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Santa Clara University's de Saisset Museum Focuses on California Art, History, and Cultural Heritage

Monday, Sep. 20, 2010

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Sept. 21, 2010 – The de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University will kick off an exciting exhibition season this fall with Sing Me Your Story, Dance Me Home: Art and Poetry from Native California, which opens on Saturday, Oct. 2.

Like the state itself, California Natives are remarkably diverse with more than 300 languages and distinct geographical centers shaping communities, traditions, ideologies, and ceremonies. Sing Me Your Story brings together California Native artists and poets in a powerful traveling exhibition. Based on the publication from Heyday Books, The Dirt is Red Here: Art and Poetry from Native California, this exhibition explores Native stories, songs, and dance through painting, poetry, basketry, jewelry, printmaking, photography, and sculpture.

Sing Me Your Story is a call to California Native artists and poets to share their cultural knowledge and life experience; leading all of us to understand how culture, history, ancestry, and story have shaped each of us—Native and non-Native,” says exhibition curator Theresa Harlan.

Organized into four thematic sections, this exhibition celebrates the diverse cultures and traditions of California Natives. The show includes noted artists such as Rick Bartow, Harry Fonseca, Frank LaPena, and Judith Lowry. Poets such as Janice Gould, Deborah Miranda, and Stephen Meadows are also included. The contemporary works of these California Natives, inspired by a mix of past and present, honor their cultural heritage and bring forward a truly indigenous California existence.

The Sing Me Your Story, Dance Me Home: Art and Poetry from Native California exhibition tour is organized by the California Exhibition Resources Alliance (CERA). The exhibition was developed in concert with Heyday Books and is made possible by generous grants from The James Irvine Foundation, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, Columbia Foundation, LEF Foundation, the Fleishhacker Foundation, and The Clorox Company Foundation. CERA is a network of professionally operated museums and cultural organizations that collaborate to create and tour smaller, affordable, high quality exhibitions that enhance civic engagement and human understanding. Professional training in conjunction with Sing Me Your Story is supported by The Institute of Museum and Library Services.

In conjunction with Sing Me Your Story, the de Saisset Museum features three additional exhibitions. LandsCApes: Glimpses of Everyday California assembles a diverse group of artists who present a multifaceted view of California and call attention to the often unnoticed sites of our local landscape.

Contemporary Native Works from the Permanent Collection presents a selection of paintings, prints, and photographs that address a variety of themes ranging from spirituality to politics to social commentary and cultural heritage.

And, The Saints of Mission Santa Clara: Discovering the Meaning Behind the Art focuses on nearly 20 paintings from the Mission-era that are housed in the de Saisset Museum’s permanent collection. Researched and curated by San Francisco State University graduate student Maureen Bourbin, The Saints of Mission Santa Clara explores the religious symbolism of these Spanish Colonial devotional paintings.

Sing Me Your Story and the concurrent exhibitions open to the public on Saturday, Oct. 2. A free celebratory reception will be held on Thursday, Oct. 7 from 7 to 9 p.m. For more information on these exhibits and the accompanying programs, please visit

Media Contact
Lindsey Kouvaris | de Saisset Museum | 408-554-4528 | 408-554-7840 fax |

About the de Saisset Museum
The de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University is the South Bay’s free museum of art and history. The museum was founded adjacent to the Mission Santa Clara de Asís on the Santa Clara University campus in 1955 and is one of only three museums in the South Bay accredited by the American Association of Museums. The de Saisset Museum collects, preserves, exhibits, and interprets objects of art and history for the educational and cultural enrichment of all people. The museum achieves its mission through an active program of exhibitions, collections, education programs, and publications.

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

Tags: de Saisset Museum, exhibit, fall, Santa Clara University

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