Neal Ambrose-Smith (Salish, Metis, Cree)
Ledger drawings are artful forms of expression, identity, self-portraiture and most importantly cultural history. Ledgers aren’t simple drawings created by primitive peoples. Ledger art is complex and full of multilayered recounts. They are vital life stories with animation and creativity as well as reportage.
Just like the ledger artists, I use my identity and my circumstances to tell my life story which is a mixture of the past and the present, historical and contemporary. Narrating personal stories has a long tradition in the Native community. It is a blessing for all tribal people to have this rich legacy of ledger drawings that record such an egregious, hidden piece of American history.
Working in the arts for twenty years, Ambrose-Smith has been a studio assistant; a goldsmith apprentice; a designer for an Albuquerque entertainment magazine; a freelance digital photographer for artists; a consultant for the Joan Mitchell Foundation as well as exhibiting his own artwork. He has traveled extensively in the U.S., Mexico, Europe and did an independent study in Spain. His work is in collections such as, Beach Museum, KS; Missoula Museum, MT; Galerie D’Art Contemporain in Chamalières, France; Boise Art Museum, ID; New York Public Library Print Collection, NMAI/Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO, Contemporary Art Museum, Hong-ik University, Seoul, Korea, Cork Printmakers Special Collection, Cork, Ireland, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indianapolis, IN, Monash University, Gippsland, Australia and Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, MO.
The matriarchs in my family have all been members of the Standing Rock Indian
Reservation in South Dakota. I can trace my Native heritage back five generations to Wastewin (Good Women) in the early 1800’s. My great-grandmother joined only the second group of Northern Plains children to travel to Hampton Institute, part of the great experiment of black and Indian biracial education. I am the product of the governments plan to educate the Indian. “History Lesson” is poignant because of Brigadier General Robert Henry Pratt, who held seventy-two Plains Indians at Fort Merion, Florida, many who were from the same area as my forebears. He later established the Carlisle Indian School in Carlisle, PA where my grandmother graduated in 1910. My ledger-style lithograph pairs the Calvary soldier on horseback with the Indian on horseback, both histories written in their native tongue and pointing to the injustice of the inevitable move to reservation life.
Lynne Allen joined Boston University in 2006 as Director of the School of Visual Arts and is a Professor of Art. From 1989-2006 she was Professor of Art at Rutgers University and Director of the Brodsky Center (2000-2006); and Associate Director (1989-2000). She was the Master Printer at Tamarind Institute, where she ran the Professional workshop (1983-1987) and was Educational Director. Allen exhibits nationally and internationally, and has been awarded many residencies and fellowships, including two Fulbright Scholarships, one to the U.S.S.R (1990) and one to Jordan (2004-05), and residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts: Caversham Press in South Africa; and Grafikenshuis in Sweden, among others. Her work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art Library, the New York Public Library, New York; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, among others.
The artwork “White Out” plays off the traditional ledger book drawings. Using non-traditional materials, this mixed media work incorporates the digital print, and uses white out (also known as correction fluid) in the process of making the artwork.
While the digital map illustrates the continued impact of western expansion, the “whiteout” drawing solution acts as a metaphorical substance recognizes the desire to return to the landscape, to a former time, even while the multitude of white marks acknowledges a landscape filling up with a foreign presence.
The map traces the Chiricahua Apache children’s journey from Ft. Sill, Indian Territory to incarceration at Ft. Marion in Augustine, Florida and then to Carlisle Industrial School in Pennsylvania. It describes the disruption of family, place, and a heartfelt longing for a home.
Norman Akers, is an Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing at the University of Kansas. Previous teaching experiences include the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions including, Indelible Images: The Politics of the Social in Contemporary Art, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Mapping: Memory and Motion in Contemporary Art, Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, New York, Unlimited Boundaries, The Dichotomy of Place in Contemporary Native American Art, Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Who Stole the Tee Pee?, at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Museum, New York, New York.
Akers paintings are included in numerous collections including the National Museum of the American Indian, Washington D C., Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona, Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, Indiana, and the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Artist Statements & Bios
Jamison Chas. Banks
The Indian Wars are aConfiscation of layered territorial control is the agreement signed in stone and mortar. Castillo de San Marcos and Bahia de Guantanamo are both isolated re-education camps ideal for detainees labeled illegal enemy combatants. A Few Good Men will suffer and endure cruel and unusual punishment for this status. Their truths will also be denied and catalogued. Peace Medals will be offered to the spirits whom wander these fortresses. Your foreign shores belong to an original tongue, that has in time been carted away. Spanish claims also have shattered into the sands of our beaches. It is the common wealth of civilized, first-world nations, “that might makes right.” How long can we keep them out? How long can we keep them in?
b. 1978 (Kansas, USA)
Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma and Cherokee Tribe of Oklahoma
Jamison Charles (Chas.) Banks was born in 1978 in Kansas, USA. He is an enrolled member of the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe, and the Cherokee Tribe of Oklahoma. Banks lives and creates work in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Artist Jamison Chas. Banks’ (Cherokee/Seneca-Cayuga) ideas fall in a completely different realm. An adjunct instructor and graduate of IAIA, Banks’ work incorporates pop culture and an edgy, disturbing symbolism that connects culture and irony, but which exists distinctly in the present. Banks says, “The IAIA, in a single word, has given me definition. I say that because I have been an artist first and foremost since I first started thinking. I am also Native American. I live in this time, not in the past, I cannot make art that seeks to simulate my Native ancestors’ work or designs.” Banks says that IAIA has facilitated his development as an artist, providing him with a support base and foundation. “They have been the “Mission Control’ to my endeavors.” he maintains.
Banks takes on symbols and turns them on their heads. He readily admits, “My art incorporates a multitude of symbols. In the end, everything can be maintained as a symbol. I often advance my own imagined personae into representing some other idea or thing, in that, the personae become symbols.” He goes on to assert that ‘symbols have continued to define and enrich cultures and traditions.” The Cherokee/Seneca artist exudes a certain optimism when he talks about what he perceives as a time of change: “We stand headstrong into a new arena of symbols and mythos, this is a time of renaissance and renewal. It’s safe to assume that Banks is a part of this “renaissance” and that his work is tinged with a subversive hue. He states plainly, with a hint of sarcasm, “I would characterize my work as “Attempting to clean a American turkey with a J. Edgar Hoover vacuum cleaner.’ I seek to subvert histories and ‘re-codex’ the American imperial sphere.”
Also prevalent in Banks’ work is a military motif that is highly contemporary and relevant-- while acknowledging the tradition and importance of military service that span’s his family’s history. “Most men in my own family, have not only served in the military, but participated during active conflicts,” he explains. Yet, the paradoxical brilliance of his work comes through loud and clear: “patriotic fervor of World War II,” was preceded by harrowing boarding school experiences which literally tore families apart.
When asked specifically what the word “tradition” conjures, Banks says without hesitation, “Tradition is a cycle of behavior or belief built up over generational lengths of time. Tradition can be seen as a colonial term, but so can ‘dog’ and ‘cat’ for that matter. I imagine now anything spoken in English can be seen as a colonial term. It’s a really loaded question because, I think, most art can be defined so differently, depending on who’s defining it. In my experience, there is nothing that can be absolute.”
-Barbara Ellen Sorensen, Tribal College Journal Vol. 25 No. 1 Fall
Banks received a BFA in Studio Arts from the Institute of American Indian Arts in 2012.
In Indian civilization I am a Baptist, because I believe in immersing the Indians in our civilization and when we get them under holding them there until they are thoroughly soaked. –Richard Henry Pratt
The assimilation methods pioneered by Richard Henry Pratt at Fort Marion became the underpinnings for Indian Schools all over the United States, and I wanted to further explore this. I began by staining Japanese washi with English tea, then carving a woodblock and printing the blue ledger-line background. I used graphite and colored pencils to add various figures, influenced by captive Etahdleuh Doanmoe’s drawing depicting a religious service in an odd snow-globe shaped room at the fort as well as a Sioux ledger drawing of a group of Indians with their arms around one another.
Pratt’s Carlisle Indian School was in operation from 1879 to 1918 and more than 10,000 students passed through its doors.
Annie Bissett was born in 1955 in Springfield, Massachusetts, and raised in upstate New York. After receiving a B.A. in English literature from SUNY Plattsburgh, Annie moved to Boston where she gradually made her way to a successful career as a freelance illustrator, serving a national clientele that included Time-Life Publications, National Geographic Society, American Express, and the Wall Street Journal, among others. In 2005 Annie studied briefly with New Hampshire woodblock artist Matt Brown, and she has been making Japanese-style woodblock prints ever since. In the few years since she began printmaking Annie has had four solo shows and participated in a number of juried exhibitions including exhibits hosted by
Boston Printmakers, Los Angeles Printmaking Society, International Print Center of NY, and the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop. She is represented in Seattle by Cullom Gallery and is a core faculty instructor at Zea Mays Printmaking Studio in Florence, Massachusetts.
My art is my way of communicating. What it is, sometimes, I really don’t know. Sometimes I know a little bit. Pretty much it is up to the viewer anyway. After I am finished with a piece, my part is over. I cannot express what it is other than through the work.
I was born at the Lawton Indian Hospital on October 23, 1949 to Weckeah and William B. Bradley. My mother is Comanche and my father is a Texan, otherwise known as “Wild Bill From Ft. Sill”. My father served 30 years in the U.S. Army and moved us often during that time. My Comanche grandmother lived in our home and traveled with us. During our travels, my grandmother would tell me and my brother and sister stories about back “before the country opened” and shared her views on everything and every place we saw. We went to a lot of museums and castles and just drove around Europe. My grandmother’s point of view was always sharp and to the point.
As a teenager, I became more interested in doing representational art and continued with portraits of Indians, mostly Comanches, until I was in my early 30’s. My work was watercolor, tempera and ink drawings. After this period, I began using oils and my work changed into a more colorful narrative and surreal style. During the past few years I have begun doing sculpture, including bronze and mixed media, using every thing from old parts of dog houses to beadwork, wire and fabric. It continues to evolve.
I have been doing artwork for as long as I can remember. I am pretty much self taught. About 2 years ago I enrolled in classes at Cameron in order to learn about bronze casting. I began showing my work at the age of 17 and exhibited with a group of artists known as The Comanche Gallery of Art. I was in their first show and continued with them annually until the 1980’s when they discontinued meeting. I have exhibited work at the Museum of the Great Plains, Leslie Powell Gallery, Ft. Sill, Philbrook Museum, American Folklife Festival in Washington DC, Red Earth, Trail of Tears in Talequah. I don’t remember all of them. I also exhibited work in Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico. There have been many more, but I am a very poor record keeper. I also have a lot of trouble keeping track of husbands. I’m like the girl in the song with permanent rice marks on her face from being married so many times. I do have 3 beautiful and gifted daughters; Weyodi, who is a brilliant writer, Tsaina who is a Registered Nurse and a musician who works in Manhattan, and Emilie, a former chef and now a pre-school teacher. I am happy and honored to be a grandmother of 6 fantastic grandchildren.
I was unaware of the ledger drawings. The way the drawings were disassociated with the text of the ledgers gave me an insight into the chasm that must have existed between indigenous people and those who invaded the continent. The image of the horse came to mind as a symbol of freedom, spiritual strength, and determination in the midst of this excruciating subjugation of America’s first citizens.
Michael Connors has been teaching Printmaking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 1998, when he founded the Digital Printmaking Center. He was Coordinator of the New Media Center Program prior to his position in the Art Department. His primary interest as an artist and educator has been to explore ways in which new technologies can be integrated with traditional printmaking techniques. Much of his current work reflects his interest in environmental and quality of life issues, and a deep commitment to maintaining the health of the natural systems of the planet. Connors has served on the Southern Graphics Council Board, was a former editor of Graphic Impressions. His work has been shown nationally and internationally in exhibitions and print exchanges.
My work explores visual recollection and the imprint of memory. Here, it responds to the historic account of the capture and forced assimilation of the Native Americans brought to Fort Marion, Florida. Responding to the ledger drawings of their imprisonment, my work breaks down the narrative to a more refined and skeletal state, where these images are not so much stories as junctures. The accounts from these drawings of the schooling and acculturation forced upon the Kiowa and other native tribes was especially moving, and the source of inspiration for the piece I have contributed. It speaks to the loneliness, isolation and tragedy of their fate.
I continue to work with handmade paper, as I find its inherent richness and tactility match the phenomenon of memory, with its own vivid and textural impressions. The native plants included in the paper reference the connections that indigenous American peoples have with the earth, its rhythms and cycles, and tells its own story. I employ printmaking processes, with its ability to layer, hide and reveal, echoing the complexity of their story, history and lamentable outcome.
Georgia Deal is Professor and Printmaking Department Chair at the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C.Deal has been awarded residencies at the Yaddo Foundation, Lakeside Studios, Michigan and the Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center, Maryland. Grants include the Maryland State Artists Grants, the Washington Project for the Arts, and the New York State Council of the Arts. She has conducted workshops in Printmaking and Papermaking at the Penland School of Crafts, NC, the Paper & Book Intensive, Oxbow, MI., the Haystack School, Maine, the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosedale NY., the University of Georgia’s Program in Cortona, Italy, Santa Reparata Studio in Florence, Italy , the Skopelos Foundation for the Arts in Skopelos, Greece and the Instituto des Bellas Artes in San Miguel Mexico.
