Indigenous Brilliance is mentioned numerous times in the Luciano Benetton Imago Mundi Book on Native American Artists which has just been published.

Contemporary North American Indigenous Artists
Imago Mundi – Luciano Benetton Collection

Texts by Luciano Benetton, Jennifer Karch Verzè, Ed Chamberlin, Anthony Deiter


Article in Riviera Buzz
Indigenous Brilliance in Seborga
by IARLA BYRNE in Arts & Culture May 18, 2013
The principality of Seborga hosts a very special exhibition of the works of 24 contemporary American Indian artists this coming June.
Entitled ‘Indigenous Brilliance’, this exhibition brings together two dozen American Indian artists from fifteen tribes throughout the Americas. They will be exhibiting their sculptures, paintings, drawings and crafts, and there will also be a multi-media element.
This exhibition originally debuted at the Highgate Gallery in London last year, and has been endorsed by the British Museum. “Indigenous Brilliance is a long-overdue European demonstration of high-quality contemporary Native American art”, states Jack Davey, curator of Native American Art at the British Museum London.
Of the established artists whose work is being exhibited, be sure to look out for sculptor Bob Haozous, Michael Horse (remember ‘Twin Peaks’?), Sandra Cohoe, Edgar Heap of Birds, Jon DeCelles, and Marcus Amerman. There will also be some new talent on display, including the works of Dennis Arviso, Dee Tootsie, Gene Billie and James Goodman.
The exhibition runs from Sunday 9th to Sunday 23rd June 2013 in the Palazzo Vecchio in Seborga, open from 11am to 8pm each day. Admission is free. The Vernissage is at 3pm on Sunday 9th June, and will feature a performance by stand-up comedian Chuquai Billy, a poetry recital by Lance Henson, and talks by those involved in the Indigenous Movement.
Article in First American Art Magazine
Report from Indigenous Brilliance  Seborga, Italy
Indigenous Brilliance is a series of art shows curated by Cornelia “Elija” Vandenberg (Dutch) and Lyle Toledo Yazzie (Diné). In 2012, we launched a group show and lecture series at the Highgate Literary and Scientific Institute Gallery in London, United Kingdom. In June 2013 this exhibition was held in Seborga, Italy, and the next showcase will be in Spain.
The show was held in a beautiful old palace with great atmosphere and was a triumph in public relations with many mentions in the press. This show continues our mission in bringing an awareness to the diverseness in creativity of original contemporary American Indian art. Not only did we have Native comedy and Native poetry reading, but we also had music and a talk on awareness of Indigenous rights and environmental issues. We had enthusiastic visits and support by the Italian public, the Village of Seborga citizens, and royalty, with even some celebrities who stopped by and visited the show.
The show featured a total of 29 artists from 16 nations. Sixteen were returning artists from the Highgate show [in the United Kingdom] and nine new artists who joined for the Seborga show. Along with the 25 artists four guest speakers/artists spoke or performed—three were Indigenous and one, English. We had over 50 original works—prints, paintings, sculptures, and other media.
—Lyle Toledo Yazzie
Navajo artist accompanies artwork to England
WINDOW ROCK – For LyleToledo Yazzie, 46, following 70 pieces of contemporary Native American artwork to England was yet another chance to correct misperceptions.
“It was important for us to break the stereotype of the Hollywood image that’s portrayed of us,” Yazzie said. “We wanted to create awareness of public issues, Native rights issues, and human rights issues. It was a chance for these artists to be heard.”
The show titled “Indigenous Brilliance” ran June 8-21 in London’s Highgate Gallery at the Highgate Literary & Scientific Institution.
Of the 15 artists represented, five were Navajo: Yazzie, who does je\yelry and collages; and painters Bobbi Kitsman Emerson, Patrick Hubbell , Douglas Yazzie and Venaya “VJ Yahzi” Yazzie. None of the Yazzies are related to each other.
“Indigenous Brilliance ” was the brainchild of Cornelia “Elija” Van den Berg,a British/Dutch citizen who lived in Albuquerque in the ’80s and ’90s and made connections there with Native people.
“I have been doing this work for 30 years,” Van den Berg said in an email from London. “I’m interested in showing this type of art because it is beautiful and meaningful and is not really seen or shown outside of the southwest. Which is a shame.” Van den Berg said she rented the gallery out of her own pocket , as
