Aboriginal Art in the US


Embassy of Australia, Washington, D.C.

Saltwater Country
October 15 – December 17, 2014

Saltwater Country is a major exhibition project that presents new work by 16 contemporary Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to audiences, touring internationally and nationally. The term ‘country’ has come to be understood as an all-encompassing word in English to explain the intrinsic nature of Aboriginal culture and creative expression as a reflection of the connectedness to land and place of birth. What is less understood is the equally strong cultural connectedness to the sea and water’s edge.

Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV

The Paruku Project: Art & Science in Aboriginal Australia
June 21 – December 7, 2014

Paruku is the region in Australia’s Western Desert that surrounds the inland body of water known to settlers as Lake Gregory. The local Aboriginal people — approximately 150 men and women who are referred to as the “Traditional Owners” of Paruku — live in the nearby settlement of Mulan. The unique cultural and environmental values of Paruku led the Australian government to declare it an Indigenous Protected Area, or IPA, in 2001.

The Paruku Project was a two-year effort consisting of teams of scientists, artists, and writers working in this Aboriginal desert community, one of the poorest and most remote in Australia. The first task of the teams was to assess current conditions. They found an environment severely stressed by invasive species and a culture slowly losing its identity. The second task was to design and implement cross-cultural and transformational responses to these conditions, many of which involved artmaking.

Booker Lowe Gallery, Houston, TX

Early Paintings by Australia’s Papunya Tula Artists
Through February 28, 2015

Exhibition highlights include a group of paintings by prominent artists from the Papunya settlement, where the contemporary Aboriginal Art movement began in the 1970s, as well as other works from Australia’s central and western deserts. Eleven large paintings from the 1980s, some by original members of the Papunya Tula artists’ cooperative, are from a private collection and were acquired by Professor Liam Leightley when he lived and worked in Australia. In addition to the early paintings, Booker-Lowe has added new and colorful paintings by the Warlpiri artists of Yuendumu in a full range of sizes and prices.

Harvey Art Projects, Ketchum, ID

Ninuku Arts
Through December 18, 2014

This is an excerpt of works from Ninuku Arts, a wholly-Indigenous owned and governed Art Center which supports artists from two communities, Pipalyatjara and Kalka, located in the far north-western corner of South Australia, near the tri-state border of South Australia, Western Australia and Northern Territory. Both Kalka and Pipalyatjara are peaceful places. This is a result of strong governance, cultural engagement and pride among local Anangu. Despite being the most remote art center on the APY Lands, having limited working space and access to services, Ninuku Arts has continued to grow in success with each year. The artist’s commitment to both the art center and painting is unflappable. The art center prides itself on its inclusivity (providing opportunities for all generations) and embracing individuality in artists.


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The Kelton Foundation
Founded in 1983, the Kelton Foundation promotes the stewardship, enhancement and understanding of art, maritime history and man’s relationship with the sea through its collections of maritime art, navigational instruments, China Trade art and objects, Pacific ethnographic materials, Australian Aboriginal art and other fine and ethnographic art related to these fields.