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Generations hence: Seminole art on campus

Tribe combines modern art and their heritage to educate a younger audience

Long, Long River: Tradition and Expansion in Native Art showcases Seminole artists infl uenced by their culture and traditions. The gallery features a variety of styles from eight artists, including painting, wood carving, photography and digital media. Painted cow skulls, Seminole clothing and jewelry are also on display. While the Seminoles do incorporate modern art styles in their work, their art is about maintaining their heritage.

Artist Samuel Tommie discussed the struggle the Seminoles from the Everglades say they face with companies such as Florida Power & Light. The Seminoles believe these companies have procedures that are intrusive to their land.

“They want to fi ght us, bring it on,” said Tommie. This struggle inspired two of his fi lms featured at the gallery, “In Our Creator’s Hands” and “Fight To Breathe.” The performance on opening night included music, live sketches, fi lm and storytelling. The performances enhanced the message of the gallery by combining sketches, fi lm and music and gaining audience participation in storytelling.

Storyteller Oliver Wareham said, “It’s what makes us Seminole. It’s knowledge. It’s what is passed down from mother to child.” Long, Long River: Tradition and Expansion in Native Art is open now through January 30 at the FGCU Arts Complex. Admission is free. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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