Saugatuck photographer’s work featured in new Holland Museum exhibit

The Holland Museum’s newest exhibit shares a glimpse into the faces of native people from across the United States.  

The exhibit, “Contemporary Portraits of Native Americans by James Cook,” opens on Feb. 4 and runs through June 20.

This collection of 25 color photographs explores the varied lives of Native Americans in the modern-day world through the lens of Saugatuck photographer James Cook. His photos capture stories of family, tradition, and resilience.

“We are thrilled to showcase this important work by Saugatuck photographer James Cook,” says Executive Director Ricki Levine.  

Cook is a lifelong photographer who worked for years as a freelance photojournalist, with works in publications such as Time, Newsweek, and Forbes. 

He has spent decades building relationships with Native American communities across the country, documenting dancers, artists, elders, and other keepers of tradition.

Exhibition Sponsor is Horizon Bank and Media Sponsors are WGVU/PBS TV and NPR Radio. 

Three programs are planned to complement the exhibit:

Artist’s Talk: Contemporary Portraits of Native Americans by James Cook — Part 1 of 2, Thursday, Feb. 10, 7-8:30 p.m. Virtual. Registration required. Hear photographer James Cook discuss his work featuring Native Americans from around the country, embracing their heritage and forming relationships with those tribal communities. 

Artist’s Talk: Contemporary Portraits of Native Americans by James Cook — Part 2 of 2, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, 7-8:30 p.m. In person. Registration required. James Cook will continue the story of his expansive photographic career focusing on his photo documentary at Wounded Knee as well as more recent work. 

Anishinaabe Family Traditions Connect Us to Our Environment: Sugarbush Season, Thursday, March 31, 7-8:30 p.m., Virtual. Registration required. Elizabeth J. Chivis (Whitepigeon), Eagle Clan of the Potawatomi and Chippewa nations and a citizen of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, will discuss the history of Anishinaabe families, and how they embrace their resources and continue to follow their cultural traditions in a contemporary world. 

Check out the Holland Museum’s website for exhibit details and to register for upcoming programming. For the safety of all, masks are required for all visitors.  

The Holland Museum’s mission is Preserving Our Past, Imagining Our Future. The Holland Museum is located on the northeast corner of 10th Street and River Avenue, across from Centennial Park, at 31 W. 10th St. 

For more information, please call 616-796-3329.

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Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.