Artistic Expression

The cultivation of Native American art.

The American Indian Center Gallery is dedicated to meeting the needs of the community by providing a vehicle for artistic expression by taking a leadership role in the cultivation, exhibition, and dissemination of historical and contemporary Native histories in Chicago.

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Hours & Tours

Open Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Gallery/Exhibit Group Tours (Minimum 5) available
Contact for group rates


The American Indian Center
3401 West Ainslie St.
Chicago, Illinois 60625
(1st Floor – ADA Accessible)

American Indian Center Gallery Info

For more information contact Dave Spencer:
773-275-5871 | |

Past Exhibits

Visions of Home: Celebrating the Art of Leonard Peltier Exhibit Opening Reception, November 2019

November 15, 2019 to January 30, 2020

The American Indian Center and the American Indian Center Gallery announces the Visions of Home: Celebrating the Art of Leonard Peltier Exhibit Opening Reception that will be held on November 15, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. The exhibit will be shown from November 15, 2019, until January 30, 2020.

Guest Speaker Chase Iron Eyes (Oglala) Activist, attorney, and politician. He is a member of the Lakota People’s Law Project and a co-founder of the Native American news website Last Real Indians.

Reclaim: Indigenizing Colonized Spaces, July 2019

July 17, 2019 to September 23, 2019
Reclaim: Indigenizing Colonized Spaces

The American Indian Center and the American Indian Center Gallery announces the Reclaim: Indigenized Colonized Spaces Exhibit Opening Reception that will be held on July 17, 2019, at 6:00 p.m.

The photo exhibit will be shown from July 17, 2019, until September 23, 2019. The show is curated by Nina Sanders.

Modern TRADITIONS, March 2019

American Indian Center Gallery
March 8, 2019 to June 28, 2019

Curator Statement

I feel the responsibility of continuing our culture while expressing our place in a contemporary context is a challenge that is dealt with through many different aspects of visual art. The challenges within paradigms of cultural expression refer to centuries of mis-education and racism, which then influence perceived standards about who we are and efforts to define us in broad terms. Not just the colonizers (or “the others”) view of us but how or why do we accept and ultimately embrace those histories or narratives that have been written for us?

Challenging these ideas of what is considered tradition is important to help us take a critical look at our histories and how those narratives have been influenced for particular agendas throughout history. Today we are voicing and expressing our histories as we experience them and are looking ahead for the future generations to know that we are imparting the importance of self-representation; speaking with our own voice, for our people, in this time.

It is my pleasure and honor to introduce these artists to the Chicago community. It is also my hope that viewers of this exhibit will come away with a deeper understanding of the diversity of Native American contemporary artistic expression. This diversity is reflective of the richness of our relatives and cultures across this continent. This collection also honors the tradition of this place, Chicago, as having been long before European invasion (and still today) a nexus for the exchange of ideas and an important crossroads for people and their respective cultures.

Chris Pappan (Kanza, Osage, Lakota) 2019

Participating Artists: Melissa Melero-Moose (Northern Paiute) Andrea Carlson (Ojibwe) Silvester Hustito (Zuni) Thomas “Breeze” Marcus (Tohono O’odham and Akimel O’odham, Ponca, Otoe)

Urban Sovereignty at the Center: American Indian Center Retrospective Part One, December 2018.

American Indian Center
December 7, 2018 to February 22, 2019

Everyone welcome to visit the Urban Sovereignty at the Center exhibit at the AIC Gallery during regular business hours (AIC Gallery is closed on weekends and during the following holidays: December 24-25 and December 31 and January 1). Exhibit runs through February 22, 2019.

Standing Rock: Photographs of an Indigenous Movement, October 2018

American Indian Center
October 17, 2018 to November 9, 2018

Roots of Resilience: Native Youth Art Exhibit, August 2018

American Indian Center
August 31, 2018 to

Co-curated by Anjeni Del Real (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe, Santee Sioux, and Blackfeet Nation) and Jade Roy (Ojibwe).

[The] Native Art Seen, April 2018

American Indian Center
April 27, 2018

Everybody Dance! Seven Decades of Chicago Powwows, November 2017

James R. Thompson Center – 2nd Floor
November 17, 2017

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