The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art partnered with Christel House Academy to bring art into this Near Southside neighborhood. A grant from the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation allowed the Eiteljorg to connect students at the Christel House Academy with Native American photographer and installation artist, Will Wilson (Diné), for a mural project that not only introduced students to art and indigenous cultures, but it also helped them give back to the Indianapolis community by beautifying a neighborhood building. As part of the project, Wilson talked to the students about Diné culture and the influence of his culture on his art.
Mihtohseenionki means “the people’s place” in the Miami language, referring to what local indigenous peoples (the Miami, Delaware, Potawatomi, and others) think of the Indiana region.
The students assisted Wilson in tracing and filling in the mural celebrating the Indians of Indiana. The mural, which was placed on a vacant building, was created in part of Christel House Academy’s efforts to bring a multicultural education to their students.
William (Will) Wilson is a Diné photographer who spent his formative years living in the Navajo Nation. Born in San Francisco in 1969, Wilson studied photography at the University of New Mexico (Dissertation Tracked MFA in Photography, 2002) and Oberlin College (BA, Studio Art and Art History, 1993). In 2007, Wilson won the Native American Fine Art Fellowship from the Eiteljorg Museum, and in 2010 was awarded a prestigious grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation. Wilson has held visiting professorships at the Institute of American Indian Arts (1999-2000), Oberlin College (2000-01), and the University of Arizona (2006-08). From 2009 to 2011, Wilson managed the National Vision Project, a Ford Foundation funded initiative at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, and helped to coordinate the New Mexico Arts Temporary Installations Made for the Environment (TIME) program on the Navajo Nation. Read more about Wilson at http://willwilson.photoshelter.com/index