Newman Library exhibition 'We’re Still Here' highlights Native peoples on the Virginia Tech campus and beyond
The exhibit features collages created by Native students of Virginia Tech and reflects their interests, passions, and concerns which intersect with their Indigenous identities.
“We’re Still Here,” an exhibition featuring artwork created by Native students of Virginia Tech, is on display on the second floor of Newman Library during Native and Indigenous Heritage Month.
Native students of Virginia Tech created the artwork at an Indigenous Community Center program featuring collage making.“It was a very low-key community art night, but I was really impressed with the way they turned out and the themes that emerged for students,” said Melissa Faircloth, director of the Indigenous Community Center.
Themes included culture is not a costume, contemporary fashion and contributions of Natives, foodways and food sovereignty, missing and murdered Indigenous women, and climate justice.
“I hope the exhibit informs people that there is a community on campus, we are still here, and these are issues that are on the minds of Indigenous communities and their youth,” said Faircloth. “While the center does programming all year, heritage month allows for us to really bring these issues to the forefront of people's minds. It’s really meant to provoke contemplation and conversation around these important issues and what they mean to Native communities and to our collective society.”
Scott Fralin, University Libraries’ exhibit program manager and learning environments librarian, helped create the exhibition. He said it’s important to amplify the voices of the Native students who created these works.
“It gives them a larger platform and audience for the works they created,” said Fralin. “And the things they want to say and the messages they want to share will reach more people by being on the second floor of Newman Library.”
The exhibit will be on display until Nov. 15, the end Native and Indigenous Heritage Month.