Collections include The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Library of Congress, the Corcoran Museum of Art, the Georgia Museum of Art, Duke Museum of Art, Yale University, Cooper Union and the National Library of New Zealand.
“Strength is Hope” ruminates on the spiritual fortitude of Native American prisoners surviving an experiment in cultural assimilation the motto of which was: “to kill the Indian to save the man” (Richard Henry Pratt).
Surplus military uniforms as well as forced European haircuts, instruments of psychological warfare perpetuated by the government, reflect the horrific state of lack of personhood and of knowledge of impending duration of imprisonment and further fate afforded the prisoners.
A clenched fist, traditional visual symbol of struggle for freedom, rather than a resigned hand: open, devoid of instruments of ceremony, hunt or habitual labor pictured in multiple photographs of the seventy two prisoners of Fort Marion, is repeated in “Strength is Hope”.
Ledger-like layout and visual movement from the right to the left of the support (stemming from the broken heart), mimic drawings produced by the prisoners, while animals vital to native traditions and circles of warm color serve as symbols of persisting hope.
Xenia Fedorchenko currently serves as Associate Professor at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas where she teaches courses in printmaking and drawing. Fedorchenko received her Master of Fine Arts in printmaking from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (2006) and her Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts (2000). In her research, Fedorchenko is drawn to the human figure as a universally comprehensible symbol for our kind and to the baggage it contains. Her prints and drawings revolve around the idea of the real; striving to embody human experience for the viewer, while underscoring the inadequacy of two-dimensional mark and support to quantifying reality’s multitude of sensations. Her work is in the permanent collections of several museums as well as university, corporate and private collections throughout the country.
I had heard the story of nineteenth century Native American ledger drawings done under such stress and hardship years before this project. When I asked this project's organizers why they'd included me, they said, "History is everybody's responsibility." That's a charge I took seriously and began by looking in person at several precious ledger books in the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. This piece, inspired by the 1870s POW drawings of Koba, Bear's Heart, William Cohoe and Ohet-toint incorporates the word Accounting. The word refers to the ledgers, which were made for bookkeeping in the Euro-American capitalist system displacing indigenous peoples, but also telling stories and histories, and ultimately holding the captors responsible for their actions with the judgment of time.
Ruthann Godollei is a printmaker and Professor of Art teaching printmaking at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is currently at work on a print series exploring an alternative vocabulary of the Recession. Her prints incorporating political and social commentary are in many international collections, such as KUMU National Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia, the Centre For Fine Print Research, Bristol, UK, National Museum of Art, Poznañ, Poland, The Denver Museum of Art and the Minnesota Museum of American Art. She has sponsored and participated in numerous print exchanges and giveaway projects. She is the author of a 2013 book on DIY printmaking, "How to Create Your Own Gig Posters, Band T-shirts, Album Covers, & Stickers, Screenprinting, Photocopy Art, Mixed Media Collage and Other Guerilla Poster Styles" published by Voyageur Press.
My response focused on plants the Kiowa use in their daily and ceremonial life. The pattern I created with them somewhat mimics a tropical vacation shirt tourists wear. While imprisoned the Indians were a tourist attraction, which provided them the opportunity to sell their ledger drawings to the tourists.
Melissa Bob is the interim executive director of Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts. Melissa is a Lummi Nation citizen from Bellingham, Wash. In her most recent position she worked within the Lummi tribal government, managing a $6.4 million grant project that integrated Lummi cultural arts practices into the Lummi children’s mental health system. In 2008 Melissa received her master of public administration in tribal governance degree from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., where she also received her B.A. in indigenous art history and printmaking. As a graduate student she worked as program assistant at the college’s Longhouse Education and Cultural Center.
In 2005 and 2007, Melissa interned in Washington, D.C., at the National Museum of the American Indian and at the office of Sen. Maria Cantwell, respectively. As part of her extensive arts background Melissa completed a studio internship at Sidereal Press, where she helped print a portfolio of etchings by Seattle artists. She also worked as studio assistant for Northwest artist Joe Feddersen (Colville Confederated Tribes), from whom she studied printmaking at Evergreen.
Melissa’s own artwork has been exhibited in the United States, Mexico and New Zealand, as well as in Europe and the Middle East. Her prints are included in the collections of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian; Missoula Art Museum; Spencer Art Museum at the University of Kansas; the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery; and at St. Lawrence University and Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates.
Drawing is explored as both a signifying system and an automatic gesture. The drawings transcribed in these paintings are circuitous. Through the repetition, reconfiguration, and recycling of marks a loop is created, a dense weave of insular information. Scraps of paper, receipts, and old envelopes from discarded mail all serve as supports for random scribbles. Sketchbooks and smaller drawings serve as a source from which the paintings quote. The marks are simultaneously lyrical and clumsy. This research calibrates the tension between the personal gesture (scribble) and the public mark (signage).
Derrick Buisch has been a Professor of Painting at the University of Wisconsin–Madison since 1997. He received his MFA from the University of Minnesota in 1996. On the national scene, he has had numerous solo exhibitions in the United States and has participated in national and international group shows, including Pretty and Smells Good at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in 2006 and the London Biennale in 2005. Buisch is represented by Tory Folliard Gallery in Milwaukee.
Laurie Beth Clark
Laurie Beth Clark is a Professor of Non-Static Forms in the Art Department of the University of Wisconsin where, since 1985, she has taught studio classes in Video, Performance, and Installations, as well as Special Topics like Collaboration and Relational Aesthetics and more than twenty different academic seminars in Visual Culture Studies.
Clark was raised in Brooklyn, New York. She earned degrees in Art from Hampshire College (BA 1976), University of New Mexico (MA 1981), and Rutgers University (MFA 1982). Her professional associations include American Society for Theatre Research, College Art Association, Association of Theatre in Higher Education, and Performance Studies international for which she served as a member of the board of directors from its inception until 2006.
From 2004 to 2008, Clark served as the University of Wisconsin Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff where her duties included oversight of the campus' landmark interdisciplinary cluster hiring program, as well as the campus' academic leadership programs, faculty grants programs, strategic hiring initiatives, new faculty orientations, and advocacy for domestic partner benefits. Prior administrative positions included Art Department Chair (1998 to 2001) and Interim Associate Dean for the School of Education (1998). In 2000, Clark spearheaded the University of Wisconsin's interdepartmental visual culture initiatives, resulting in three hires, an international conference, a transdisciplinary center, and a PhD minor.
I am a multi-media artist who chooses the best medium best express a statement; recently, I’ve begun working in a contemporary interpretation of traditional Cherokee basket weaving to bring awareness to contemporary native issues. Included in this exhibition is a giclee of my woven paper basket. I re-wrote on paper Captain Richard H. Pratt’s “Kill the Indian, save the man” address, cut it into splints and wove into a double-walled basket. Splints from a digital print (Carlisle student body 1912), are woven around the rim of the lid, while the interior features roster names of children who attended this facility. Pratt started his assimilation experiment with Ft Marion men but decided he would have better success “civilizing” children and convinced the US Government to let him try his luck. Many Ft. Marion children ended up here.
Eastern Band Cherokee artist Shan Goshorn has lived in Tulsa since 1981. Her multi-media work is in prestigious collections such as the National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC), Gilcrease Museum (OK), Institute of American Indian Arts (NM), CN Gorman Museum (UC Davis), Minneapolis Institute of Art (MN), Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art (IN) and The Museum of the Cherokee Indian (NC). Goshorn's painted photographs (which address stereotypes and racism) have toured Italy with the Fratelli Alinari "Go West" Collection, and have been exhibited in venues including York, England's Impression Gallery; NYC's American Indian Community House Gallery; the Wheelwright Museum (NM); the Franco-American Institute in Rennes, France; the International Arts Alive Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa; and “BIRD 2005” in Beijing, China. In 2006 and again in 2009, she was one of 25 international, indigenous artists asked to present work at the conference Our People, Our Land, Our Images and Visual Sovereignty hosted by the CN Gorman Museum at the University of CA at Davis.
Shan Goshorn is the recipient of 2013 Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship, the 2013 SWAIA Discovery Fellowship and the 2013 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship.
She is self-employed through the Shan Goshorn Studio; to see her work, please view
The piece I made for the exhibition “Re-Riding History: From the Southern Plains to the Matanzas Bay” deals with the specific number of Plains Indians captured at Salt Fork, Oklahoma who were forcibly relocated during the war department exile from 1875-1878 to St. Augustine, Florida. The background of the work is from a ledger book I bought years ago at an antique store- similar to ones used in the drawings by the prisoners. I purposefully scanned page 72 to correspond with the number of Native Americans displaced. I then sewed 72 eagle feathers on the paper to represent these individuals. The eagle is said to represent honesty, courage, wisdom, power, and freedom in native culture and I wanted to honor those that were robbed of their freedom.
Melissa Harshman received a BFA from Cornell University and a MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madsion. She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Georgia and Chair of the Printmaking Department. Harshman has exhibited nationally and internationally at venues such as the Museum of Fine Arts in Tallahassee, Florida, the Phyllis Weston-Annie Bolling Gallery in Cincinnati, OH, the Asheville Museum of Fine Arts, the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice, Italy, and the Horst Jannsen Museum in Oldenburg, Germany among others.
Harshman has visited, demonstrated and lectured at such schools as Vanderbilt University, Louisiana State University, Pyramid Atlantic in Washington, DC, Anchor Graphics in Chicago and Penland School of Arts and Crafts. Her work is in numerous public and private collections including The Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; Museum of the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO; Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI; Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp; Belgium; Royal West Academy, Bristol, England; and the Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick, NJ.
Harshman has received numerous grants and awards in the field of digital and mixed media printmaking most recently a Senior Faculty research grant from the University of Georgia entitled “Printing Outside the Box.”
This mono print presents "Grandfather" in the Cheyenne language, 3 times.
It can be seen as a cry or longing for the loss of Grandfather, a lamenting.
Also the words speak of my Cheyenne Grandfathers:
Guy Heap of Birds
Alfrich Blackwolf Heap of Birds
Chief Many Magpies Heap O Birds
Over the last 25 years I have researched and lectured on Fort Marion and the death of Chief Many Magpies.Our grandfather is buried somewhere near Fort Marion. He was one of the four principal Chiefs of the Cheyenne. Early on, during my graduate school years this painful history played a pivotal role in my artwork and severed as a major inspiration.
I came to Fort Marion during the exhibiting of my 2007 Most Serene Republics Venice Bienalle exhibition, reset at the University of Florida gallery in 2010. Research was conducted at Fort Marion and I offered ceremonial sage at un-named Native graves plus also smoked the Cheyenne prayer pipe inside the fort.
It is my hope to someday erect a major public art sculpture, on the large scale such as my 50 foot medicine "Wheel" at the Denver Art Museum, in St. Augustine for the memory of the many Native P.O.W.s.
Edgar Alfrich Heap of Birds 2014
A Leader of the Traditional Elk Warrior Society, Cheyenne Nation, Oklahoma
The artworks of HOCK E AYE VI EDGAR HEAP OF BIRDS include multidisciplinary forms of public art messages, large scale drawings, Neuf Series acrylic paintings, prints, works in glass and monumental porcelain enamel on steel outdoor sculpture. He was recently named an USA Ford Fellow in 2112. Heap of Birds received his Master of Fine Arts from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1979), his Bachelor of Fine Arts from The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas (1976) and has undertaken graduate studies at The Royal College of Art, London, England. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts (2008).
The artist has exhibited his works at The Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, New York, New York, The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia, Documenta, Kassal, Germany, Orchard Gallery, Derry, Northern Ireland, University Art Museum, Berkeley, California, Association for Visual Arts Museum, Cape Town, South Africa, Lewallen Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Hong Kong Art Center, China , Bandung Institute of Technology, Bandung, Indonesia, Grand Palais, Paris, France and the Venice Biennale, Italy. He has served as visiting lecturer in London, England, Western Samoa, Chiang Mai and Bangkok, Thailand, Johannesburg, South Africa, Barcelona, Spain, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Norrkoping, Sweden, Hararre, Zimbabwe, Verona, Italy, Adelaide, Australia, Rio de Janerio, Brazil and Deli and Vijayawada, India.
John Hitchcock uses the print medium with its long history of social and political commentary to explore relationships of community, land, and culture. Hitchcock’s works on paper and multimedia installation consists of prints and moving image that mediate the trauma of war and the fragility of life. Images of U.S. military weaponry are combined with mythological hybrid creatures from the Wichita Mountains of western Oklahoma to explore notions of
assimilation and control.
John Hitchcock is an Artist and Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he teaches screenprinting, relief cut, and installation art. He earned his MFA at Texas Tech University, Lubbock. His awards include The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Artistic Innovation and Collaboration grant, New York; Jerome Foundation Grant, Minnesota; the Creative Arts Award, University of Wisconsin, and was recently an artist in residence at the American Culture Center, Shanghai, China; Frans Masereel Centrum, Kasterlee, Belgium;
Proyecto’ace, Buenos Aires, Argentina; and the Venice Printmaking Studio, Venice, Italy. Exhibitions include: “Epicentro: Re Tracing the Plains” on the occasion of the Venice Biennale 54th International Art Exhibition at the University of Ca' Foscari, Venice, Italy; South African Museum, Cape Town, South Africa; International Print Center New York, New York; Museum of Arts & Design, New York; Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, Indiana; Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Exit Art, New York; the Print Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Tom Jones is an Assistant Professor of Photography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his MFA in Photography and a MA in Museum Studies from Columbia College in Chicago, IL.
