By Lynn Trimble
Jacob Meders (Mechoopda/Maidu) works in his Phoenix studio to counter historical and contemporary stereotypes of Native Americans through printmaking that addresses issues related to culture, identity, and place.
Decommissioned prints from the city’s art collection hang inside Vision Gallery in Chandler, Arizona, where they would have promulgated romanticized white perspectives on Westward expansion and Manifest Destiny if shown before the creative intervention of artist Jacob Meders (Mechoopda/Maidu).
Meders revised the prints for his exhibition Familiar Territory, blacking out figures to signal federal policies designed to erase Indigenous cultures and adding gold leaf to reference resource extraction and the impacts of capitalism on land and water.
“People need to remember whose land they’re on,” says Meders. “These are things to be critical of and art is a great way to have those conversations.”