November 9, 2021

Native American Heritage Month! MCA Denver Staff Shares Their Influential Artists & Creators


November is Native American Heritage Month! It is a time to honor and recognize the diverse cultures, contributions, and achievements of Native Americans. In recognition, we asked MCA Denver staff to share artists/creators who have impacted their lives, as well as those that have made an influence on arts and culture in contemporary society.

Dylan Woods - Food & Beverage Manager

Who is an artist/creator that has been an influence in your life?

Profile photo of Kent Monkman
Photo by Samuel Engelking

I love Kent Monkman, a Toronto-based Cree visual artist, because his work is provocative, unabashedly queer, and often filled with cheeky references to art history. Monkman flips British Colonial art on its head, making Indigenous people the heroes of their story.


Share and discuss your favorite work from this artist/creator?

From the artist’s bio: 

“Known for his provocative interventions into Western European and American art history, Monkman explores themes of colonization, sexuality, loss, and resilience—the complexities of historic and contemporary Indigenous experiences—across painting, film/video, performance, and installation. Monkman’s gender-fluid alter ego Miss Chief Eagle Testickle often appears in his work as a time-traveling, shape-shifting, supernatural being who reverses the colonial gaze to challenge received notions of history and Indigenous peoples”.

Iron Horse Painting - Kent Monkman
Iron Horse, 2015 | Acrylic on canvas | 84” x 126”
Welcoming the Newcomers - Kent Monkman
Welcoming Newcomers, 2019 | Acrylic on canvas | 132” x 264” | Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Resurgence of the People - Kent Monkman
Resurgence of the People, 2019 | Acrylic on canvas |132” x 264” | Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Share some resources for us to learn more!

Casualties of Modernity

Kent Monkman 'reverses the colonial gaze' with new paintings at the Met

A Cree Artist Redraws History

Read Last Week's Blog on Artist, Walt Pouirer.