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About Indigenous History & Art at Good Little Water Place
Long Island is Indigenous land and always has been. Despite nearly 400 years of attempts to erase and subdue the connections between its people and the land, Indigenous peoples continue to honor, practice, and assert kinship to place and each other. Indigenous History and Art at Good Little Water Place is an exhibition highlighting the nuances and significance of enduring relationships between peoples, land, wildlife, and water. Artwork from nine contemporary Indigenous artists centers the exhibition, offering an inquisitive look at the history and on-going relations between Indigenous people and land, and reminding viewers of the responsibility we all share to know our common histories with each other and their impact on our connections to place. Featuring objects from the collections of New York State Museum, Preservation Long Island, and the Southold Indian Museum. 

Watch the Conversation between Curators Jeremy Dennis and Gwendolyn Saul


Jeremy Dennis (b. 1990) is a contemporary fine art photographer and a tribal member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation in Southampton, NY. In his work, he explores indigenous identity, culture, and assimilation. Dennis was one of 10 recipients of a 2016 Dreamstarter Grant from the national non-profit organization Running Strong for American Indian Youth. He was awarded $10,000 to pursue his project, On This Site, which uses photography and an interactive online map to showcase culturally significant Native American sites on Long Island, a topic of special meaning for Dennis, who was raised on the Shinnecock Nation Reservation. He also created a book and exhibition from this project. Most recently, Dennis received the Creative Bursar Award from Getty Images in 2018 to continue his series Stories—Indigenous Oral Stories, Dreams and Myths. Inspired by North American indigenous stories, the artist staged supernatural images that transform these myths and legends to depictions of an actual experience in a photograph. Dennis holds an MFA from Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA, and a BA in Studio Art from Stony Brook University, NY. He currently lives and works in Southampton, New York on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation.
Dr. Gwendolyn Saul curates the Ethnology Collections and the Contemporary Native Art Collection at the New York State Museum (NYSM). She earned her doctorate in cultural anthropology at the University of New Mexico (UNM) while working with the ethnographic collections at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology at UNM. In addition to teaching in the anthropology department and museum studies program at Northern Arizona University, she has conducted ethnographic research as part of multi-method projects in applied anthropology, museum studies, and a community based oral history project on the Navajo Nation. In 2018 she co-curated “Community and Continuity: Native Art of New York” at the Samuel Dorsky Art Museum, SUNY New Paltz. Currently, she works with Indigenous communities and Nations across what is now New York to curate and develop the state museum’s contemporary Native American art collection, and to decolonize attributions of historic material culture in the collections.

Indigenous History & Art at Good Little Water Place is sponsored by a Humanities New York Action Grant with additional support from the New York State Museum.

Click HERE for the official exhibition press release.