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                                                    Symposium, Thursday, February 12, 2015


                                                    Flagler College, in the Virginia Room,          

                                                    Ringhaver Student Center, 50 Sevilla St.                                                      St. Augustine, FL 32084







Symposium Panel Chair : Emily Arthur

The following artists and scholars have been invited to speak about the exhibition in a contemporary context and how the exhibition responds to historical events: Nancy Marie Mithlo, Ph.D. (Associate Professor of Art History and Visual Arts, Occidental College and Chair of American Indian Studies, Autry National Center Institute), Emily Arthur (Artist and  Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison); Harry Mithlo (Artist and Apache Tribal Historian), Juanita Pahdopony (Artist & past President of Comanche Nation College, Lawton, OK), heather ahtone (Asst. Curator, Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma-Norman), Edgar Heap-of-Birds (Artist, Professor of Native American Studies, University of Oklahoma), and Willie Johns (Cultural Specialist and Chief Justice of the Seminole Tribe of Florida). The exhibition curators will be present: Emily Arthur, Marwin Begaye, and John Hitchcock.


"Re-Riding History" addresses the 450th Anniversary of the city of St. Augustine. The Re-Riding History exhibition and symposium offers an Indigenous perspective on the 450th city commemoration.


Symposium Schedule: Thursday, February 12, 2015

  • 10am to 12pm: Panel #1: Harry Mithlo, Nancy Mithlo and Juanita Pahdopony

  • 2pm: Panel #2: heather ahtone

  • 3pm: Exhibition walk-through with curators, Marwin Begaye and John Hitchcock

  • 7pm: Panel #3: Emily Arthur, Willie Johns, Keynote Speaker: Edgar Heap of Birds


Questions regarding the Symposium at Flagler College can be directed to the Project Director: Emily Arthur, Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison Art Department, 6241 Humanities Building, 455 North Park Street, Madison, WI  53706



Nancy Marie Mithlo

Nancy Marie Mithlo is the Chair of American Indian Studies at the Autry National Center Institute and Associate Professor of Art History and Visual Arts, Occidental College. She received her M.A. (1988) and Ph.D. from Stanford University (1993). Mithlo’s research interests focus on American Indian/First Nations/Indigenous contemporary arts and curatorial practice, visual anthropology, critical museum studies, ethnographic film, and historic American Indian photography. She is widely published in journals such as the American Indian Cultural and Research Journal, and Wicazo-Sa Review (University of Minnesota Press), amongst others. Mithlo is also a widely recognized curator, and has organized exhibitions including the most recent “For a Love of His People: The Photography of Horace Poolaw,” at the National Museum of the American Indian, New York (2014).

Harry Mithlo

Harry Mithlo serves the Comanche Nation as an elected official of the Comanche Business Committee. He is a retired high school teacher and coach and also a radiologic technologist. His many talents include storytelling, writing, and a singer of his family’s Chiricahua Apache dance group. He has written a manuscript of the life of his father, Watson Mithlo, Chiricahua Apache Prisoner of War Against the United States.

Juanita Pahdopony

Juanita Pahdopony is an enrolled Comanche citizen and former faculty and Dean of Academic Affairs at Comanche Nation College. Currently, she serves as the Interim President. She is also a published poet, writer, educator, and visual artist. She is an editor for the Star Day Foundation’s Texas Bison Student Study Group for Texas schoolchildren. Her essay, “Kwasinaboo Medicine,” will soon be published in an online publication Inter-institutional of Indigenous knowledge through Pennsylvania State

heather ahtone

heather ahtone is currently the James T. Bialac Asst. Curator of Native American & Non-Western Art at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, the primary focus of heather's research and writing has been to examine how contemporary Indigenous art intersects tribal cultures and traditional knowledge. This has included curating contemporary art exhibits, serving as instructor for classes on Native science and art history, and researching the evolution of tribal design usage and materials.  She is developing an interdisciplinary approach to analyzing Indigenous art that integrates tribes’ place-based knowledge of the environment and how this is incorporated within their cosmology and interpreted into designs and art production. She is committed to supporting the local Oklahoma art and tribal communities. She is a member of the Chickasaw Nation, and has strong family ties to the Choctaw and Kiowa communities.

Willie Johns

Willie Johns is a Seminole Tribe of Florida Citizen.  He resides on the Brighton Seminole Indian Reservation.  As a Seminole Tribe of Florida Cultural Specialist, he delivers lectures and workshops about Seminole Tribal culture and history to the Tribal community as well as to the non-Tribal community.  After working as an advocate towards the formation of the STOF's own court system, Johns was recently appointed as Chief Justice of the STOF court.


Marwin Begaye

Marwin Begaye is an Associate Professor of Art at the University of Oklahoma. Begaye received his M.F.A. from the University of Oklahoma in 2006. As an artist as and a member of the Navajo Nation, his research has concentrated on the issues of cultural identity, especially the intersection of traditional American Indian culture and pop culture.

His work has been exhibited nationally across the U.S. and internationally in New Zealand, Argentina, Paraguay, and Estonia. He has received numerous awards, including the Oklahoma Visual Artists Coalition’s Visual Arts Fellowship (2007) and Red Earth (2009).


Emily W. Arthur

Emily W. Arthur is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Arthur comes to UW-Madison after spending the past 13 years at the University of North Florida, where since 2010 she has been an Associate Professor with the Department of Art and Design, Painting, Drawing and Printmaking. 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, the Denver Art Museum, Leifur Eiriksson Foundation, St. Lawrence University, University of Arizona, University of Colorado, and the Southern Graphics Print Council International Collection.

John Hitchcock

John Hitchcock received his M.F.A. from Texas Tech University in 1997. He is currently a Professor of Art at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His most recent exhibitions have been at the American Culture Center in Shanghai, China, the North Dakota Museum of Art in Grand Forks, and the University of Ca’Foscari in Venice, Italy. His work has been shown extensively and is found in public and private collections in the United States and abroad.

Hitchcock’s artwork is deeply informed by his personal biography and family history. He grew up in western Oklahoma on Comanche tribal lands that are located next to Fort Sill, a still-active military training base. In reflecting on communities and traditions disrupted by war and cultural genocide, Hitchcock mobilizes the print medium to critique social and political systems and explore relationships of community, land, and culture.

Edgar Heap of Birds

Edgar Heap of Birds received his M.F.A. from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1979). Heap of Birds has exhibited his works at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, New York, Documenta, Kassal, Germany, Grand Palais, Paris, France and the Venice Biennale, Italy. He has received grants and awards from The National Endowment for the Arts, Rockefeller Foundation, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, Lila Wallace Foundation, and the Andy Warhol Foundation, among others.


As a Professor at the University of Oklahoma, Heap of Birds teaches in Native American Studies. His seminars explore issues of the contemporary artist on local, national and international levels. Additionally Heap of Birds has taught as a Visiting Professor at Yale University, and Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island.In 2012, Heap of Birds was one of fifty artists honored by United States Artists with an individual fellowship award of $50,000 and named USA Ford Fellow in the Visual Arts category. His artistic creations and efforts as an advocate for indigenous communities worldwide are focused first upon social justice and then the personal freedom to live within the tribal circle as an expressive individual.

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