai-Chiricahua Apache/Shinnecock/Montauk). The photography exhibition coincides with the Muriel Miguel (Kuna/Rappahannock) production at Spiderwoman Theater of the play Fear of Oatmeal, produced by AMERINDA Inc.

Through vernacular photography and ephemera this Brooklyn community of Native families from many nations in the US and Canada who made New York City home — including high steel workers, stage performers, actors, artisans and craftsmen — will be honored. The exhibition will document and commemorate a place and time critical to the understanding of the origins of contemporary Native American community in New York City. The vernacular images and historical ephemera are courtesy of Muriel Miguel; Louis Mofsie (Hopi/Winnebago.) and David Martine.

By sharing their work based on the urban New York Native community, personal visions and political issues utilizing classical and modernist vocabularies, contemporary photographers, Pena Bonita (Mescalero Apache/Seminole) and Maria Hupfield (Anishnaabe-Ojibway) are presenting work that signifies the continued growth of that original community. Exploring by critical engagement purely esthetic and design issues in their photographic practice, they also focus on political, cultural and historic matters of concern. Through their use of irony, humor, satire, and sarcasm, they honor Native American contemporary life and society by asserting their unique visions.


Kenkeleba programs are made possible, in part, by public funds from the City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and many generous friends.
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Corrine Jennings