The Muhheakantuck in Focus

Laura Anderson Barbata, Mary Anne Barkhouse, Lorenzo Clayton, Peter Edlund, Nicholas Galanin, Edgar Heap of Birds, Melanie Printup-Hope, Maria Hupfield, G. Peter Jemison, Jason Lujan, Alan Michelson, Anna Tsouhlarakis, William R. Wilson

Muhheakantuck, a Lenape word meaning “the river that flows both ways,” was the original name for the estuary now named for Henry Hudson. It provided both a connective route for the indigenous people and a conduit for launching European trade and expansion beyond the region, ultimately impacting the entire continent. The Muhheakantuck in Focus replicates this initial concept of exchange, bringing together artists from Mexico, the United States and Canada, drawing on different generations and perspectives to explore the significance of the waterway to indigenous peoples before and after Hudson’s arrival.

Exhibiting artists treat a historically sensitive subject, one that includes the displacement of numerous communities from the shores of the Muhheakantuck, in a manner that expresses acceptance, diversity and beauty. The works in Glyndor Gallery and on the grounds span a range of media, including video, painting, sculpture, drawing and site-specific installation. Although diverse in nature, they reveal several common threads, exploring language, history and trade and, in a recurring motif, the merging of indigenous and European art practices and experience, a process that continues today.

The Muhheakantuck in Focus is an integral part of a series of dynamic programs at Wave Hill, organized to celebrate the Hudson River Quadricentennial this summer and autumn. Art, music, walks, family and school programs, readings and discussion groups prompt a fresh view of the river. As a public garden and cultural center with incomparable views of the Hudson River and the Palisades, Wave Hill is uniquely positioned to explore the many facets of this important waterway.