A new traveling photography exhibition coming to downtown Pleasanton will feature a collection of intimate and raw images documenting Native American life in California.
From the work of late photographer Dugan Aguilar, "She Sang Me a Good Luck Song: The California Indian Photographs of Dugan Aguilar" will be at Pleasanton's Museum on Main from April 5 through May 27.
Aguilar was of Mountain Maidu, Pit River and Walker River Paiute native descent. Over the span of four decades Aguilar had focused his work on capturing Native and Indigenous cultures throughout the state of California.
Originally based on a book of the same name published by Aguilar, "She Sang Me a Good Luck Song" has been shown across the state.
"Aguilar's work brings a sense of humanity and connection. Images from this collection give an intimate look into the lives of Native Americans in California," said Museum on Main curator, Ken MacLennan.
The exhibition comes to Pleasanton as part of Exhibit Envoy, a Museum on Main program that partners with statewide traveling exhibits to display in the Tri-Valley.
Exhibit Envoy focuses on work that highlights innovative, cultural topics and California history.
Aguilar's work includes 28 portrait, landscape and still-life visuals of his subjects. Many of his photographs feature native basketweavers, traditional dances and motorcyclists.
"His works can also educate us on California history. Many of the diverse Native Indian cultures shown in his images carry big historical and cultural impacts," MacLennan said.
Throughout his career Aguilar also worked as a staff photographer for the California Indian Storytellers Association and the California Indian Basketweavers' Association.
"Viewers will have the chance to see art and culture from communities they may not be familiar with or know little about," MacLennan added. "It's a great chance to learn about Native lives in California through amazing, thoughtful photographs."
In a press release, educator and former colleague of Aguilar's, Larry McNeil, expressed his admiration for the work showcased in "She Sang Me a Good Luck Song".
"Dugan's photography embodies the ancient spirits of giving and sharing," McNeil said. "It’s visual poetry that resonates through time with the land and the people gently, yet assertive. (It is) beautiful and insightful photographic storytelling for all people of the world."
An opening reception for the exhibition will take place April 5 from 5 to 7 p.m.
To find more information on the Museum on Main and its upcoming exhibitions, visit Museumonmain.org.
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