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Native Artist to Debut Crowdsourced Art Project Highlighting Murdered and Missing Indigenous People

May 1, 2018, Denver, Colo.-The Denver-based American Indian College Fund, a non-profit organization providing scholarships and programs supporting Native American higher education, is thrilled to announce that former scholarship recipient and tribal college graduate Cannupa Hansker Luger has organized an art exhibit with five contemporary artists to explore the interconnectedness of the human story.

Anchoring the exhibition is Luger's international social collaboration that culminated in the sculptural installation titled Every One. The American Indian College Fund joined Luger and hundreds of communities and organizations across the United States to Canada to create individual two-inch clay beads. Luger then dyed and strung more than 4,000 beads created in collaboration and composed them to represent the photograph Sister (2016), a portrait of an indigenous woman by First Nations photographer Kali Spitzer, a portrait of an indigenous woman. The work is intended to raise awareness about and honor missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, queer, and trans-gendered people, with the intention that creating awareness is the first step towards creating policy to address the problem.

Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, said, "We are inspired by the passion and talent of our artists who bring attention to social justice through their art. The American Indian College Fund's support of our tribal colleges and universities and scholars and alumni like Cannupa Hanska Luger means greater awareness, especially when we face issues like violence against Indigenous women, girls, queer, and trans people."

Cannupa Hanska Luger is a New Mexico-based, multi-disciplinary artist. An American Indian College Fund scholarship alumnus and graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, Luger is of Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota, Austrian, and Norwegian descent. He produces multi-formed projects that incorporate ceramics, video, sound, fiber, steel, and cut paper and incorporates performance art to tell stories about 21st century indigenous communities.

The other four participating artists include Chip Thomas; Jesse Hazelip; Kali Spitzer; and Kathy Elkwoman Whitman, from the Mandan-Hidatsa- Arikara Nation and Norwegian descent, who started her education and training at tribal colleges in the 1970s.

The exhibition, titled "Lazy Stitch," will open on Thursday, May 3, from 5-9 p.m. at the Galleries of Contemporary Art at the Entertainment Center for the Arts at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. A gallery conversation with the artists will take place Friday, May 4. For more information about the exhibit, the installations, and the artists, visit

About the American Indian College Fund

Founded in 1989, the American Indian College Fund has been the nation's largest charity supporting Native higher education for nearly 30 years. The College Fund believes "Education is the answer" and provided 6,548 scholarships last year totaling $7.6 million to American Indian students, with more than 125,000 scholarships totaling over $100 million since its inception. The College Fund also supports a variety of academic and support programs at the nation's 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities, which are located on or near Indian reservations, ensuring students have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers. The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators, and received a four-star rating from Charity Navigator and is one of the nation's top 100 charities named to the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance. For more information about the American Indian College Fund, please visit


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