Spencer Keeton Cunningham – Indigenous Sovereignty Protects Land Air Water

Spencer Keeton Cunningham is having an opening reception for his new solo exhibit in Vancouver BC at Antisocial Gallery this Friday March 31st, 7-10pm. The exhibit is a benefit for water protector refugees Spencer befriended while at NODAPL Standing Rock camps before native Americans were forcefully removed from their treaty land.


This one man show is titled “Indigenous Sovereignty Protects Land Air Water” (in reference to a sign Cunningham painted while stationed at the Oceti Sakowin Camp and Sacred Stone Camp on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota beginning in early November of 2016 and leading up until March 2017).


Cunningham was at the camps helping out and painting signs that served as markers for certain locations during the battle for clean water by Native American tribes versus the United States Government and the Dakota Access Pipeline.


His show consists of apocalyptic future scenarios of an oil soaked indigenous North America where rivers flow black with oil and silhouettes of black oil stained sacred hillsides are all that remain, a unsettling view of what could happen on our current path of environmental and cultural genocide in the United States.


The paintings are layered with bright and vibrant colors. Other elements of the exhibit depict 3-d interactive sculpture, alternative gallery lighting and video elements. The show holds true to cunninghams aesthetic and subject matter with a twist of what it would be like be in an art show of the future, and an apocalyptic future one at that.


This will be Cunningham’s 7th solo exhibit at Antisocial gallery since first showing there in 2010 with his debut show titled “A Meric An Indian Genocide” (a eery title referencing past and present genocide of North American First Nations people) This time around Spencer is revisiting old and new contexts in his work to create an exhibit based on his experiences at Standing Rock as well as giving a large portion of any of his art sales to water Protectors from the camps that he made friends with along the way that are still in dire need of support.


Here is what Spencer had to say about the exhibit:

“I’m making all my new works available at this show as a benefit to remaining displaced Water Protector refugees. Right now I’m attempting to raise funds for my good friend Lead Horse, who, along with the others, is still fighting strong. I have been helping get funds to Lead Horse that he then uses and shares with others in the movement to get from place to place.


Some water Protectors that left the Standing Rock camps are still in route to other pipelines including the Hudson pipeline. I talked to Lead Horse and he told me after Hudson he is headed to the Diamond pipeline, a pipeline planned to go from Oklahoma to Tennessee.


The Mekasi Camp Horinek of the Ponca said there “definitely” will be an encampment.
A 440-mile pipeline by Plains All American Pipeline & Valero Corp. would go from Oklahoma to Tennessee across Arkansas. The Arkansas River & other waterways are threatened. “Plains All American” has a bad environmental record & with recent, high-intensity earthquakes, the pipeline is a serious threat to drinking water.


Mike Casteel, of the American Indian Movement, Indian Territory, provided documentation showing that the Diamond Pipeline will cross the historic Trail of Tears. Hundreds of unmarked burial sites along the route will be disturbed.


Lead Horse told me some of the “the young men and women are home now and honor songs and gifts are coming. We’re making our way back east slowly. We will be heading for the Hudson pipeline and then to Oklahoma to meet head people for the Diamond pipeline. So looking to raise more money – still rolling to next stop .”


For more info follow : @skcstandingrock on Instagram

Works are available for online purchase here:

or email spencerkeeton@gmail.com for inquires and availability of the works from this exhibit.