New York State’s second largest city will receive unique added depth and energy to its social, economic and cultural profile at the end of 2020 with the opening of K Art, 808 Main St., Buffalo. K Art will be the first and only Native-owned art gallery of its kind in the United States to solely showcase the artwork of national-level Native contemporary artists. The vision of Founder and Owner Dave Kimelberg, a Seneca Nation of Indians (Bear Clan) member, attorney and accomplished entrepreneur, K Art will be a pioneer in the art community to enable important discussions on Native American underrepresentation, marginalization, stereotypes, history and contemporary culture. The gallery’s inaugural exhibition will open Friday, December 4.
“Our entire team is excited to open K Art to the public for the world to see the work of contemporary Native American artists in a dedicated space,” said Dave Kimelberg, Founder and Owner of K Art. “Historically, museums are the primary platform for Native artists, but the number of shows dedicated to contemporary Native American art is very small and the number of artists featured in these shows is even smaller. We intend to focus on promoting these artists whose stories have not previously been told in the way they deserve to be. Our first exhibition will be an eye-opening and enthralling experience for both the artists who will showcase their work and those who view the exhibit.”
Curated by Art Director Brooke Leboeuf, K Art’s rotating exhibitions will feature solo and group exhibitions within the gallery’s 2,000 square feet. K Art’s inaugural exhibition will be a survey of the work of national Native contemporary artists. Confirmed participants are as follows. Further information on the exhibition is still to be announced.
Jay Carrier (Onondaga/Tuscarora Nations – Wolf Clan): A mixed media artist, painter and sculptor, Carrier depicts landscapes both in the traditional and interior senses and has exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions across North America. Carrier received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Illinois-Champaign, studied painting at The College of Santa Fe, New Mexico and participated in the Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Illinois.
Lewis deSoto (Cahuilla Nation): A multimedia artist using mediums including photography, sculpture and installations combining sound, light, video and space, deSoto’s work explores the nuances of various social histories. Holding a Master of Fine Arts from Claremont Graduate School and a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from the University of California, Riverside, deSoto has exhibited across the world and is a professor of photography at San Francisco State University.
Luzene Hill (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians): A multimedia artist best known for social engaged conceptual installations and performances, Hill’s work reflects interdisciplinary scholarship in visual art, women’s studies and Native American culture. She advocates for indigenous sovereignty and employs indigenous motifs to assert female agency and challenge male dictated hierarchies. Hill has been awarded several fellowships and has exhibited throughout the United States, Canada, Russia, Japan and the United Kingdom.
Peter Jemison (Seneca Nation of Indians – Heron Clan): A classically trained painter, Jemison is known for his award winning paintings, prints, drawings and films, which embody the belief that every living thing and every part of creation contains a spiritual force. Having participated in group and solo exhibitions in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany, Jemison is a leading authority on Haudenosaunee history and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Arts Education and an Honorary Doctorate from Buffalo State College. He received his academic arts education from the University of Siena in Italy.
Brad Kahlhamer: A multi-media artist with range from sculpture and painting to performance and music, Kahlhamer explores notions of authenticity and representation within Native American art discourse. A successful exhibitioner, Kahlhamer’s works have appeared in several solo and group exhibitions across the world and his art has been collected by major museums including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and more. He attended the University of Wisconsin – Fond du Lac and Oshkosh and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts.
Meryl McMaster (Siksika Nation): A predominantly photography based Canadian artist, McMaster incorporates the production of props, sculptural garments and performance to form a synergy that transports the viewer out of the ordinary and into a space of contemplation and introspection. With several solo and group exhibitions throughout Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, McMaster has received several major awards and fellowships and her work has been acquired by various public collections. She attended the Ontario College of Art and Design University.
Duane Slick (Meskwaki – Fox and Ho-Chunk): An artist and educator known for his monochromatic paintings, Slick’s work is represented in galleries, public collections and exhibitions across the United States. Slick teaches fine arts at the Rhode Island School of Design and has received several honors and awards throughout his career, including the Eiteljorg Fellowship for Native American Fine Art. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and a Bachelor of Arts in Art Education from the University of Northern Iowa and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from the University of California, Davis.
An integral element of the K Haus, a design, art and tech-centric space, K Art will reside in the middle of Buffalo’s Allentown historic district. The neighborhood is remarkable for its lively community of artists, lifestyle venues, parks and proximity to national art galleries, and its inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.
K Art’s owner and founder, Dave Kimelberg, was the founding chief executive officer of Seneca Holdings, the economic development arm of the Seneca Nation, which he led from a start-up concept to a multi-national corporate and investment enterprise. He is the founding partner of the only Native-owned law firm focused on venture capital and high-technology start-ups, led the creation of one of the only FM commercial radio stations located on Native territory and brought broadband internet connectivity to rural Seneca territory. Kimelberg has authored numerous pieces regarding Native American economic and political issues.
Having previously managed two privately-held collections and worked as a project coordinator at the Albright-Knox Gallery, K Art’s Art Director Brooke Leboeuf will lead the curation of artists and their works for the gallery’s ongoing rotating exhibitions. She also previously served as the visual arts curator for Buffalo Arts Studio and was an arts consultant for Buffalo-based multi-national Rich Products Corporation. Leboeuf graduated with her Master of Arts in Art History from the University of Buffalo, her Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
For more information on K Art, visit thek.art.