Jones’ photographs examine identity and geographic place with an emphasis on the experience of American Indian communities. He is interested in the way that American Indian material culture is represented through popular/commodity culture, e.g. architecture, advertising, and self-representation. He continues to work on an ongoing photographic essay on the contemporary life of his tribe, the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin. He is critically assessing the romanticized representation of Native peoples in photography through the re-examination of historic pictures taken by white photographers. This reassessment questions the assumptions about identity within the American Indian culture by non-natives and Natives alike. Jones is a co-author on the book “People of the Big Voice, Photographs of Ho-Chunk Families by Charles Van Schaick, 1879-1943. Jones is the collections of the National Museum of the American Indian, Polaroid Corporation, Sprint Corporation, The Chazen Museum of Art, The Nerman Museum, and Microsoft.
My piece Transept references the mapping of pathways and intersections from known and imagined migrations of people across the land - forced marches, nomadic seasonal routes, and encroachment lines of the manifest destiny - that caused conflict and potential change. We are still affecting such pathways today, literally: people forced by economic circumstances or to escape war cross boundaries; new frontiers of depth or distance propels exploration and exploitation of people and resources; scientific mapping technologies reveal the desecrations of time and human impact. My drawing similarly follows such tracings and trails across an implied map, with an embedded sense of marking places and remembering the earth as sacred, as an honor to the native peoples that lived this experience in the plains I know and love.
Karen Kunc explores inventive color abstractions of the natural and human-fashioned world in her prints and artist books, creating ideas of ‘strange beauty’. Kunc is a Cather Professor of Art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Awards include Fulbright Scholar Awards to Finland and Bangladesh, two NEA/MAAA awards, the 2007 SGCI Printmaker Emeritus Award. Her works have been shown in exhibitions nationally and internationally and are held in numerous collections: MOMA; Library of Congress; Milwaukee Art Museum; Haas Arts Library Yale University; Jyväskylä Art Museum, Finland. She has taught workshops around the world, in Egypt, Italy, Finland, Bangladesh, Poland, Japan, France, Mexico, Iceland; and she has lectured as a visiting artist to over 200 institutions. She is developing Constellation Studios as a creative destination for print, paper, book, in Lincoln.
The work “Homage to the 74 Warriors“ is dedicate to David Pendleton Oakerhater, also known as O-Kuh_ha-Tuh aka making medicine. He was a Cheyenne Indian warrior and spiritual leader, who became an artist and Episcopal deacon. During the Red River War of 1874 and 1875, along with 73 other militants he was a Fort Marion Prisoner. Oakerhater became one of the founding figures of modern Native American art.
I incorporate symbols and motifs within my studio practice. I use multiple media print based works to express my hybrid identity. Localism, globalism together has informed and formed a new perspective for me in conceptualizing and visualizing my work. I feel compelled to traverse the terrain between the traditional and contemporary, art and craft and between oriental and occidental.
Artist Bio Ina Kaur is a multi media artist, printmaker who is a native of New Delhi, India. Kaur graduated with her Masters of Fine Arts Degree with honors from Purdue University, Indiana USA and received her Bachelors Degrees with Roll of Honor from Punjab University in Chandigarh, India. Her studio research has been showcased in numerous national and international exhibitions in the US, India and abroad in countries including Argentina, China, Finland, Hungary, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey. Kaur has been a recipient of numerous Grants, Residencies & Excellence Awards.
Kaur’s research investigates how identities are defined and influenced by history, society and the culture of ones immediate surrounding. Kaur explores a continuum of cross-cultural negotiation within this global cultural environment where identities and boundaries converge. Localism, globalism and hybridity have formed a new perspective for Kaur in conceptualizing and visualizing her work and identity. She is an Assistant Professor of Art at The University of Tampa and in 2014 was honored with an Outstanding Scholarship Award.
This work represents the forced relocation of the seventy-two Native Americans residing in Fort Sill to Fort Marion in Florida. The milk carton, similar to its function as a symbol for missing children in the 1970’s, depicts a tableau of missing tepees among a field of others that will soon vanish as well. Tepees are naturally conical in shape, so the portrayal of the tepee on the side of the carton as a triangle and the triangular nature of the top of the carton behaves as a counterpoint. It reinforces the way in which the Native American culture was standardized and reduced to its simplest form in an attempt to assimilate them into Anglo-American culture. The fence emphasizes the boundaries and rules that were placed on the Native American lifestyle, while the buffalo graffiti represents the modern art that has emerged from their lost culture.
Katherine Liontas-Warren, Professor of Art at Cameron University has been a resident of Oklahoma since 1984, where she teaches drawing, watercolor, and printmaking. Katherine has a Master of Fine Art from Texas Tech University and a Bachelor of Science from Southern Connecticut. She is a recipient of the Bhattacharya Research Excellence Award and the Faculty Hall of Fame at Cameron University. Katherine received the title of Artist of the Year by the Paseo Art Association in Oklahoma City and the Artist and Educator of the Year through the Lawton Arts and Humanities Council. Katherine has exhibited her works of art in over 350 National Solo, Invitational and Juried Competitive Exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad, and has received numerous purchase and juried awards. Many of her prints and drawings are in permanent collections in Museums and institutions throughout the nation such as Austin Peay University, Arkansas Art Center, Museum of Texas Tech University: The Artist Printmaker Research Collection, The Wichita Falls Museum of Art at Midwestern University, Oklahoma State University, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, University of Colorado, University of North Dakota, Oklahoma Art Institute: Quartz Mountain Lodge, Del Mar College, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Whitman College in Walla Walla, Butler Community College in Kansas, University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, Leslie Powell Art Foundation Gallery, Milwaukee Museum of Art, Mabee- Gerrer Museum of Art, and Nicolls State University.
Katherine is featured in the documentary, Earth Chronicles Project, The Artist Process of Oklahoma. This film aired on OETA and at the Sarkeys Performing Art Center, St. Gregory's University in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
The Museum of Texas Tech University recently acquired 61 works by Katherine Liontas-Warren for the Artist Printmaker Research Collection. This collection represents the documentation of American artist-printmakers.
An Apache Held Captive at the Gate
My approach to the theme of this exhibition is to create a visualization referencing the historical situation at hand, but mixing contemporary terminology and Japanese postcard elements.
By way of comparison and example, think of 16th century European woodcuts that referenced the discovery of the Aztec city of Teotihuacan, however utilizing medieval architectural styles since no accurate visual record of the city was available to the European artists of the time - in the absence of real information, the artist is left to his own devices and thus uses what he knows. Translating the Fort Marion incarceration into another cultural idiom creates questions around colonization and conquest versus cultural crossover, borrowing, and appropriation.
Jason Lujan is originally from Marfa, Texas and has lived in New York City since 2001. His previous exhibitions and performances include Fancy Dance Good Luck Lion at the Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ; and Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, NY, NY; the Continental de Artes Indígenas Contemporáneas at the Museo Nacional de Culturas Populares, Mexico City; and Summer Burial, a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Native Art in Santa Fe.
I am a Brooklyn based interdisciplinary artist. My work is invested in language and motif to create a hybridization of traditional and contemporary elements. For the past few years I have been focusing on combining Asian and Indigenous allegory with my own experiences. It is my attempt to advance an exploration between dialogue and styles that are not limited to their historical definitions, in order to comment on contemporary realities in a non-hierarchical way.
Bobby C. Martin
I chose to respond not directly with the prisoners’ time at Fort Marion itself, but to the
period immediately following their release, and to one ledger artist in particular—Koba
(Wild Horse). Upon his release Koba, one of Colonel Pratt’s star pupils, joined Pratt when
he began Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania.
Koba was taught to read and write in English, and it is from one of his pages of carefully
practiced cursive writing lessons that I selected to use as the foundation for my artwork.
The piece, using a photo-etching process, combines an image from my own family’s past,
a young man who attended Dwight Indian Training School in Vian, Oklahoma in the early
20th century. Many of my relatives attended various Indian schools, so I became very
interested in Koba’s experiences and his connection to the formation of schools created to
give our ancestors a “proper education.”
Bobby C. Martin is a printmaker/painter/educator/curator from Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
Martin’s artwork is exhibited and collected internationally. He has been featured in numerous
group and solo exhibitions, the most recent being a one-person exhibition entitled
Back in the Day, in the East Gallery of the Oklahoma State Capitol in 2011. His most recent
curatorial project, Indian Ink, was an exhibition of historic and contemporary Native
printmakers from the J.W. Wiggins Collection of Native American Art in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Martin’s work is in numerous museum collections, including the Philbrook Museum,
Gilcrease Museum, and the Hood Museum of Art. An enrolled member of the Muscogee
(Creek) tribe, he currently serves as an Associate Professor of Visual Arts at John Brown
University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Martin recently opened a new creative base of operations, 7 Springs Studio in rural Tahlequah, where he offers printmaking workshops and
collaborative projects with other artists.
I chose to create a portrait of one of the prisoners at Ft. Marion, a Kiowa warrior named Zotom ("Biter"). Born in 1853, he was a fierce warrior known for his keen intelligence and physical strength. Zotom was arrested along with some of the last remaining Kiowa warriors during the aftermath of the Red River War in 1875, and was imprisoned at Fort Marion, Florida until 1878. He was extremely combative during his first several months of confinement, which led to Richard Henry Pratt ordering him to be held in solitary confinement. Despite this treatment, Zotom survived to become a highly prolific and respected artist. After his release in 1878, he studied to become an Episcopal minister in Syracuse, NY, and was ordained as a deacon in 1881. Later that year, he returned to Oklahoma to be a missionary. In his later years, he was drawn back to traditional beliefs, yet never really turned his back on Christianity, either. He was, in truth, a man caught between two worlds. He died in 1913 at the age of 60.
Zotom’s experience struck a cord with me; he was an extremely intelligent and fiercely independent man. As one of the first to undergo Pratt’s “assimilation” experiment, Zotom excelled in the sense that he was well spoken and could blend in to a certain degree – but he never let go of his “true” sense of self. Many of the photos I found of him right after his release show an "assimilated and cultured” native, which was deemed as a success at the time. However, when I look at those photographs of Zotom and others like him, I see something completely different: a man being forced to wear a second skin that did not suit him.
Michelle Martin is an Associate Professor of Printmaking at The University of Tulsa, where she teaches printmaking and drawing. She received her BFA at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and earned her M.F.A. in Printmaking at The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. An active artist working in all print media and drawing, her work has been shown in over 140 national and international exhibitions since 1995. She has won numerous awards, including an Oklahoma Artist of Excellence Award, the 2007 Print Prize in the Bradley Print and Drawing Exhibition, an Oklahoma Visual Arts Fellowship. Her work is in numerous private, public and university collections, including the Kohler Library, the Muscarelle Museum of Art, The Anchor Graphics print archives, the Texas Tech Museum, and the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum.
Perspective is an interesting thing. One person’s hero is another person’s villain. When we look at our history as Americans and as Native Americans we are constantly confronted with misrepresentations. As an example, when I pull a twenty out of my wallet, the bill has the face of a man whose policies and practice defended slavery and destroyed many Indigenous lives. However, the greater whole of the nation sees a hero that is remembered and honored. If he were of any other nationality would we see his genocide as such a great accomplishment?
I see “Re-Riding History” as a way to honor our Indigenous heroes. In that light, I want to show the falsehood of America’s historical heroes and expose them as the villains that they are. Just as the ledger drawings carried the stories of 72 brave heroes, today we continue to share our own stories and perspective.
Jacob Meders is a member of the Mechoopda Indian Tribe of Chico Rancheria, California. He presently lives in Phoenix, Arizona. He graduated in 2007 with his BFA in painting and a minor in printmaking at Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia and in 2011 received his MFA in printmaking at Arizona State University.
Recently Jacob has exhibited his work in Divided Lines at The Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, NM, Agents of Change An Exhibition of Artist’ Books with a Social Conscience in Gallery 31 at the Corcoran, Washington DC, Something Old, Something New: Nothing Borrowed Recent Acquisitions from the Heard Museum Collection, at The Heard Museum in Phoenix, AZ, Illustrious at The Heard North Scottsdale Museum in Scottsdale, AZ and Transcending Traditions at Mesa Contemporary Arts in Mesa, AZ. His work is collected by major universities and other institutions in the Untied States and internationally.
Jacob’s work focuses on altered perceptions of place, culture, and identity built on the assimilation and homogenization of indigenous peoples. His work reexamines varied documentations of Native Americans through printing processes that hold on to stereotypical ideas and how they have affected the culture of the native people. Using bookforms and prints as a symbol of western knowledge and the linear mind, Jacob deploys them as a vehicle to challenge new perceptions of Native Americans.
My work negotiates the space between the Native and non-Native, the urban and rural worlds, as well as the interactions between humans, animals, plants, and spirits. I am an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation, but also am of Swedish descent. My art reflects these different influences. Instead of documenting cross-cultural conflicts, I am interested in portraying those Native and European Americans who could find common ground. These instances of collaboration may be exceptions to the norm, but they are worthy of our attention. I tend to paint specific individuals and historical incidents because understanding of Native American cultures is thwarted by the proliferation of grotesque generalities.Very little of early Cherokee painting remains, so today the most compelling visual expression of Cherokee culture is its syllabary, a unique writing system developed by Sequoyah. I include the syllabary in many of my paintings, not only because of its aesthetic value, but because language is central to our continuance as a distinct people. It is often said that if everyone who claims Cherokee descent learned the language, then Cherokee would become the official language of the United States!
