Creations of Spirit at the High Desert Museum, Bend, Oregon

Creations of Spirit, Joe Feddersen. Credit High Desert Museum

When it comes to Native American communities, art is so much more than a single object or piece. Often, it forms a connection to Indigenous culture and practices throughout history, helping to strengthen traditions and ensure they get passed on to new generations. And now, the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon, is hosting a gallery that celebrates the living nature of Native art, having commissioned seven renowned Indigenous artists to make pieces for the exhibition.

“The works offered by these deeply gifted and knowledgeable artists will be used in their communities to teach and share traditions,” says Museum Executive Director Dana Whitelaw, Ph.D. “And the objects will continue to be available to Native communities to use even after ‘Creations of Spirit’ closes as part of the Museum’s collection. We plan for community members to continue to access these objects.”

These pieces include baskets made by Joe Feddersen and Natalie Kirk, ceremonial regalia created by H’Klumaiyat Roberta Joy Kirk, plateau flutes by Philip Cash Cash, a tule reed canoe and paddles by Jefferson Greene, and a corn husk hat made by Kelli Palmer. In addition, RYAN! Feddersen has made the centerpiece of the gallery, where videos and images within the exhibition will demonstrate their practical uses in the communities they were made for, showcasing the rich tapestry of modern Native American cultures.

The “Creations of Spirit” exhibition will be open through October 1st, 2023. To learn more, visit Plan your visit to Central Oregon at