(October 14, 2015) – A new exhibition will open at the Figge Art Museum on Saturday in the first floor Orientation Gallery. Wendy Red Star: Peelatchiwaaxpaash/Medicine Crow (Raven) and the 1880 Crow Peach Delegation Contemporary is a mixed media installation by artist Wendy Red Star.
Red Star creates multimedia works that explore Native American identity and the distance between romantic images of the Native American—such as those by Edward S. Curtis—and the world of Indians today.
In Red Star’s installation a widely available 1880 photograph of the Crow Peace Delegation to Washington, which included Red Star’s ancestor Medicine Crow (Peelatchiwaaxpáash), serves as the starting point. It includes Crow regalia, altered photographs and stuffed animals inspired by Medicine Crow’s ledger drawings of animals he saw at the National Zoo in Washington, such as the “big snake with legs” (crocodile). A portrait of Medicine Crow superimposed with Red Star’s face compresses the generations to show that contemporary Native Americans are a living link with this history.
“I want people to realize that the images of Medicine Crow are more than just a handsome Native man,” Red Star writes. “The images represent a human being, a reservation era chief, the forming of the Crow Indian reservation, the loss of Crow lands, the changing of a people, the resilience of a culture.”
Raised on the Crow Indian reservation in Montana, Red Star studied art at Montana State University and UCLA and now lives and teaches in Portland, Oregon. Her work is included in the collections of the Portland Art Museum, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts and many other public and private collections.
This exhibition is presented through the Thomas A. and Mary Waterman Gildehaus Endowment Fund at the Figge Art Museum and will be on display through January 17, 2016.
Thursday, October 15
5:30 p.m. Reception
7 p.m. Artist Talk: Wendy Red Star
7 p.m. Thursday, November 5
Heenetiineyoo3eiiiho’, or Language Healers, tells the story of Native peoples striving to revitalize their languages and explores the importance of Native languages and cultures to Alaskans.
Talk with Jane Simonsen, PhD
7 p.m. Thursday, November 19
Simonsen will present her research on Native American visual culture as it relates to the exhibition.
10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday, January 9, 2016