Traditional animal stories provide some of the earliest roots to mainstream cartoons. Pueblo artist Pop Chalee's deer paintings inspired Disney's Bambi, and some early Bugs Bunny cartoons have plotlines that directly correspond to those of 19th century Cherokee Trickster Rabbit stories. I include pop cartoon imagery in some paintings to provide general viewers a familiar window in which to enter the work. My paintings are inspired by mediaeval manuscript illumination, the Arts and Crafts movement, Mississippian shell engravings, 60s television cartoons, and the Bacone school of painting. Common threads run through these schools of art – a love of nature and beauty, an awe of the unseen world, a flattening of space and time, and bursts of quirky humor. I endeavor to in incorporate these different traditions and connect them to my own life and times. And, incidentally, Cherokees do have a word for art: ditlilostodi.Artist
Swedish-Cherokee artist, America Meredith blends traditional styles from Native America and Europe with pop imagery of her childhood. Her influences range from the Bacone school of painting, the Arts and Crafts movement, 60s cartoons, to Mississippian shell engravings.She is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation. The Cherokee language and syllabary figure prominently in her work, as they are the strongest visual imagery unique to her tribe.
She works in pen and ink, serigraphy, monotype printing, and beadwork, but her primary focus is painting – in acrylic, egg tempera, gouache, and watercolor.
America earned her MFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute and her BFA from the University of Oklahoma. She has shown throughout the United States and in Canada and Europe in the last 17 years and has won awards at the Heard and SWAIA's Indian Market as well as at numerous competitive shows. She was a 2009 Artist Fellow of the Museum of the American, won the IAIA Distinguished Alumni Award for Excellence in Contemporary Native American Arts in 2007 and was voted San Francisco Weekly’s Painter of the Year in 2006.
My print was directly inspired by images of hunting scenes in the ledger drawings created by Native Americans held captive at Fort Marion. Out of 28 ledgers, only a handful of drawings depict scenes of assimilation or imprisonment. I found this lack of depiction very moving and inspiring, and this subject matter signaled to me a spirit of hope and remembrance instead of one of despair. Vivid and colorful drawings fill the majority of the ledger books, and they depict day-to-day life and the familiar: courtship, ritual, community, and survival. Because these were things that were important enough to depict over and over again, I wanted them to be the inspiration for my piece. I felt like it was important to draw directly on the paper in certain areas and apply ink in a way that mimicked the look of the colored pencil in the drawings.
Maren Muñoz was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado. In 2009, she recieved her BFA in printmaking from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Most recently, she has spent the past three years at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and recieved her MFA in May 2013. She specializes in relief printmaking, and her work has been exhibited, and belongs in collections, throughout the United States. She lives and works in Madison, Wisconsin.
Molly Murphy Adams
The prisoners transported from Caddo to Fort Marion brought with them beautiful personal clothing and possessions that helped maintain a sense of identity and purpose. The individuals featured in the photographic records sit with heads adorned with headdresses, holding pipebags, draped with blankets with beaded strips. The men were arrested and transported against their will and yet they found a way to bring beautiful and sacred items that would help to sustain them.
As native people we believe that objects made with our hands and in a state of reverence are imbued with a kind of power. The cultural objects we cherish reflect our tribal history and values and for this reason we persist in making our baskets, clothing, music, beadwork and pottery. We still face trials and change, and to counter this we still find support for our identity in our material culture.
Murphy Adams was born in 1977 in Great Falls, MT. A mixed blood descendent of the Oglala, Lakota tribe, Murphy Adams was raised in western Montana and earned a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from The University of Montana in 2004. Murphy Adams learned beadwork at a very early age as well as hide tanning, sewing and traditional clothing design. Much of Murphy Adams’ work stems from a combination of traditional Native arts and modern art and serves as a cultural narrative, an expression of personal experience, and an exploration of form and function. My work is primarily narrative. There are times when I am telling a specific story and pattern and design becomes the means of illustrating a compelling history. In other cases I am simply evoking emotional responses to basic elements such as shape and color. My work reflects the issues of politics, cultural identity, and learning to live with the weight of the past. Molly Murphy Adams lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband and children.
I’m representing Ta-a-way-te, whose name translates as Telling Something. Ta-a-way-te was a 22-year-old warrior when he surrendered at Fort Sill. The arrest documents list him as “a raider”, “a bad man” and “always stealing horses or on a warpath.” He must have also been a storyteller before he was forbidden to use his native language.
The army’s plan to eradicate the Southern Plains Indians by eliminating their food source resulted in the useless slaughter of millions of buffalo. This savage tactic was horribly successful. It has become a symbol of the destruction of the American Indian way of life so that the European expansion into the entire North American continent would continue.
If Ta-a-way-te could tell us anything, he might say “This is what I saw. I don’t want anyone to forget.” I say back to him – “we won’t forget.”
On my ledger page I have represented Telling Something as a vanishing buffalo.
After years in Boston’s South End, Candy Nartonis now lives and works in New Mexico. In her simplified and altered works, Nartonis condenses images representing place and experience. Isolated figures and objects within a mostly open ground symbolize arrival and escape. An affinity for working serially often results in monotypes and gridded installations.
Candy’s work has been collected and exhibited both publicly and privately across the United States and internationally. Recent shows include Candy Nartonis Up Front: 30 Years in Boston at Laconia Gallery, Pattern and Repetition at Simmons College and Rubber Tomahawks at Leich Lathrop Gallery in Albuquerque. Some recent publications are the 2010 Summer Edition of Studio Visit Magazine and the summer 2011 issue of Contemporary Impressions, The Journal of the American Print Alliance.
Nartonis’ work is in portfolios such as Pocahontas meets Hello Kitty, Circle of Print – An International Group of Printmakers, and States of the State: A Contemporary Survey of American Printing.
Through the Shadow of Cahokia is about a specific moment on the detainees’ journey. I recently was able to experience the remnants of the largest Pre-Columbian city in North America: Cahokia. When looking at the route taken by these prisoners, I thought about the irony. When Cahokia was abandoned, my belief is that it was done so because they felt that their way of life was no longer viable, and the people had to return to simpler methods of living. Then "civilization" returned, and persecuted those who were living free and without want. When the prisoners were being taken to their internment camp at Fort Marion, they had to retrace their steps back through their own previous civilization. Did they see that irony?
Chris Pappan has just recently returned from Australia as one of 3 artists chosen for the Landmarks Fellowship project with the world renowned Tamarind Institute in Albuquerque NM. The fellowship consisted of an arts and cultural exchange with the Youngul people of Northen Australia, and creating lithographs at the Tamarind Institute. Chris is also the winner of the prestigious Discovery Fellowship from the Southwestern Association of Indian Artists (SWAIA) in 2011 and the Heard Muesum’s Best of Class (Paintings, Drawings,) and Best of Division (drawing) at the 52nd artist of Kaw, Osage, Cheyenne River Sioux heritage, he is a self described Native American Lowbrow artist. Currently his artwork is based on American Indian ledger drawings of the mid to late 19th Century twist. Chris has lived in Chicago for the past 20 yrs with his wife Debra Yepa-Pappan, and their daughter Ji Hae. Chris’ work is in the collections of the National Museum of the American Indian, Washington D.C.; Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence Kansas; Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, Evanston
Illinois; The Schingoethe Center for Native Studies in Aurora Illinois and private
collections around the world.
Alex J. Peña
I find everyday experiences, relationships, and behaviors to be less than concrete and more fluid and uncertain. I indicate my assessments of certainty by using the concept of place, often a literal, physical space. Depending on the place I depict, it becomes a metaphor for comfort, tension, belonging, uneasiness, etc.
In creating my piece for “Re-Riding History,” I placed myself in the moment of the displaced Indians while they were undergoing their travails, and imagined what their perception of place was. Prisoners drew references to place, including animals on prairies but also trains and non-Native structures. The only thing that would help me endure if I were in their situation was to reflect on certain elements of my original place that brought comfort and belonging. The tree in my piece operates as this element of place but is obscured as the Indian prisoners’ reflections were obscured through their uncertain experience.
Alex was born in Lawton, Oklahoma and is a member of the Comanche Nation. He received his B.F.A. from Cameron University and M.F.A in Studio Arts and Printmaking from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009. He currently resides, continues his art practice, and teaches Printmaking and Drawing in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Peña has had numerous solo-exhibitions and been included in group exhibitions in the U.S. and in international group shows in Europe and Asia. In the fall of 2012, Alex participated in his first International Biennial in Novosibirsk, Siberia. He has won numerous awards at the SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market and been the recipient of several fellowships and residencies. Peña will make his curatorial debut at MoCNA in 2014 and will be concurrently exhibiting in a two-person show.
He has taught Printmaking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently teaching at the Institute of American Indian Arts.
While conducting research for this project, I came across a stunning portrait of Kiowa war chief, Sa-tan-ta, or “White Bear” (Settainte). Having not delved into much history regarding the Plains Indians, I knew little about this quite famous man. Though I took a historical approach in creating this small edition, it was the initial beauty of this particular image of Sa-tan-ta from which much inspiration blossomed.
After beginning with a simple lithographic drawing, elements of iconic Kiowa leger drawings came into play. They help to tell a story of war, peace, capture, imprisonment and ultimate death - a story that rings much too true for far too many. It was only after I completed the print that I learned about Sa-tan-ta’s final imprisonment, during which he was forced to build a railway while bound in chains on the hunting grounds of his people. Broken in spirit, with no hope of escape, the great chief leapt to his death. Rest well, White Bear.
Jessie Barnes is currently a candidate for an MFA in Printmaking from the University of North Texas, and holds a BFA in Painting, Drawing & Printmaking from the University of North Florida, where she graduated with highest honors in 2013. She is a recipient of a Graduate Assistant Tuition Scholarship, the Lazzara Scholarship, and the Outstanding Graduate in Printmaking Award.
Barnes has served as a printmaking studio assistant at Penland School of Crafts, University of North Florida and Pensacola State College, and has participated in both domestic and international exhibitions. Her work can be found in the permanent collections of Harper College and El Minia University. For more information about the artist and her work, please visit http://jessiekbarnes.tumblr.com.
To be an artist working with printmedia is to have a particular orientation towards replication, distribution, and representation. As printed matter is an increasingly ubiquitous part of our visual culture, printmaking as a fine art continues to expand and encompass a broadening definition. These complexities demand that I question how I see, picture, and frame the world around me.
The ledger drawings of the Fort Marion prisoners prompted my interest in history as a site of competing stories and representations. To this end, my work is guided by the following questions: what stories shape my interaction with and understanding of our nation’s history? How have cultural and historical scripts, media, and technology disciplined me? How does a lineage of art history influence a particular way making images? And finally, what stories do I contribute in my work as an artist to this discourse?
Originally from the Midwest, Nicole Pietrantoni is an Assistant Professor of Art at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. Employing both traditional and non-traditional methods of printmaking, she creates installations, books, and works on paper. Nicole’s honors include a Fulbright to Iceland, a Leifur Eiríksson Foundation Scholarship, the Margaret Stonewall Wooldridge Hamblet Award, and an Elizabeth Catlett Fellowship. Her artwork is in numerous collections and has been exhibited both in the US and abroad. She has been awarded artist residencies in the US, Iceland, and Italy including the SÍM Residency, Akureyri Artists Residency, the Ora Lerman Charitable Trust, and the Emerging Artist Editions Program at the Venice Printmaking Studio. Nicole received her MFA and MA in Printmaking at the University of Iowa and her BS in Art History and Human and Organizational Development at Vanderbilt University.
My paintings are often firmly grounded in a sense of place. Standing inside the thick coquina walls of Fort Marion, I could imagine the soul-crushing despair of the Kiowa artist who patiently carved his people’s sacred sun symbol on one of these walls, and how that work must have temporarily freed him from the confinements of time and space -- an experience every artist can relate to. As wonderful as they are, the Plains prisoners’ ledger drawings can be seen as acts of submission to their captors. This wall carving is an act of defiance, and of devotion. In recreating his remarkable work on paper, I have chosen to honor the artist who had the courage to make his own art in the face of great hardship and deprivation.
A native of New Orleans, Beau Redmond has lived and worked in St. Augustine for the past 17 years, within walking distance of the Castillo de San Marco, formerly Fort Marion. He is perhaps best known for his newspaper and magazine collaged paintings of the New York financial district, New Orleans, and the Lincolnville neighborhood of St. Augustine. A graduate of Washington and Lee University with dual majors in fine arts and economics, Redmond began a banking career at the Bank of New Orleans, while continuing to paint, and in 1968 and 1969 had successful exhibitions at the Downtown Gallery in the French Quarter of New Orleans. In 1980 he departed from the corporate world and began a new career as a full-time painter. His work is internationally known and his paintings can be found in many private, corporate and public collections.
