Indigenous Artist Panel to Discuss Vibrant Traditions & Contemporary Expressions at the High Desert Museum


(Artist Kelli Palmer (Wasco, Warm Springs) holds a putlapa, a traditional corn husk hat, that she crafted for the High Desert Museum exhibition Creations of Spirit. She will be part of the Indigenous Artist Panel on May 15 | Photo courtesy of High Desert Museum)

On Wednesday, May 15, the High Desert Museum will host a thought-provoking Indigenous Artist Panel, showcasing the diverse talents and perspectives of several Indigenous artists from around the region. The event will take place at the Museum with doors opening at 6pm and the program commencing at 6:30pm.

This engaging panel discussion will feature esteemed artists Kelli D. Palmer of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Jacy Sohappy of Cayuse/Nez Perce/Yakama heritage and Dr. Michelle Jack of sqilxʷ /syilx (Okanagan) descent.

Throughout the evening, attendees will have the opportunity to delve into the artistic journeys of these talented individuals, gaining insights into the ways in which Indigenous artists are both preserving vibrant cultural traditions and pushing the boundaries of contemporary art forms. From traditional techniques passed down through generations to innovative approaches that reflect the complexities of modern Native identity, the panelists will offer a multifaceted exploration of Indigenous artistry.

One of the panel’s featured artists, Kelli Palmer, is dedicated to preserving and revitalizing traditional Indigenous arts like cornhusk basketry, beadwork and regalia making. In Indigenous cultures, regalia refers to highly symbolic ceremonial clothing. Meanwhile, Jacy Sohappy preserves her culture and identity through traditional and contemporary sewing, beadwork and painting. Dr. Michelle Jack reimagines and repurposes tools and materials in her printmaking, photography, sculpture, film and more — a technique the sqilxʷ /syilx (Okanagan) people has utilized for centuries.

“We are excited to welcome Kelli Palmer, Jacy Sohappy and Dr. Michelle Jack to the Museum for this important discussion,” said Museum Executive Director Dana Whitelaw, Ph.D. “Their voices represent not only their own artistic excellence but also the creative traditions of Indigenous communities across the region.”

Tickets for the Indigenous Artist Panel are $10, with Museum members receiving a 20 percent discount. This event is open to the public, and all are encouraged to attend this celebration of art and culture.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit

About The Museum:
The High Desert Museum opened in Bend in 1982. It brings together wildlife, cultures, art, history and the natural world to convey the wonder of North America’s High Desert. The Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is a Smithsonian Affiliate, was the 2019 recipient of the Western Museums Association’s Charles Redd Award for Exhibition Excellence and was a 2021 recipient of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service.



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