Contemporary Native American Art Exhibit Opening Oct. 17 at Crisp Museum



Oct. 13, 2008 – “Migrations: New Directions in Native American Art,” will open Oct. 17, and be on display until Dec. 20, in the Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.

Organized by the University of New Mexico’s Tamarind Institute, “Migrations” features the work of Steven Deo (Creek/Euchee), Tom Jones (Ho Chunk), Larry McNeil (Tlingit/Nisgaa), Ryan Lee Smith (Cherokee), Star Wallowing Bull (Chippewa/Arapaho) and Marie Watt (Seneca), each of whom collaborated with professional printers at Tamarind and at Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts in Pendleton, Ore., to create prints. These artists were selected because they engage in contemporary art rather than what is traditionally considered “Native American art.” The exhibition is comprised of two prints by each artist and approximately eight pieces of each artist’s work in other media.

The public also is invited to attend a reception on Nov. 7 from 5 to 9 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided. A 143-page illustrated catalog titled Migrations, compiling the works of the six Native American artists, will be available for purchase. The catalog includes essays by Jo Ortel, Lucy Lippard, Kathleen Howe and Gerald McMaster. Ortel, an associate professor of art history at Beloit College, defines Migrations as it applies to this project. Lippard, an art critic and author, discusses the cultural baggage forced upon the American Indian. As director of the Pomona College Museum of Art and professor of art history, Howe offers an overview of Tamarind Institute’s projects with indigenous peoples. McMaster, a Plains Cree artist, details the history of Crow’s Shadow Institute on Oregon’s Umatilla Reservation.

In addition, Marie Watt, a multidisciplinary artist from Portland, Ore., will lead an event at the Crisp Museum Dec. 2-3. Watt uses natural materials (stone, cornhusks, wool, cedar) and forms (blankets, pillows, bridges) that are universal to the human experience to create her art.

For additional information about the artists, visit Migrations is circulated by the University of New Mexico Art Museum. Financial assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

The Crisp Museum is located in the Cultural Arts Center at the River Campus, 518 South Fountain St., in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Museum hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and weekends noon to 4 p.m. For more information, contact the museum at (573) 651-2260 or