I regularly passed a buffalo ranch on boyhood fishing and hunting trips in rural Kansas. Driving by, my grandfather told me about the buffalo – how many there were, how they lived, how wallows were formed. I later realized that this was a form of oral tradition, that his father had done this same. As the first generation graduate and professor, I function in disparate environment, extroverted and abstracted, one of rubrics, statistics, and symbols. This antithetical nature is depicted by the “buffalo sentence” at the top of the image, a representation of the occasional absurdity of a text-based culture. The sentence, while grammatically correct, is a meaningless and perpetual self-reference. Descending from the sentence is its parse tree diagram over six grain silos. Below that is a ledger drawing reference of a Cheyenne scouting buffalo overlaid upon a realistic rendering of the northeastern Kansas landscape and framed by Victorian borders. The work is comprised of synthetic and natural papers to reflect the differences of oral and text-based traditions.
Brandon Sanderson split his formative years between rural Kansas and Colorado Springs, Colorado. He holds a B.S. from Colorado State University-Pueblo in Printmaking and Computer Programming and an M.F.A. In Printmaking from the University of South Dakota, where he studied under Lloyd Menard. Sanderson has been teaching printmaking and drawing at the University of North Carolina-Pembroke since 2008. He has participated in more than 300 exhibitions since 2000, including 35 international venues. Since 2008, he has brought 22 visiting printmakers to UNCP and held 16 visiting artist workshops at 15 universities.
My contribution to the project is a combination of the trace monotype technique, image transfers, and drawing. I choose to use the Seminole patchwork pattern of “alligator’s eye”, along with subtle image transfers of hair. According to Art From Fort Marion: The Silberman Collection by Joyce M. Szabo, upon their arrival to Florida General Pratt had ordered the 72 Indians to cut their hair and dress in military uniforms.
“As an army officer, he felt military disciple would benefit his charges, so he had the men’s haircut, exchanged their plains-style clothing for military uniforms, and formed a guard unit from within the prisoner’s ranks.” (Szabo, 2007)
This act, among many other events displayed lack of respect and regard to the displaced people’s way of life. My ties to these events are geographical; my current residence is in Norman, Oklahoma.
Born in Temple, Texas in 1985 Katy Seals has always been infatuated image making and the multiple. As a young person Seals was always exposed to art and gallery culture from the benefit of her family, and is a second generation artist. Seals soon fell in love with printmaking while earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas in 2008. In May of 2012 Seals completed her Master of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking at The University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma. While in the graduate program Seals was awarded an assistant teaching position and has taught relief printmaking, screen-printing and beginning stone lithography. Seals has studied printmaking at Frogman’s Printmaking workshops in Vermillion, South Dakota at the University of South Dakota, and has attended the Southern Graphic Conferences. Currently, Seals is an Assistant Professor of Printmaking at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. Seals enjoys making work about the underbelly of American culture, while exploring themes of modern feminism.
Sarah Sense, Chitimacha/Choctaw
Weaving the Americas is a continuation of my search project on the contemporary Indigenous culture of the Americas, which has pleasantly brought me closer to my weaving practice and understanding community as a contemporary continuation of tradition, reflecting cultural evolution. Searching is my primary conceptual resource for creating narratives in my art that communicate connections; my visual image collection is a record of the search while the process of weaving the images with original basket patterns from my Chitimacha ancestry is my effort to continue a familial tradition. As my career has positioned me to live in unique Native art communities of North America, I have developed a curiosity for Native art south of the United States border. From 2010 – 2012, I have dedicated my research to learning about Latin American culture by living and traveling throughout Central and South America, bringing me to, Weaving the Americas, a seven-month journey concentrating on the Pacific Coast of the Americas. The histories are there in my weavings with the colors of land matching the palettes of Indigenous weavers and painters, carrying with a history that stretches around the Gulf of Mexico and into the Yucatán Peninsula, reaching beyond the blue-green Caribbean Sea, across the rolling hills of Ecuador and lifting up to the sun in the mountain tips of Peru’s lost city and deep into the crevices of the Andes down to the icy blue glaciers of Chile and Argentina. This is America; this is the palette of our people, the patterns that have been woven into the communities’ lives and reach out from the veins of our ancestors into our own blood that moves our bodies into dance and our hands into weaving. This is Weaving the Americas; it is a search for the heart of these lands and a presentation of the artist’s perspective.
Sarah Sense received a BFA from California State University, Chico (2003), and an MFA from Parsons The New School for Design, New York (2005). Sense’s visual art practice is weaving photographs with traditional Chitimacha basketry techniques. Since 2010, Sense has been traveling and researching contemporary Indigenous arts throughout North, Central, and South America and Southeast Asia. She recently published her first book, Weaving the Americas, A Search for Native Art in the Western Hemisphere, a project based on a seven month journey from Canada to Chile. The project garnered her first traveling solo exhibition, Weaving the Americas, Tejiendo las Amerícas, premiering at Museo de Arte Contempráneo, Universidad Austral, Valdivia, Chile (2011). Her most recent project, Weaving Water premieredin Bristol, UK with Rainmaker Gallery, with curatorial support from Max Carocci of British Museum (2013). Other recent exhibitions include: First Continental Biennale of Contemporary Native Arts, Museo de Nacional Culturas Populares, Mexico City (2012), HIDE: Skin As Material and Metaphor, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian, New York (2010); Pieces of Home, Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington (2010); Reimagining the West, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, AZ (2010); In/SIGHT, Chelsea Art Museum, New York, (2010). Collections include the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian, the Chitimacha Tribal Museum, Eaton Corporation, Tweed Museum of Art at University of Minnesota; and private collections in Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Germany, England, and the United States.
Ledger Art is encoded with complex symbols, colors, and meanings, not all of which are obvious to the viewer and the same holds true with Graffiti Art. Ledger Art exists outside of what is typically considered “Fine Art”, graffiti does as well. Graffiti is a text derived art that has a strong oral tradition; what the camera does not capture is often faded by the sun or painted over by city/government workers and all that is left is the story. “Revision” is about connecting with the creativity of the original Ledger Artists and at the same time reflects the contemporary existence of Native people today.
Hoka Skenandore was born in 1982 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His multicultural roots include the Oneida of Wisconsin, the Oglala Lakota, the La Jolla Band of Luiseno, as well as Chicano heritage. He grew up in a home where he learned to appreciate Traditional Native Art as well as Fine Art. On his own he embraced the D.I.Y. ethos of Punk Rock, and Hip-Hop Culture and painted Graffiti Art. He transitioned from painting Graffiti to working on murals in the Albuquerque metro area. After a year in Americorps he attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and earned a BFA in 2006. He is the father of two wonderful children. He and his wife currently live and work in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith
(Enrolled Salish, member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation, Montana)
It is well known that Native Americans have mnemonic memories, especially our elders who are walking encyclopedias of culture. Relatable stories have been passed down from parent to child and from tribe to tribe. The retold history of Fort Marion could be our story too if we were to change the dates or location. All tribal people can relate because we all know that Manifest Destiny meant to steal our homelands, leave us to starve, shoot us or if nothing else worked then to incarcerate us. In today’s vernacular, this could be called Ethnic Cleansing. Ledger drawings show this policy in action. Anthropologists need to talk to the elders for truthful history rather than only talking to other anthropologists. Anthropologists continually perpetuate myth around these drawings. Who gets to tell the story? The answer is, “those who are in power.” The Manifest Destiny is alive.
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith calls herself a cultural art worker. She uses humor and satire to examine myths, stereotypes and the paradox of American Indian life in contrast to the consumerism of American society. Her work is philosophically centered by her strong traditional beliefs and political activism. Smith is internationally known as an artist, curator, lecturer, printmaker and professor. She was born at St. Ignatius Mission on her Reservation and is an enrolled Salish member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation of Montana. She holds four honorary doctorates from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Mass College of Art and the University of New Mexico. Her work is in collections at the Whitney Museum, the Metropolitan Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Walker, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Recent awards include a grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation to archive her work; the 2011 Art Table Artist Award; Moore College Visionary Woman Award for 2011; Induction into the National Academy of Art 2011; Living Artist of Distinction, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, NM 2012; the Switzer Award for 2012.
Frustration: Reconciliation is influenced by the visual motifs and compositions found in several of the ledger drawings of the Fort Marion prisoners as well as the stripping of culture and identity from the prisoners. I reflected on the prisoners’ journeys and realized that while I can relate to the prisoners’ disconnect from their identity and culture in my own Mexican and Samoan backgrounds, I will never be able to fully feel and experience the emotional journey of their imprisonment. The work was driven by the frustration of my inability to wholly empathize with the prisoners’ journeys and being unable to find personal reconciliation about this part of our American history that impacts my home today.
Cat Snapp lives and works in Seattle, Washington. Snapp earned an MFA from the University of North Texas (Denton, Texas) and a BFA from the University of Central Florida (Orlando, Florida) and her works on paper are included in several national and international collections. She was recently awarded the Ladies of Letterpress Scholarship and the Paul H. & Ginger S. Duensing Scholarship from Penland School of Crafts and her work is included in the upcoming release, 500 Handmade Books Volume Two, published by Lark Crafts.
I chose to honor the memory of Alfrich Heap of Birds, Cheyenne from Custer County, Oklahoma who was taken prisoner as a small child, ordered “very gradually released” from Fort Marion in 1877, studied for three years at Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, returned to Custer County, married, had four children, farmed and served as his tribe’s interpreter and headman. In his response to 1910 Carlisle survey, he writes: “ I interpreted before the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Secretary of the Interior and President Roosevelt. ... I want to give my family and my tribe the benefit of what I learned at Carlisle. I advise my people what is true.”
What was it like to be a bridge between the cultures at the time when heavy-handed assimilation tactics were considered liberal policy? Little that remains of documentation on Alfrich Heap of Birds offers a glimpse of the price that had to be paid.
Tanja Softic´ studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of Sarajevo and Old Dominion. An immigrant to United States from former Yugoslavia, she explores questions of cultural identity, national belonging and experience of exile. She is Professor of Art at the University of Richmond.
She received Pollock-Krasner Grant, National Endowment for the Arts/ Southern Arts Federation Visual Artist Fellowship and Soros Foundation—Open Society Institute Exhibition Support Grant. Her work is included in numerous collections worldwide, among them New York Public Library, Library of Congress Print Department and New South Wales Gallery of Art in Sydney, Australia. She won a First Prize at the the 5th Kochi International Triennial Exhibition of Prints, Ino-cho Paper Museum in Kochi, Japan in 2002. She completed print projects at Flying Horse Press, Tamarind Institute and Anderson Ranch's Patton Print Studio.
C. Maxx Stevens
I started with the story of the grasshopper. This story is based on the Seminole history and the Seminole war and as a child the stories I listen to were surrounded with such mythical and wonderful imagery and I would always smile when I dad would begin a story. Basically the story I thought worked with the theme goes like this: during the Seminole wars the British would go into the Everglades to capture the Seminoles hiding and one of the ways the Seminoles would avoid capture is by sending out scouts who would turn themselves into grasshoppers and sit on the leaves watching for these search groups. When they spotted a group they would return and help prevented the community from harm. I found the story creating such pride in me and knowing how these scouts would sacrifice themselves for the people.
Another story that also intrigue me was the removal of the Seminoles from Florida to Oklahoma Indian Territory. The Seminoles removal was achieved by putting them on boats. My dad always talked about how there were Seminoles along the path from Florida and Oklahoma due to them jumping off the ships and escaping. He would talk about the desire to go to Mexico to meet them, as he said there were Seminoles in the mountains in Mexico.
But as I started to work on these various images I kept layering them and slowly the drawing marks started to be cover and lost but I was never really happy with the piece until I took short bands of patchwork that my mom and I made and applied these to the drawing, basically hiding my marks. At this point I felt it started to make sense as it is communicates that history changes and yet the pride is still alive today.
History is always subjective, depending on who is recounting the events of the past. Oral tradition within tribal community and family is dependent on who is able to pass these stories onward.
I was lucky that my dad was a great storyteller and all my childhood he took the time and responsibility to continuously telling us stories. Some of them were about the family stories and others were tribal stories. When I first started on this project I thought a lot about the history of the relationship of the government and tribal governments and what that meant to me as a child and as an adult. Where do I begin and as I worked on the project the drawings took many different routes and concepts but in the end it all seem too much to resolved in a single work.
Tony A. Tiger
My art is fueled by the rediscovery of being; mankind is more than a physical being, we are soul, and spirit. I explore the wonder and mystery of existence through my art with acrylic paint, fine art prints, three dimensional forms and photographic images. I obtain form and subject-matter from the world around me; creation's wonder and beauty, mankind's history, personal belief and faith in the Creator of all things...
Tony is the Direct of Art and Assistant Professor of Art at Bacone College in Muskogee, Oklahoma. He earned a Masters of Fine Art for the University of Oklahoma, A Bachelors of Fine Art from Oklahoma State University, and an Associate of Art Degree from Seminole State College. Tiger is a painter, mix media, and printmaking artists. Tony also enjoys curating art exhibitions and lecturing on contemporary Native American art.
In creating a work, responding to the imprisonment and relocation of 72 Native Americans captured at Salt Fork, Oklahoma to St. Augustine, Florida, from 1875 to 1878, I realized, I was not so much interested in what they saw during their transport, but rather what they did not see. Titling the piece The Vanishing Horizon, points to the visions, which some of these prisoners would not see for some time, and others never to see again. Their homeland, homes and families diminishing and disappearing on the horizon. The attempted erasure of their culture, with the cutting of their hair, the stripping of their traditional garments, and native language. Given names replaced with "christian" names. I listed as many of the 72 prisoners I could fit on a found ledger page. Recording their names, ages, weight and height, as though an inventory of stock. Finally embroidering, with human hair, tears spilling from vacant eyes.
