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Heard on CultureShift

Meet the DIA’s New Indigenous Art Curator

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Image credit: Detroit Institute of Arts

Dr. Denene De Quintal wants to incorporate the voices and art works of more local artists in museum’s sizable Indigenous Art collection.

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The opportunity to work with the Detroit Institute of Arts’ robust Native American Art collection was the golden ticket that excited Dr. Denene De Quintal about her move to Detroit. 

Dr. De Quintal was recently appointed as the DIA’s assistant curator of Native American Art, a position that has been vacant for nearly a decade. Joining Detroit’s art scene following a curatorial position with the Denver Art Museum, the Native American art enthusiast and researcher, started her new role on October 7th.

We have over 4,000 pieces of artwork in the Native American Collection and part of my vision for the gallery is to have more of them in rotation so that visitors coming through can see the depth of the collection,” Dr. De Quintal says in conversation with CultureShift hosts Amanda LeClaire and Ryan Patrick Hooper. 

Dr. Denene De QuintalCourtesy of DIA
Courtesy of DIA

Dr. Denene De Quintal

Though the DIA boasts a vast collection of Indigenous art works, Dr. De Quintal’s goal is to incorporate more contemporary works and collaborate with local artists to amplify their voices and perspectives as contributors to the artistic fabric of Native American culture.

I feel that the [DIA] has some contemporary art works but more traditional art works,” she states. “It’s my hope that people and more contemporary artists are able to show in that gallery and the contemporary galleries at the DIA, so they can show that the people in these cultures and communities are not static and dead. They’re alive, vibrant and thriving.” 

Click the player to learn more about Dr. Denene De Quintal and her vision to broaden representation and deepen collaboration in the DIA’s Native American Art Collection.


CultureShift , Weekdays from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on WDET 101.9

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LaToya Cross, Producer, CultureShift

LaToya Cross is a Producer with CultureShift, where she produces in-depth content that spotlights creatives and individuals using their platform to examine, cultivate, shape and shift culture.

Latoya.cross@wdet.org Follow @ToizStory

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