The tribe spokeswoman for the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan, Shelly Covert, speaks about the collaboration that went into the artwork for the opening of the ‘Uba Seo Gallery and Visibility through art show entitled “Destruction of the Land, Destruction of the People The opening entree and wine reception will be held tonight from 6pm to 9pm at 225 Broad St., Nevada City.
Photo: Elias Funez

The California Heritage Indigenous Research Project celebrates the opening of the “Uba Seo Nisenan Arts and Culture Gallery” with a reception for the fifth annual exhibition “Visibility Through Art” entitled “Destruction of the Land, Destruction of the People” from 18-21 This evening at 225 Broad St., Nevada City.

Visibility Through Art is inspired by the desire of the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe to hire local artists to create works of art that authentically represent the Nisenans and their rich Nevada County’s history.

This year, artists were asked to revolve around the theme “Destruction of the Land, Destruction of the People” and examine the impact of humans on the environment and the long-lasting devastation of the gold rush on the Nisenan people.

“When you put it all together, knowing where we are and what was really shows the likelihood of where we will go again,” said Shelly Covert, spokeswoman for the Nisenan tribe, on the subject of the current art exhibition.


A work of art titled “Still Here” by Andres Amador is inspired by Nisenan petroglyphs designs and is on display at the ‘Uba Seo Gallery in Nevada City.
Photo: Elias Funez

“There is a core of people who care about the environment, but when you put the layer of what happened to the tribe here and the first destruction of the environment, especially the big, huge, huge, huge trees that once were all the herds here that were real herds of elk and antelope, grizzlies, condors and salmon in such numbers, ”Covert said. “What happened to the tribe also happened to all of these animals. When you put that on top of the contemporary discussions we’re having right now about the environment, it just adds a whole new layer that people haven’t really navigated yet. It reinforces the conversation about environmental degradation and of course conservation and preservation of the environment. But if you look at the history of the tribe, we can bring back the memories of what it was like before this destruction and thousands of years of ancient culture. If you put that layer on top of everything else, it gets so much deeper, ”added Covert.

Each piece in the “Visibility Through Art” exhibition deals with a topic that is relevant to the tribe.

People are asked to join and explore some of the conversations and ask questions.

Wine from Nevada City Winery and entrees from The Ham Stand are served at the start of the evening.

This is a free event supported by donations through a GoFundMe: https://bit.ly/36taJfc.

Certain works of art are offered for sale.

The Nevada City Rancheria was one of 48 rancherias that were terminated by the California Rancheria Termination Acts in the 1950s and 1960s. Most of them have been restored. The Nevada City Nisenan Rancheria does not.

To contact Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez by email, efunez@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230 at -4