Up to his old tricks

Pasatiempo - - Mixed Media -

What­ever he’s called — Coy­ote, Manapoose, or Rab­bit — the trick­ster has a sto­ried his­tory among Na­tive Amer­i­can tribes. He scams the high and mighty and lev­els moun­tains and re­verses rivers as cos­mic jokes. As an equal­izer be­tween the sa­cred and the pro­fane, the haves and the have-nots, he is an es­sen­tial part of Na­tive Amer­i­can hu­mor and mythol­ogy.

The trick­ster is also the sub­ject of a lively new show at the Mu­seum of Con­tem­po­rary Na­tive Arts called

First Laugh. For a good ex­am­ple of what the mu­seum is up to, look no fur­ther than James Jor­dan’s ... So Coy­ote

Takes Sher­man Alexie Into This Gay Bar ..., which shows a be­spec­ta­cled coy­ote lur­ing the well-known Spokane/Coeur d’Alene tragi­comic writer through the swinging doors of a bar called The Pink Boote.

Other artists fea­tured in the show in­clude Mar­cus Amer­man, Bryon Archuleta, Mar­cus Cad­man, Lin­ley B. Lo­gan, Ira Lu­jan, Larry McNeil, Amer­ica Mered­ith, Henry Payer, Monte Singer, Jac­que­line Smith, and Brando Wil­liams.

The ex­hibit opens with a noon re­cep­tion on Satur­day, May 29, at the mu­seum’s Lloyd Kiva New Gallery and mu­seum store (108 Cathe­dral Place; 983-8900). The show runs through July 11.

Henry Payer: Horsin’ Around, acrylic on can­vas

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