Alison Saar is an American artist, whose work explores themes of African and African American cultural diaspora and spirituality. Saar was born in 1956 in Los Angeles, California, where she studied art and art history at Scripps College and received an MFA from the Otis Art Institute. She has been awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and two National Endowment Fellowships. Alison has exhibited at many galleries and museums, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Whitney Museum of American Art, Her art is represented in the collections of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.. She currently resides in Los Angeles.
Our understanding of history comes from a variety of sources, and while it is true that many of these are written, I believe that popular American perspectives of the country's western expansion are perceived and held visually. Depictions of the west have changed little over time--a pervasive feature of the American self-image--an exotic adventure met always by the undaunted spirit of the American male fulfilling his promise of taming the entirety of what is most commonly portrayed as a boundless continent.
The story of the Fort Marion prisoners fits poorly within this popular history, primarily because the genocidal attitude and activities that defined white/native relations at that time are so utterly unlikable. The fact that Etahdleuh Doanmoe’s ledger drawings do not participate blindly in the visual corroboration of a self-inflating American identity, but undeniably present the perspective of the in-between, prompts my role within this exhibition to generate a work that responds critically to the incidental history he created instead, and to locate myself within a similarly liminal space.
The jumbled images and words found on portraits, playbills, adverts, chromo-lithographs--the visual and oratorical history of my own ancestors--may elicit guilt and even shame in a son or daughter of colonialism. However, just as I believe it is necessary to see and hear the perspectives of those who did not conquer, it is equally important that I trace the paths that have led to my place of privilege and comfort. Ideally, these paths could converge somewhere in the middle, to the benefit of all of us currently living the history of the next 140 years.
Ericka Walker was born in Hartford, WI. She earned a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an MFA from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Walker investigates histories of propaganda and printed ephemera for popular causes to explore relationships between the politics of industry, national identity, family, nostalgia, romance, and war. Her work has been included in numerous international and domestic exhibitions, exchanges, and collections. Walker currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Art at NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
I spent the past year working on an artist’s book about the 1862 Dakota uprising in Minnesota. Living and working on land that had been the home of the Dakota, I was doing a commemorative piece for a time in history that included the largest mass execution in U.S. history, and the total removal of the Dakota from the state. Unfortunately, it is a history that was repeated in various versions in nearly every state in the country. For the Re-Riding history project, I used one of the prisoner photographs, but put it along side of a photo of a tall ship. The images of these ships are used to honor a spirit of exploration, but they also should be seen as symbols of military conquest.
Fred Hagstrom teaches at Carleton College in Northfield Minnesota, where he is the Rae Schupack Nathan Professor of Art. He has degrees from Hamline University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and also worked with Stanley William Hayter at Atelier 17 in Paris. He has always had an interest in printmaking’s history of making powerful statements of social and political importance. He now works primarily in the format of artist’s books. He has books in over 50 public collections. Subjects for his previous books include the internment of Japanese Americans, nuclear testing in the Pacific, and the Atlantic slave trade.
My response to the ledger drawings is a piece that explores the role of technology in the subjugation of indigenous peoples, from the intentional spreading of disease as an early form of bio-warfare, to the use of rifles and artillery, to the systematic structures of forced relocation. As in all my work, technology is symbolized by the visual metaphor of analog machine parts. In this case, the machine parts themselves become characters of colonial power, an overseeing and menacing presence looking down upon a population of survivors that persevere as they migrate across the landscape.
Nathan Meltz uses collage, printmaking, and animation to comment on the infiltration of technology into every facet of life, from politics and food, to family and war. He has had solo exhibitions at the Thaddeus Kwiat Projects Gallery(NY) the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s 101 Gallery(NY), and Southern Illinois University’s Vergette Gallery. Internationally, Meltz has exhibited at the IN Graafika Festival, Pärnu, Estonia, the Uranium Film Festival at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and the Duncan of Jordanstone School of Art and Design in Dundee, Scotland. His work has been featured in the publications Paper Politics, Sociological Images, Printeresting and the Mid America Print Council Journal. Meltz is the founder and curator of the East Coast National Screenprint Biennial hosted in Upstate New York, and is a Lecturer in the Department of the Arts at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
My contribution to the Re-Riding History project includes an intaglio piece titled “Gravity.” After extensive researching of the seventy-two imprisoned Native Americans at Fort Marion, I made many attempts to create work focused around a specific event or imprisoned individual. This process was insightful and led me to realize that my reaction to the content was much broader than what could be represented with such specific parameters.
In a broader sense, my contribution aims to convey a sense of uncertainty as it relates to time and place. My choice to use the Universal Ring Dial is based on its intended function to utilize one’s physical coordinates and the position of the sun to tell time. It is purposefully depicted without the light from the sun, rendering it inoperable. My selection of falling feathers, excluding a context, references the separation of the Native Americas from their land.
Jon Goebel received his MFA in Printmaking from Texas Tech University and currently serves as Assistant Professor of Art and Master Printer for the University of Hawaii Hilo. He has shown in over 100 exhibitions across the United States and abroad including China, Bulgaria, Argentina, Spain, South Korea, Canada, India, and Puerto Rico. Jon has also taught numerous color intaglio workshops across the Country and in China. Recent accolades for his work include: Artist of the Year, Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC; Best in Show, Paper in Particular, Columbia College, Columbia, MO; Purchase Prize, Ink, Press, Repeat, William Patterson University Galleries, Wayne, NJ; Purchase Award, America’s Paperworks Exhibition, Minot State University, Minot, ND; Award Winner, National Print Exhibition, Artlink, Fort Wayne, IN.
My sketch, “The Land Grab” is one of a dozen or more studies done for “Eminent Domain, A Brief History of America” (oil on canvas, 84x144” 2010-11). Like many of the Ledger Drawing artists at Fort Marion, I document the world around me, focusing on contemporary social and political issues, sometimes with a critique of history from today’s vantage point. Although I was aware of ledger drawings and hide paintings, I did not consider myself related to this genre until I was invited to participate in this exhibition, Re-Riding History. After studying the history of the
Fort Marion prisoners and their drawings, I see how my work, and the work of other contemporary Indian artists, are closely related to this genre. I now see my monumental painting, “Eminent Domain, A Brief History of America” as 7x12’ ledger drawing.
Jim Denomie was born in Hayward, Wisconsin on July 6, 1955 and currently lives in Franconia, MN. Primarily a painter (oil, acrylic and watercolor), he also creates unique works of art in ink, and oil pastel drawings, printmaking, photography, and found object sculpture.
In 1995, Denomie received a BFA degree from the University of Minnesota. Since then, he has shown extensively in the U.S. and in Europe in numerous group and solo exhibitions. His work has been placed in the permanent collections of numerous museums as well as many other public and private collections. Also, Denomie’s work has been included in local and national publications and he is the recipient of several prestigious grants and awards.
In 2005, Denomie completed a task of painting at least one painting a day, for one year. Much of the work was showcased in the exhibition “New Skins” at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in 2007, and he was named one of City Pages Artist of the Year for 2007. In 2008, he was awarded a Bush Artist Fellowship and in 2009, an Eiteljorg Native American Fine Art Fellowship and most recently, a 2012 McKnight Fellowship.
I have often wondered where the souls of those who have been victims of genocide go when they depart this world. Do they stay as displaced entities wondering or waiting to be reunited with their loved ones? Or do they depart immediately, knowing that their fate was beyond their control, and how, in the next world, can they become whole once again? I thought of these questions when I had the opportunity to visit Auschwitz a few years ago. With much dread and anticipation I visited the now barren camp as a tourist, a strange role I felt I was playing, though important to bear witness to the historical events that occurred there. Much to my surprise, and delight, I had the strongest feeling that not a soul remained on the site, everyone left, literally and spiritually. It was comforting to imagine that the victims of Auschwitz were reunited with their families and did not linger in the place as tortured souls looking for answers that would not come. I like to image the same for the 72 souls who perished in the Fort Marion prison. Their souls flew away to hopefully find peace in the next world.
Mary Hood, born in 1966 and originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA currently resides in Tempe, Arizona, USA, where she is an associate professor of art/printmaking at Arizona State University. Previously, she taught at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of North Texas as a visiting professor. Hood received her Master of Fine Art degree from the University of Dallas, in Dallas, Texas and her undergraduate degree from Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. As part of her teaching philosophy, Mary uses printmaking to focus on community-affiliated projects such as RIPPLE (2005), for Katrina evacuees in Arizona, DITTO (2006), a public art project, and Map(ing) (2009/2011), a collaborative project between Native artists and ASU graduate students. Mary is the recipient of numerous residencies, publications, and awards for her work including the 2008 Faculty Achievement Award and the 2006 Award for Public Scholarship. In 2012 Mary was awarded the Annual Evelyn Smith Endowed Professorship to support her community scholarship.
Mary Hood’s practice focuses on Silence, Time and Space, Identity and experience has been exhibited widely throughout the world including the International Print Center New York, NYC, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO, Blue Star Art Complex, TX, LaGrange Art Museum, GA, Loyola University Chicago, IL, Kasene Kulturcenter, Denmark, Contemporary Art Projects, Bulgaria, VACA Cultural Association, Italy, Polytechnic Institute of Technology, New Zealand, Pont Aven School for Contemporary Art, France, Alexandria Bibliotheca, Egypt, and the Estonia National Library, Estonia. Mary is the recipient of numerous residencies, publications, and awards for her work including the 2008 Faculty Achievement Award and the 2006 Award for Public Scholarship. In 2012 Mary was awarded the Annual Evelyn Smith Endowed Professorship to support her community scholarship.
My work deals largely with our sense of place(ment), or topophilia. Much of the content focuses on how we perceive journey: from one side of the room to another or across a city, country, or continents. Through all of these movements, we follow a thread of temporality, remembering where we were and imagining where we are going. In doing so, there is an entanglement of the body in its relationship to nostalgia as we are conspicuously aware of the past, even as we are acting in the present. The phrase “carrying places with us” takes on physical meaning through this awareness.
This seemed very connected to this project in remembering and honoring the historical events surrounding the march and subsequent imprisonment. With my piece I attempted to hint at the tension between identity and otherness as well as the interconnectedness of original experience versus augmentation of experience through memory via embedded photographs, inverted documents and appropriated drawings.
Tracy Templeton’s images capture the subtle changes wrought by time, the unremarkable gaps between events, and what is left at the end. And through the process of her printmaking, she asks the question common to any journey: “From here to where?” Templeton became the Head of Printmaking at Indiana University in 2013. Previously, she taught at Southern Oregon University, the University of Alberta, the University of Regina, and Illinois State University. Her work has been widely exhibited across the United States and throughout the world, including more than 100 exhibitions in Canada, Mexico, England, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, China, Bulgaria, Poland, Russia, Japan, Malaysia, and South Korea. Templeton has won Honorary Mention at the Seoul Print Biennial and third place in the Great Canadian Printmaking Competition as well as being awarded numerous artist grants. Templeton earned her MFA from the University of Alberta and her BFA from the University of Regina, Canada. tracytempleton.org
As a florida native and white southerner, it was impossible for me to explore the history of the plains indian’s exile to Ft. Marion without confronting my own ignorance of the history. I began to frame my experience of contemporary St. Augustine in relation its violent past and began to implicate the historical tourist industry as a mechanism for enabling people’s ignorance and complicity with systems of violent oppression. This work is both an elegy and a provocation to look beneath the veneer of historical tourism towards what is hidden from popular experience of a place.
Mitchell received a BFA in Sculpture from the University of South Florida in 2005 and an MFA in New Genres from the University of Maryland College Park in 2008.
Mitchell has shown her work in numerous group and solo exhibitions, at venues such as the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Conner Contemporary, the DC Art Center and the International Waldkunst Zentrum in Germany. Her work has been featured in many publications, such as Art Papers, Art in America and the Washington Post. She was also awarded a Expanded Artist’s Book grant from Columbia College Chicago for her upcoming project in collaboration with Denise Bookwalter, “Rain/fall,” a data driven artist’s book and mobile application.
When I was a child, I remember going to “the Old Fort” at Ft. Marion in St. Augustine. I was told that Indians stayed in the Fort and imagined them as honored guests. It was never said that they were prisoners of war.
Today, I am an artist and a beekeeper. As I research the forced journey from Ft. Sill, Oklahoma to Ft. Marion, Florida, the rail road map reminds me of the bee trails I see when bees are coming to and leaving their hive in my back yard.
I imagined that the prisoners might have noticed details like the trails that bees paint in the sunlight. I wondered if seeing the bees in this light might have been an escape from confinement, like it is for me.
I wondered about the role of the honeybee within Native traditions. It is said that the Cherokee people kept hives and bees as part of their farming communities but other native traditions describe bees as the “settlers’ guns.”
Colonists used the bee hive as a metaphor for “industry and efficiency” in the New World, but the devastation caused by colonization of indigenous land caused many Native Americans to interpret the honey bee as synonymous with all they were losing.
