In Our Own Words features printed portraits by living artists Daniel Heyman (b. 1963) and Lucy Ganje (b. 1949). The two collaborated to portray present-day members of several North Dakota Indian nations, including those around Standing Rock. The entire portfolio was printed on paper made by hand from the pulp of trees grown on reservations.
Heyman and Ganje’s approach provides an important counterpoint to the work of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century artists such as George Catlin, Frederic Remington, and Charles M. Russell, whose depictions of the lives of Native Americans are generalized and limited. Here, the sitters’ personal oral histories, as told to the artists while posing for their portraits, bring to life the individual experiences of those who have been historically denied a voice. A former marine, two university presidents, and a grieving mother, among others, speak about recurring topics, including climate change, energy and natural resources, and the legacy of boarding schools to which elder relatives were sent as part of forced assimilation. The painful history of conflict and repression is one that these sitters, through these artists’ prints, bring to public attention, illuminating the past in a way that many historical paintings and sculptures obscure. The works are living testimonies that native culture has not vanished, but is rich, varied, personal, and very much alive.
On view April 21-September 17 2023, in the Upper Gallery
Featuring works by: Daniel Heyman and Lucy Ganje
Photo Restriction: Photography allowed in the exhibition (no flash, no tripods)
Touch Restriction: Non-touch exhibition
Exhibition Language(s): English
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