Thursday, October 13, 2016, Pillsbury Auditorium 11:00AM
Wendy Red Star utilizes her artistic voice through photography, fiber arts, video, and sculpture providing a novel perspective on Native American life. This unexpected commentary delivers to contemporary art a worthy forum for Native women’s voices. Through her art, Red Star portrays herself as a “cultural archivist” unaffectedly addressing the experience of being a Crow (Apsáalooke) female in a contemporary society. Viewers benefit by exploring the connection between life on a reservation and existence beyond that environment.
“I’m dealing with really heavy topics pertaining to Crow and Native culture and the colonization of people,” states Red Star. She continues to explain, “You can be very heavy handed about it, but people don’t want to be around that. You can find an in by using humor. Humor or wit can be very healing, by getting viewers to crack a smile or laugh I can get them in, that way they can investigate my work further.”
Red Star, the niece of celebrated Crow painter Kevin Red Star, was raised on a Crow reservation in Montana. Undoubtedly this upbringing instilled in her a knowledge of her cultural heritage and traditional Native American ideology. Avid research of historical narratives and archives, combined with an innate wittiness, continued to propel achievements worthy of the accolades that have come her way.
Extensive exhibitions both in the United States and abroad have revealed Red Star’s importance and influence in contemporary Native American art. Her work has been viewed at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the St. Louis Art Museum, to name a few, and she has lectured extensively at both Yale University and Dartmouth College. Just last year, Red Star was awarded an Emerging Artist Grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation. She holds a BFA from Montana State University, Bozeman, and an MFA in sculpture from the University of California in Los Angeles. Red Star’s eight-year-old daughter, Beatrice, has been featured in Red Star’s exhibitions. “When we are home and I’m working on art, I don’t want to shut her out of that process, so she dives right in with me.”
Join the Friends of the Institute as we look forward to a conversation with Wendy Red Star and Jill Ahlberg Yohe, Associate Curator of Native American Art at Mia.
The Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Lectures are presented by the Friends of the Institute and Mia.