Like many children during the years of forced incarceration, Jason “Going to Run” Betzinez was selected by Pratt from the Chiricahua Apache tribe as a “volunteer” for boarding school and he was re-named Jason when he reached Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Here is what he wrote for the Carlisle Indian School Newspaper:
“I see the bees in the summer . . .the bees work in the summer time . . . . And make honey. And the bees are not lazy in the summer and the bees live in the bee-hive. But bees is very sting, too.”
- Alicia Delgadillo. From Fort Marion to Fort Sill, A Documentary History of the Chiricahua Apache Prisoners of War, 1886-1913. University of Nebraska Press. 2013.
Linda Broadfoot had planned to major in biology and at one point considered pursuing a career in architecture. She worked as a nurse as she studied for her BA degree in art history from the University of North Florida. Her varied interests and experiences in science and the arts coalesce in photographic studies of insects and plant forms and most recently, the creation of an Artists' book, INSECTA.
Broadfoot has exhibited throughout the United States and in Europe and her work is held in many private, public and corporate collections including the Polaroid Collection, Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Audubon Institute, New Orleans, Louisiana, Santa Barbara Museum of Art and the George Eastman House, Rochester, New York. Her work is also held in many Rare Book Collections including those at UCLA, University of Chicago, University of Colorado and University of Utah. Recent exhibitions include Counterclockwise - Photographs from the Polaroid Collection, Galerie Image, Aarhous, Denmark, Anamalia Venustiora / Beautiful Creatures, Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, California, and "Linda L. Broadfoot - Recent Work, Sol Mednick Gallery, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Among the awards and honors she has received are Florida Individual Artist Fellowship, 2000 and currentl,y 2008, Florida Artist Enhancement Grants, 2004 and 2005, Polaroid Corporation Artist Support Grant, 2001, Fellowship Grant, Women's Studio Workshop, Rosendale, New York, and Community Foundation Individual Artist Grants, Jacksonville 2001, 2003 and 2007. She currently holds the position of Artist in Residence for Duval County, Florida.
Representing Broadfoot's work are John Stevenson Gallery and Sears-Peyton Gallery in New York, Weston Gallery in Carmel, California, Oswald Gallery in Austin, Texas and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Anne Reed Gallery, Ketchum, Idaho. Of her work, Broadfoot states, "It is my hope that, beyond its descriptive or decorative character, this work possesses the honest simplicity and clarity to reveal nature's creation of its own art."
Rory Erler Wakemup
Mixed media artist Rory Erler Wakemup works in resin, motorcycle parts, and sometimes, toxic materials. His beautiful, highly industrial pieces demonstrate how Earth’s natural elements can endure even after years of toxic treatment by human beings. While his work may not fit stereotypes of Native art, Erler Wakemup believes that anything a Native artist creates is Native art. “If you want stereotypical Indian art (the End of the Trail, or whatever fits in that category) there are plenty of Made in China artifacts you can get for cheap,” he says.
Mel Chin was born in Houston, Texas in 1951. Chin’s art, which is both analytical and poetic, evades easy classification. He is known for the broad range of approaches in his art, including works that require multi-disciplinary, collaborative teamwork and works that conjoin cross-cultural aesthetics with complex ideas.
Chin also insinuates art into unlikely places, including destroyed homes, toxic landfills, and even popular television, investigating how art can provoke greater social awareness and responsibility. He developed Revival Field (1989-ongoing), a project that has been a pioneer in the field of “green remediation,” the use of plants to remove toxic, heavy metals from the soil. From 1995-1998 he formed the collective, the GALA Committee, that produced In the Name of the Place, a conceptual public art project conducted on American prime-time television. In KNOWMAD, Chin worked with software engineers to create a video game based on rug patterns of nomadic people facing cultural disappearance. His film, 9-11/9-11, a hand-drawn, 24 minute, joint Chilean/USA Production, won the prestigious Pedro Sienna Award, for Best Animation, National Council for the Arts and Cultures, Chile, in 2007. Chin also promotes “works of art” that have the ultimate effect of benefiting science, as in Revival Field, and also in the recent Operation Paydirt/Fundred Dollar Bill Project, an attempt to make New Orleans a lead-safe city (see www.fundred.org.) These projects are consistent with a conceptual philosophy, which emphasizes the practice of art to include sculpting and bridging the natural and social ecology.
Chin’s work was documented in the popular PBS program, Art of the 21st Century. Chin has received numerous awards and grants from organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council for the Arts, Art Matters, Creative Capital, and the Penny McCall, Pollock/Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Rockefeller and Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundations, among others.
Etahdleuh Doanmoe was a Kiowa man who was captured by the U.S. Army in Oklahoma in 1875 and imprisoned in Ft. Marion. He did many drawings during the three years he spent there. I came across one that was described as a classroom scene. Students sit a long desk. The teacher stands in front and behind the teacher is an empty blackboard. To me the classroom looked like a dark cave. It depressed me that there was nothing on the blackboard. It seemed like an unfriendly place and I thought of being in a dark cave and the scary creatures that can reside in these places. I most often use insects in my work and so upon a facsimile of Doanmoe’s drawing I placed my scariest and darkest insects to surround this called place of learning. I hope that it conveys the despair that the prisoners must have felt.
Jennifer Angus, born in Edmonton, became a professor in the Design Studies department at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She received her arts education at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Angus has exhibited her work internationally including Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan and Spain. She has been the recipient of grants from the Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, the Wisconsin Arts Board and the University of Wisconsin. Her exhibition A Terrible Beauty at the Textile Museum of Canada was selected as Exhibition of the Year by the Ontario Association of Art Galleries in 2006.
Dyani White Hawk
Lieutenant Richard Henry Pratt, charged with the supervision of the first 72 Plains warriors held at Ft. Marion, created a devastating legacy impacting generations of Indian people. 140 years later immeasurable amounts of people are still deeply suffering from methodologies he developed. At Ft. Marion Pratt coined the phrase “Kill the Indian, Save the Man”. Upon this idea, the Indian boarding school system was created to eradicate Native languages and culture through assimilation of Indian children.
These 72 warriors and the children that followed were forcibly removed from their homes, their bodies and identities attacked. Their hair was cut, clothes and belongings stripped away; they were punished for speaking their language. Under Pratt’s model, generations of Indian people were beat and shamed—tore from the very center of their being. Pratt’s legacy targeted the most vital organ, the hearts of our people. The weapon of choice was our own culture.
Dyani White Hawk currently resides in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is Sicangu Lakota, an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. White Hawk earned a MFA in studio arts in 2011 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and BFA in 2-Dimensional studio arts in 2008 from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is currently the Gallery Director and Curator for the All My Relations Gallery in Minneapolis, Minnesota. White Hawk has been widely exhibited throughout the Midwest and New Mexico and in 2013, at the University of Venice, Italy. She is a recipient of the 2013/14 McKnight Visual Artist Fellowship and the 2012 Southwestern Association of Indian Arts Discovery Fellowship. White Hawk is an award-winning artist earning Best of Division and first place prizes at the 2013 and 2012 Santa Fe Indian Art Market and Best of Classification at the Santa Fe Indian Art Market in 2011. Her work has been acquisitioned into the collections of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Tweed Museum of Art, Akta Lakota Museum, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Wisconsin Union Art Collection and the Robert Penn Collection of Contemporary Northern Plains Indian Art of the University of South Dakota. She is represented by Shiprock Santa Fe and the Bockley Gallery in Minneapolis.
Monte Yellow Bird Sr.
Titled “The journey to remove color from the People”, this contemporary work is designed in the historic 1800’s ledger art style on an antique United States Indian Industrial School note paper from the office of R.H. Pratt Capt., 10th Calvary Superintendent, Carlisle PA, cir.1890’s.
The overall composition is arranged symbolically to depict the mental, physical and spiritual indigenous way of life, affected by this historic era of force assimilation and cultural genocide of “Indigenous People”. Illustrated are three warriors, a train and the souls of many. The three warriors riding above represent the mind altering process of removing their cultural self identity and color from their natural world. The center image of the train or “Iron Horse” which was introduced in the early 1800’s to the US, assisted European fortune seekers to travel to western indigenous lands but ironically, was also the instrument to forcefully transported Tribal nations from their homelands to an unknown spiritual future.
Monte Yellow Bird Sr., better known in the art world as Black Pinto Horse tells stories using a vibrant application of oil paint on canvas in the form of First Nation icons, more specifically of the Plains tribes, adding three-dimensional elements such as shells, feathers, beadwork, etc, as well as creating drawings using colored pencil on antique ledgers, indicative of the 1800’s American Indian ledger style. He signs his paintings and ledgers using the name given through ceremony, Black Pinto Horse.
He creates art to educate. “There are so many stories untold- the issues we face, the incongruities that have occurred to our people, our history and the true heartbeat of our heritage. At its core, lies a harmonic balance between humanity and nature which I like to showcase using color representation and symbolism that activate the viewer’s imagination”. While listening to a lecture by Black Pinto Horse at Purdue University, it is inspirational to feel and experience the love and compassion he has for his people, a driving force which allows him to educate in a kind and gentle manner.
In 2014 Monte became an art trainer for the First Peoples Fund and most recently was chosen as Artist in Residence for the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City. In August and September 2014, he was awarded the South Western American Indian Arts Fellowship and in August 2013 was awarded 2nd place at the Santa Fe Indian Art Market in the drawing division. In 2013 Monte was awarded the Artist in Business Leadership Fellowship of the First Peoples Fund in Rapid City SD. January- April 2013 he exhibited his ledger works and mixed media paintings at the Holter Museum in Helena and was chosen for their Cultural Crossroads program, a two week Artist in Residence supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2012 he was awarded first place in the painting/ photography division at the Gene Autry Museum in Los Angeles and was awarded first and third places in the painting and drawing division at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis. He also designed the poster for the Red Nation Film Festival in Los Angeles. Within his career, he has been recognized several times in the Native Peoples and Western Art Collector Magazines.
Black Pinto Horse is Arikara and Hidatsa from the Three Affiliated Tribes Reservation in North Dakota, son of Willard (Wolf Trail) Yellow Bird, a descendant of Bears Teeth, Iron Bear and Magdalen (Corn Tassel) Youngbird/Yellow Bird a descendant of Strikes Enemy and Sitting Bear. At the age of sixteen he attended the prestigious Institute of American Indian Arts high school program in Santa Fe New Mexico, which allowed him the opportunity to expand his vision in Native American arts and express himself artistically. He furthered his art and history studies at North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND majoring in History Education with an Art minor. In 2002, he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Minot State University, Minot, ND.
Since 2004, the Black Pinto Horse Fine Arts company was founded and is represented by galleries, museums and educational institutions both nationally and internationally. Monte attends prestigious Indian Art Markets such as Santa Fe Indian Market, the Heard and Eiteljorg Museums and has collectors worldwide, such as the piece in the permanent collection of the Volkenkunde Museum of Leiden Netherlands. Within the educational component of their company, Monte provides presentations, lectures and workshops to K-12 and University school systems, motivational and teambuilding workshop to notable corporations, organization and communities. His livelihood is best explained by his coined phrase, “If you’re going to shine, shine brightly.”
Visual commentary on the legacy of Fort Marion
“One out of six American Indian and Alaska Native adults (16.3%) has diagnosed diabetes—more than double the prevalence rate for the general United States population.”
Special Diabetes Program for Indians is funded through Congressional legislation and administered by the Indian Health Service (IHS) Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention.
During my research on the effects of Diabesity in Indian Country, I read the history of its presence within the American Indian community. One aspect that stood out to me was that there was no evidence of this disease prior to the return of the prisoners from Fort Marion to Oklahoma. These cultural warriors not only gave us the legacy in Ledger Art as the birth of contemporary American Indian art, but they also suffered from the effects of a diet imposed by government policy that has led to the current epidemic of Diabetes. Separately, these have each had a significant impact on me personally. The work represented in this exhibit brings them together in a commentary on their combined legacy.
The impact of process food and sugar to the native community is at a crisis point, statistics state that one out of six native people will develop diabetes. The artwork in this show is making a commentary of how food we, Native Americans, are eating today is making a negative impact on the Native community. Diabetes has become an epidemic in the native nations as well as become a factor in the health and death of many tribal members, family members and friends.
The native community is re-educating themselves and changing how we are eating to live a healthy lifestyle. But change is double handed, due to economics this isn’t so easy nor changing what many native family see as traditional foods. Assessing the food tribal government supplies the tribal members in economical needs is food that is process and of little nutritional value. Traditional food is now loaded with salt and carbohydrates that it is creating a generation of Native people with obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
"As Indian people, we're quite good at making our world beautiful. But this disease isn't pretty and we don't seem to be reacting to the ugliness. We've sugar-coated the issue so we can continue to eat and drink products that are heavily processed and sugar-laden. These things are killing us and our future generations. I just wanted to expose that...to expose the truth." -‐Marwin Begaye
Marwin Begaye is an internationally exhibited printmaker, painter and nationally recognized graphic designer. As Assistant Professor of Painting and Printmaking at the University of Oklahoma. His research has been concentrated on issues of cultural identity, especially the intersection of traditional American Indian culture and pop culture. He also has conducted research in the technical aspects of relief printing and the use of mixed-media. His work has been exhibited nationally across the U.S. and internationally New Zealand, Argentina, Paraguay, Italy, Siberia, China, Australia and Estonia. He has received numerous awards, including the Oklahoma Visual Artists Coalition Fellowship, Norman Arts Council and has been featured in many publications.
