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Trickster Gallery Provides A Vibrant Platform For Indigenous Voices in Illinois

By Paul Rowe

Established in 2005 to create a distinct contemporary view of indigenous arts, cultural education, and awareness, Trickster Gallery was and still remains deeply inspired by the need for a Native voice in the arts. Today, Trickster Gallery is a multi-cultural community center hosting youth programs and a youth prevention program supported by 35 businesses including the police, fire, and mayor's office.

"Trickster Gallery enhances the value of being in Schaumburg in tremendous and unique ways," CEO Joseph Podlasek said. "Having found so many new families to connect to has encouraged our continued progress, which has led to a national program for veterans, pop art, traditional art, and workshops relating to cultural education."

The Gallery proudly features contemporary indigenous artwork (post-1960s) and augments exhibits with established featured speakers, illuminating panel discussions, educational school tours, and enlightening educator workshops.

Chicago Blackhawks honor Native Veterans at Trickster Art Gallery with 2015 Cup and gathering of those veterans who have been on the ice.

Trickster Gallery will always have a foundation of contemporary Native art with museum quality cases that reveal how our past reveals our future. Recently, the gallery has enjoyed providing about four mixed cultural events per year for a supportive and deserving community.

Since the opening of the Trickster Gallery, Illinois has enjoyed a heightened visibility for the impact of contemporary cultural arts and education. Through arts media, music, veterans, fatherhood, and social justice, the Gallery shapes the minds of Illinois residents.

Visitors to the gallery experience a friendly environment full of surprises. Folks who are not familiar with but open to learning more about indigenous American culture become aware of a multicultural blend of other-American and indigenous American artistic traditions. Through the Trickster Gallery, the true heritage of our country's culture is one full display.

The upcoming "Trickster Stories" exhibit, designed and curated by students under the training of Podlasek, celebrates the role of the "trickster" archetype in American culture.

"This exhibit connects and retells not only Native Trickster Stories but how other cultures, almost every culture, has a trickster concept in their literary traditions," Podlasek said.

From its partnership with the Blackhawks to its popular Garden Program featuring an outdoor garden path filled with plants indigenous people used for medicinal purposes, the Trickster Gallery strengthens a sense of Native heritage through deep community ties.

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About The Author

Paul Rowe is a graduate instructor of writing and master's student of Literature at...

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