she has done for past shows.
In 1985 Van den Berg flew six Navajos to England with the support from the Navajo Nation and its visionary president Peterson Zah, including Miss Navajo 84-85, Lorraine Lewis. The group displayed their silversmith and weaving talents to the British public over the course of six days.
This time Van den Berg was only able to underwrite the cost of lodgings for the artists. Travel expenses for the artists and their artwork were up to each individual. Of the five Navajos featured in the show.only Lyle Yazzie was able to afford the cost of a plane ticket.
Everyone else had to be content with sending artwork.
“I started saving once I heard about it,” Yazzie said. “I borrowed some money. I also did a couple of bake sales at flea markets.”
Yazzie said he asked for help from the Navajo Nation and Navajo Arts and Crafts Enterprise, but got none.
“We received aletter from Navajo Arts and Crafts saying they weren’t able to help US,” Yazzie said. “The Navajo Nation never responded.”
“It was very exciting to be representing the artist , our nation and myself,” he said. “It was such a great feeling and it was a great time and place to voice our issues. More so, it was exciting to see the British public receive our work with open arms.”
Now Van den Berg is planning a show in Italy.
“She asked some of the artists if she could keep some of their work,” said Yazzie. “She wants to continue showing them there.”
“Plans are in the pipeline,” said Van den Berg. “It all depends on my friend, who is coming to England soon, which is when we can discuss and book a space. At this point , it’s a matter of when,hopefully by the end of the year.”
Interest and endorsement from Dr. Naila Clerici from the University of Genoa, Italy
To Whom It May Concern:
a colleague from the British Museum sent me a copy of the leaflet of the Festival of Contemporary American Indian Art & Culture that you are organising in June.
I’d like to know more.
The association SOCONAS Incomindios gives a voice to Native Americans and we will be happy to inform people on our mailing list relative to what you are planning.
We are also willing to work with you if you are interested in using our knowledge and skills.
Among other initiatives we are presenting at the American Indian Workshop in Helsinki a report on contemporary art and history of American Indians.
I am copying this e-mail to Chiara Scozzi who is preparing a report on exhibitions and museums in Europe relative to the Indians: thank you for copying your reply to her.
Dr. Naila Clerici, Editor of TEPEE
Professor of the History of Indigenous American Peoples,
University of Genoa
Endorsement and interest from Max Carocci and Jack Davey  from the British Museum in London
Subject: RE: art show in north london
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2012 14:17:33 +0000
Dear Elija,
very kind of you – thank you for the invitation. I will do my best to attend what appears to be a unique event! I will post this information on the Blog run by Birkbeck College’s University of London for which I direct the programme World Arts and Artefacts. I teach Native American arts and the arts of indigenous Americas for that programme.
Most obliged
Max Carocci


Subject: RE: art show in north london
Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2012 10:48:33 +0100
Dear Elija,
That is very exciting – do let me know more details about the show’s Italian debut (if/when you have a poster for it over there please do send me one!). The show was very interesting and well presented and it was a great pleasure to meet so many of the artists – here’s to many more such events! We are interested in acquiring one of the Archuleta paintings, but unfortunately we are having difficulty in releasing the funds and I don’t think we will be able to do so in the immediate future, so please don’t make any plans in relation to it on our behalf.
Wishing you the very best luck,
Hi Elija,
Hope the show goes well,
How about a “A long-overdue European demonstration of high-quality contemporary Native American art”?
Shame we couldn’t get any funding together for the Archuleta painting last summer – hope you stage another show here soon,


3FR2 Indigenous Brilliance in Seborga


8monaco life

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