My drawing responds to the troubling legacy of Lieutenant Richard Henry Pratt (depicted in the piece) and the beautiful style of the ledger drawings made at Fort Marion. This piece is a ledger drawing that couldn’t be made, that a tourist would never purchase. I connect events that caused so much suffering—the mass killing of buffalo which set off the Red River War and in turn led to the incarceration at Fort Marion and the founding of the Carlisle Indian School.
While working on my drawing, I thought of Grey Beard, who tried to commit suicide en route to Fort Marion. After a conversation with Lt. Pratt about his reasons for trying to kill himself, he tried to escape by jumping from the train and was shot. The historical report of this conversation and event amplifies the U.S. legacy of fake empathy and cultural superiority.
Jenny Schmid lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she runs bikini press international and is an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota. She is represented by The Davidson Galleries in Seattle and her prints can be found in collections including The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Detroit Institute of Arts, The Block Museum and The Spencer Art Museum. She received the Fulbright, the McKnight Fellowship, the Bush Artists Grant, a 2010 Jerome Film and Video grant and a 2013 Minnesota State Arts Board grant. Recent projects include live animation performances with Ali Momeni, an exhibit at the Davis Museum and forthcoming series of mezzotints published by Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop.
The government and natives agreed the tribes would stay within “Indian Territory” on land allotted to them with promises of plenty of food and safety from the army and white settlers. They soon discovered this to be false promises. Frequently the food would not arrive, it was spoiled or stolen and there was never enough to eat. Wild game was scarce within the reservations. In the spring of 1874 the food had not arrived and there were many going hungry. Feeding their families was not going to happen unless they left to hunt on their old ancestral lands. The main food source, buffalo, had been eradicated a few years before so they hunted for many different species. Many left to hunt on lands now occupied by white settlers. Violent skirmishes and fighting broke out and once caught the Indians were arrested. Hunger and government lies sent these men to St. Augustine.
Dolores Purdy (Caddo/Winnebago). Santa Fe, NM is related to the one Caddo inprisioned at Ft. Marion. Many of her relatives attended Carlisle Indian School as well as other Indian Schools. A trained watercolorist, she found ledger art over a decade ago changing to colored pencils as the ancestors. Dolores brings humor and whimsy to her ‘Pictorial Writing” to separate her work from other contemporary artists, showing at markets and winning numerous awards. She lectures on it history in many places including Museum of Indians Arts and Culture, Santa Fe, NM; William and Mary College, Williamsburg, VA; and Tweed Museum, Duluth, MN to name a few. She has work in the public collections such as the Smithsonian NMAI, The White Hose, Nerman Museum of Contemporary art, Tweed Museum, College of William and Mary and many other public and private collections. Dolores is a past member of the Standards Committee for Santa Fe Indian Market and a subject in Women and Ledger Art, Arizona Press, by Dr. Richard Pearce.
"What has been witnessed cannot be erased" is a drawing as action and a drawing as document. I drew 72 pairs of eyes. Each time I drew the eye on the right I erased it. The eyes on the left are an accumulation of the 72 drawings, one on top of the other. The 72 pairs of eyes represent the imprisoned Indians. The action of erasing destroys mars paper and leaves evidence of what was there before. The layered drawings intensify the eye witness accounts of the history.
Sonya Clark has been exhibited in over 300 museums and galleries in Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, Australia, and throughout the USA. Since 2006 she has been Chair of the Craft /Material Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. Formerly, she was Baldwin-Bascom Professor of Creative Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the recipient of several awards including an Art Prize Grand Jurors co-prize in 2014, Pollock-Krasner Grant, a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowship, a Civitella Ranieri Residency, an 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art, a United States Artist Fellowship, and an Art Matters Grant.
Harry Mithlo, Enrolled Comanche and Chiricahua Apache Descendent
"I am comfortable creating art because it makes me feel good. It is a natural part of my life and can be found in my dance, song, stories, visual art, and all of it has to do with where I came from. My art shares the story of the Chiricahua Apache and Comanche people." -- Harry Mithlo
From the article “Bone of Conciliation” by Henry Chappell in Orion Magazine https://orionmagazine.org/article/bone-of-conciliation/
HARRY MITHLO IS TALL, quiet, and self-effacing. When Bill Tydemen, director of Texas Tech’s Southwest Collection, introduced us in Lawton, he mentioned my novel about the early days of the Texas Rangers. Harry sighed and shook his head. “Oh man. Those guys, those rangers. I hope you gave us a fair shake.” Harry’s father was Chiricahua Apache; his mother was Peneteka Comanche.
“Like a lot of people of their generation, my parents believed in education,” he said. “They always told me that to make your way in this world, you have to know something. You have to have an education. So I took their advice.”
Harry, a Vietnam veteran, served in both the Navy and Army. “I was about to start adjutant general school at Fort Benjamin Harris when a major told me that I didn’t belong in this man’s army, that I needed to get out and do something for the people. So I got out.”
Like so many Comanche men of his generation, he’s active in the Comanche Indian Veteran’s Association (CIVA). One might assume that given the United States government’s past treatment of native people, the Comanche willingness to serve in the armed forces is simply a continuation of the warrior tradition.
“Nobody seems to understand that we serve in the military because we want to defend our home ground,” he said. “This is our home. We’ve always fought for it and we always will. We don’t want anybody marching in here and taking over. That already happened once.”
I asked him: Given all that has happened, is true conciliation possible?
“In a way, the only full reconciliation would be to let us reclaim our homeland in Texas,” he said. “My father once told me that if you consider the millions of acres of grazing land taken from the Comanche, and all of the oil and gas and minerals under it, then the government could give a million dollars to every Comanche child born from now on, and then maybe justice would eventually be served.”
He offered this opinion matter-of-factly, with no anger or belligerence in his voice, a man simply stating an opinion that could be supported with simple arithmetic. An assertion that would seem preposterous to many Americans. He added, “But realistically, what we want now is for people to understand who we are and to fully respect the sovereignty of the Comanche Nation, a nation within a nation.”
The art of Abdu’Allah and his contemporaries in the early 1980s can be evaluated in a manner that fills an important void within available scholarship on the subject of contemporary art in relation to Afro-British culture. What began as an artistic gesture in the 1980s more fully materialised in the early twenty-first century as a complete conceptual approach that questioned issues of race and identity in relation to issues of cultural diversity and multiculturalism. Abdu’Allah’s work broke away from the British artistic establishment and the rules of institutional representation, particularly insofar as he began selecting his subjects from émigré utopia, Afro-British social consciousness, Muslim identity, and working-class life. He also integrated other views of London, portraying it as a city of dislocated communities that were powerless in the existing world of art.
Excerpt from ‘The Art of Dislocation’ by Professor Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz,
Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town.
Juanita Pahdopony is a renowned Comanche educator, poet and artist. She holds an A.A., B.A. and M.Ed. in art education. She is the Dean of Academic Affairs at the Comanche Nation College and also teaches Indigenous Art. She has taught at Elgin Public Schools, Oklahoma City University, University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, Cameron University, and Comanche Nation College. She is a member of the Southern Plains Indian Museum Association, Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers, National Advisory Caucus and the Jacobson Foundation. She has given numerous presentations related to art and has exhibited her own works at galleries throughout Oklahoma. She is the co-founder of the Comanche Nation College’s annual invitational film festival.
Wanesia Spry Misquadace
Wanesia Misquadace is a member of the Fond du Lac Band of the Ojibway in Minnesota. Highly adept at the traditional Ojibway practice of making wigwas mamacenawejegam, otherwise known as “transparencies” or “chews,” Misquadace utilizes the eye tooth to firmly bite designs into birch bark. A preserver of traditions and this dying art form, she is honored to be a part of bringing awareness of birch bark biting to the forefront in the contemporary art world. Also a skilled silversmith, Misquadace’s experience with precious metals has culminated in the fusion of birch bark biting design with silver and gold to create canisters and jewelry. Misquadace is also proud to include basketry, beadwork and photography in her body of work. Misquadace is an award-winning artist recently garnering two “first place” ribbons at the 2010 SWAIA Indian Art Market. “My art is an honest expression of who I am, where I’ve been, and how I see and feel.” Wanesia Misquadace’s works can be seen in galleries from coast to coast.
Based on an archival letter written by Lieutenant Richard Henry Pratt dated January 22, 1876, St. Augustine, mention is made that Zotom (Cheyenne) was paid for a book of drawings identified as the “Zotom Sketchbook.” My response situates a drawing from the sketchbook, “Captain Pratt Lecturing at Fort Marion,” in a graphic footprint of the outside wall of Fort Marion. Fort Marion was built by the Spanish in 1672, made from a material indigenous to Florida referred to as “coquina,” or a mix of sedimentary rock made from crushed sea shells. Fort Marion’s coquina walls meant to crush the spirit while Pratt’s boarding schools were built as a prison for the mind. Zotom captured the crushing feeling of the Fort and Pratt’s ideas in this drawing. Imprisonment of Indigenous peoples at Fort Marion and the confinement of children in boarding schools is part of an ongoing settler colonial governmental structure.
JOLENE RICKARD, Ph.D., is a scholar and an artist interested in the intersection of Indigeneity, the forces of globalization and settler colonialism. She is an Associate Professor at Cornell University and is the Director of the American Indian Program. Recent exhibitions include, On The Trails Of The Iroquois, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany, 2013 and Lines of Control, Johnson Museum, Cornell University and Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, 2012. Recent artist residencies include; Vermont College of Fine Art, 2014, Te Tihi Artist Gathering, Aotearoa/NZ and The Banff Center, Canada, 2010. Select articles include, “The Emergence of Global Indigenous Art,” Sakahan, National Gallery of Canada, 2013 and “Visualizing Sovereignty in the Time of Biometric Sensors,” The South Atlantic Quarterly, 110:2, 2011. Curatorial interventions include, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, permanent exhibits: Our Peoples and Our Lives, Washington, D.C. 2004-present.
Her work is on permanent display at the Denver Art Museum.
Emily Arthur is a co curator of the Re Riding History exhibition and director of the exhibition symposium at Flagler College in St Augustine, Florida. Arthur is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches in the Department of Art. Emily taught at the University of North Florida for 13 years as an Associate Professor of Art before relocating last Fall to Madison.
Arthur received an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and has served as a Fellow at the Barnes Foundation for Advanced Theoretical and Critical Research, Pennsylvania. Additional education includes the Rhode Island School of Design and the Tamarind Institute of Lithography at the University of New Mexico.
Arthur is the recipient of a Florida Artist Enhancement Grant provided by the State of Florida and the National Endowment for the Arts, and is awarded to the Notable Women in the Arts, National Museum of Women in the Arts.
Her work is included in the permanent collections of The Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Tweed Museum of Art; Denver Art Museum, Leifur Eiriksson Foundation; and the international collections Russia; Estonia; Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom; Italy and France.
This piece represents the stripping of the old ways to make way for the new modern Native. That assimilation and acculturation of the people is obviously still evident today. I specifically targeted the young people for my piece because Ft. Marion gave rise to the boarding schools and this led to broken homes, lost identities and self worth. Some probably felt their way of life was no longer significant. The generational ripple effect was never echoed more clearly than when my Ponca grandmother told my mom that she didn’t need to learn the Ponca language because she would have no need for it in the white man’s school.
Its stories like my grandmother’s and the events of Ft. Marion that inspire me to continue to paint the stories that she couldn’t. I’m grateful for the ones that continued to persevere and maintain the cultural life ways despite the tremendous adversity.
Brent Greenwood is Chickasaw and Ponca and resides in Edmond, OK where he paints from his in-home studio and is employed by the Indian Education Department of Edmond Public Schools.
In 1994, Brent graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts with an AFA in 2-Dimensional Art. This experience not only had an impact on his life, but it definitely transformed his art. Three years later he completed his BFA from Oklahoma City University.
Some of Brent’s accomplishments include: 1st and 2nd place in painted cultural drums at the 2014 Chickasaw Nation’s SEASAM; recipient of the 2011 Red Earth’s Presidents award; the Chickasaw Nation’s 2011 Music Festival's featured artist; 1st place in printmaking at the 2010 Santa Fe Indian Market; and the 2010 Oklahoma Native Tourism Guide's cover artist. He has received substantial commissions from numerous tribes, public and private entities. The achievement he is most proud of is one that he shares with his wife. In 2010, the National Indian Education Association selected them as the National Indian Parents of the Year.
Many native and non-native artists have inspired Brent’s work over the years. His bold and contemporary use of southeastern motifs and imagery has made him a recognizable figure among his Chickasaw people. His Ponca and plains tribal narratives have appealed to many people over the years. Brent feels that his art is simply a reflection of the pride that he has as a modern day Chickasaw-Ponca person; and is grateful to share that with you.
Denise Bookwalter works in a range of print media including traditional and digital processes, artist’s books, installations and dimensional prints. Her work has been exhibited in a variety of venues nationally as well as internationally. She received her BA from Northwestern University and her MFA from Indiana University in Printmaking. Denise currently lives in Tallahassee, Florida and is an Assistant Professor of Art at Florida State University where she teaches printmaking and is Area Head of the Printmaking Department. She is the director and a founding member of Florida State University’s new artists’ book press, Small Craft Advisory Press.