The rights of indigenous peoples are highlighted in photo exhibition

The Lowe Art Museum will kick off the New Year with “Dignity: Tribes in Transition,” a stunning exhibition featuring photographs of indigenous peoples by internationally acclaimed artist Dana Gluckstein.

Through 60 intimate black and white portraits spanning three decades, Gluckstein captures the fleeting moment in time when traditional and contemporary cultures collide, and masterfully distills the universality of the human experience while never sacrificing the dignity of the individual.

The exhibition opens at the Lowe Art Museum on Thursday, Jan. 25, with a Members’ Preview Reception with the artist at 6 p.m., followed by a public lecture and reception with Gluckstein (7-9 p.m.; ticketed general admission).

Copies of the artist’s book, Dignity: In Honor of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, will be available for purchase at the event. The exhibition will be on view through Apr. 22.

Incorporating the perspectives of Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan, Onondaga Nation, Dignity invites visitors to explore issues such as diversity, social justice, environmental stewardship and our global interconnectedness.

“The indigenous peoples of the world have a gift to give that the world needs desperately, this reminder that we are made for harmony, for interdependence. If we are ever truly to prosper, it will be only together,” Tutu said.

“It’s my sincere wish that Dignity will serve as a call to action in support of all indigenous peoples,” Gluckstein said of the exhibit, which was featured at the United Nations in Geneva in 2011 and at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2013.

The art exhibition has traveled the world in support of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The nonbinding declaration, initially opposed by the Bush Administration but adopted by President Barack Obama in 2010, recognizes the institutions, cultures and traditions of indigenous peoples as well as their rights to self-determination and freedom from discrimination.

Gluckstein’s Dignity advocacy campaign, in association with Amnesty International, helped create the tipping point for the U.S. adoption of the declaration.

“This stunning collection of portraits asks us to deeply examine the challenges and possibilities facing indigenous peoples across the globe, and to consider how fundamentally connected we all are. Dignity is an especially relevant exhibition at this time in our country” said Jill Deupi, Beaux Arts director and chief curator for the Lowe.

The Los Angeles-based Gluckstein points to her Jewish heritage as part of the inspiration for Dignity.

“I grew up in the Jewish ‘tribe,’ steeped in knowledge of the Holocaust. At our Passover table, I listened to those who recounted their own journey to freedom from the concentration camps. These experiences engendered a deep affinity for other cultures facing oppression, erasure and renaissance.”

The Lowe Art Museum (www.miami.edu/lowe) is located on the campus of the University of Miami at 1301 Stanford Dr. in Coral Gables. With a permanent collection of 19,000 objects spanning 5,000 years of world culture, the Lowe is committed to serving as a vital resource for education and enrichment through art. Its dynamic permanent and temporary exhibitions establish the Lowe as a keeper of memories, a showcase for masterworks, an igniter of awe and wonder, and a bridge between yesterday and today.

Museum gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. The museum is closed on Mondays and university holidays. General Admission (not including programs) is $12.50, $8 for senior citizens and non-UM students, and free for Lowe members, UM students, faculty and staff, and children under 12. Admission is free on Donation Day, the first Tuesday of every month.

For more information, call 305-284-3535 or visit lowe.miami.edu.


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