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Native arts featured at The Art Gym

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Bartows Big Nail Dog

The Art Gym at Marylhurst University opens I.M.N.D.N. - Native Arts for the 21st Century with a preview reception for the artists from 3 to 5 p.m. Jan. 12. The exhibit is organized by Todd Clark, and independent curator and exhibit designer who is affiliated with the Wailaki tribe.

The exhibit features the works of seven contemporary Native artists form the Northwest and Canada: Rick Bartow, Joe Feddersen, Nicholas Galanin, Edgar Heap of Birds, Terrance Houle, Peter Morin and Wendy Red Star.

“The exhibit will explore Native mythologies, colonization, identity and much more, through the smart and talented lens of Native artists in touch with their past, but firmly rooted in the present,” Clark said. “With clear vision and lacking romantic overtures, these artists embody the idea of what it means to be a Native artist in the 21st century.”

Bartow exhibits several wood sculptures in the show.

Feddersen is an Okanagan member of the Colville Confederated Tribes. His hanging glass tapestry, Charmed, combines indigenous symbols with imagery borrowed from the urban landscape, such as power towers and the striping of parking lots.

Alaskan artist Galanin is affiliated with the Tlingit tribe. He works in many visual arts media, including sculpture, video and performance. He draws on indigenous technologies and global experiences and challenges the tired prescriptions of the Indian art world and its institutions.

Affiliated with the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, Heap of Birds’ work uses text and public signage on a large scale to entice and confront the viewer. For the Art Gym exhibit 12 signs from the Native Hosts series will be installed along the Furman Drive on campus. Like the other Native Host series created for New York and British Columbia, in the Oregon series 12 tribes welcomes visitors to Oregon. Heap of Birds’ artwork was chosen to represent the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian at the 52nd Venice Biennale.

Calgary artist Houle, affiliated with the Blood Tribe, is known for his work exploring contemporary indigenous themes and issues. He has a broad practice, which includes performance, photography, video/film music, painting and tools of mass dissemination such as billboards and bus signage. He is exhibiting photographs and collaborating on an installation with Wendy Red Star for The Art Gym exhibition.

Morin uses his art to honor his home and the stories and words of his people of the Tahltan Nation. He uses performance, ceremony and visual art to examine indigenous identity, decolonization and language. The Art Gym exhibition will include artifacts and photo documentation from Morin’s performances.

Portland-based artist Red Star explores the intersection of life on the reservation and the world outside. She is creating a new body of work for I.M.N.D.N.: the White Squaw series, inspired by a series of books from the 1980s and 1990s with titles including Buckskin Bombshell, Dakota Squeeze and Twin Peaks or Bust.

The Art Gym is located on the third floor of the B.P. John Administration Building on the Marylhurst University campus, 17600 Pacific Highway.



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