Trickster Gallery was established on March 5, 2005 to create a unique contemporary view of Native arts, cultural education and awareness. Today the Trickster Art Gallery is the only Native American owned and operated arts institution in the State of Illinois and is dedicated to providing space for first-voice multi-cultural arts, veterans and social justice issues related to these areas. The Gallery features contemporary Native art (post 1960s) and augments exhibits with featured speakers, panel discussions, school tours and educator workshops.

MISSION

Trickster Gallery is a Native arts institution dedicated to meeting the needs of artists by providing a vehicle for artistic expression in all disciplines and at all levels by taking a role in the cultivation, exhibition, and dissemination of contemporary Indigenous American art.

Why a contemporary emphasis?

Native people have always been placed in a perpetual state of nostalgia. Trickster Gallery provides a different aesthetic, showcasing contemporary Native art that places an evolving culture and social issues in the forefront.

The idea behind Trickster Gallery is to address the state of Native America today while sharing thoughts of terminology for the sake of projecting positive images beyond romantic iconography.

Trickster Gallery programs raises public awareness and advances ideals of tolerance and diversity by combating stereotypes and deconstructing predetermined imagery that has long defined Native Americans with one generalized cultural aesthetic. They are created by rural and urban-based Native American communities for the larger community.

This provides a necessary inclusive platform for cultural exchange as we continue to celebrate Native America in Illinois.

 

Why “Trickster”?

In many cultures throughout the world, a singular figure exists to create and provoke thought on anything from the imaginary to real life experience.

This figure comes in many forms and is called many names. For Native Americans, this figure is called “Trickster” in the English language. Native people are taught by this figure who generates life lessons when we least expect it.

The Trickster Gallery appropriates its name from this figure because the Native American community welcomes the idea of thought, cultural sharing and interaction for giving lessons of understanding about our modern Indian society.

Trickster Gallery is the place where the Native voice can be seen and heard, to paint a different picture about Natives American culture, and to celebrate a living culture through the lenses of contemporary Native Artists.

Trickster Gallery honors the past by sharing our present-day lives while projecting ideas for future generations.