Looking Back, Looking Forward: Native American Art from the Permanent Collection
April 28 - August 1, 2015
Inspired by the Standing Bear and the Trail Ahead Symposium, this exhibition examines different forms of artistic expression found in Native American artworks from the Great Plains Art Museum’s Permanent Collection. Of special interest is how selected artworks reflect the past, present and future of Native American cultures.
We Are Star People: The Art and Poetry of Gwen Westerman
September 4 - January 30
Recent work by Gwen Westerman, 2014 Contemporary Indigeneity Exhibition Prize winner, features unique quilts and textiles alongside poetry inspired by personal connections to her Dakota family history. Dr. Westerman is a professor of English at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She co-authored MniSota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota, with Bruce White, which won a Minnesota Book Award and has published a collection of poetry written in Dakota and English entitled Follow the Blackbirds
Cowboys from the Collection
November 6, 2015- February 27, 2016
Artworks from the permanent collection featuring cowboys will be highlighted to explore how this icon of American culture has been depicted over the last century. Of note will be key bronzes from renowned cowboy artists Charles M. Russell and Frederic Remington as well as more recent photographic portraits by contemporary artists.
Valery Killscrow Copeland, Ctomanee Waste Wyan, Good Woman of the Universe
November 6, 2015 - February 27, 2016
Original paintings and beadwork by Valery Killscrow Copeland will be featured. Copeland is the recipient of the Exhibition Prize from the inaugural installation of Contemporary Indigeneity in 2012 at the Great Plains Art Museum.
Denizens: Wildlife on the Western Frontier
February 5 – June 25, 2016
A spectrum of original nineteenth century engravings of wildlife that graced the American West will be on view. Images published in Harper’s Weekly, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, The Illustrated London News, and other historical sources illuminate the native species and their interaction with humans. Included in this menagerie are bears, bison, elk, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, moose, wolves, beaver, cougars, wolverines, eagles, osprey, rattlesnakes, and even (feral) wild horses. These fauna are portrayed in their natural habitat or as the object of mankind’s penchant to hunt them for food, clothing, or sport. The panoply of scenes includes dramatic surprise encounters between man and animal, stealthy approach by hunters, conflicts between predator and prey species, a stampede from a prairie fire, Native American veneration of wildlife, and faunal portraits set in their natural habitat.
From This Grass Earth
March 4 – May 28, 2016
From This Grass Earth celebrates the wild and immense beauty of the North American grasslands by exploring the legacy of stewards of the Great Plains landscape. Through a marriage of art, science, and poetry, visitors can experience and engage with the landscape through a myriad of aesthetic, scientific, and ecological lenses.
The collaborative exhibition features photographs from the Rediscover the Prairie expedition by Sebastian Tsocanos, poems written on the trail by Robin Walter, graphics compiled by the World Wildlife Fund that articulate ecological trends underway in North America’s grasslands, and an interactive interface that allows viewers to identify the threats facing the Great Plains ecoregion.
From This Grass Earth aims to increase awareness of a critically endangered landscape and excite a deeper understanding, appreciation, and engagement with the natural world and our place within it. For more information about the project, please visit: http://www.rediscovertheprairie.org
Cropping to Circles by Kendall McMinimy
June 3 – August 27, 2016
Kendall McMinimy fuses photography and printmaking in monochromatic abstracted renderings of irrigation systems. The artist draws attention to agricultural water use through images that explore the nature of center pivot irrigation as “a system that encircles multiple conflicting truths — a worldwide revolution in food production is also complicit in the depletion of groundwater; humanitarian aid aligns with hegemonic order; global market forces allow and deny local economies; a system simultaneously produces and diminishes.”
Born and raised in the High Plains of Kansas, McMinimy holds an MA and MFA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Cropping to Circles was recently recognized in the Critical Mass Top 50 Portfolios of 2014.
Contemporary Indigeneity 2016: Spiritual Borderlands
September 2 – December 23, 2016
The 2016 iteration of Contemporary Indigeneity at the Great Plains Art Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will explore Native American spirituality and sovereignty in relation to philosophical interpretations of borderlands in the Great Plains. Legislation defining and regulating geographic and cultural borders throughout American history has estranged indigenous peoples from sacred sites leaving them with only a spiritual link to the places where they once resided. By bringing together works incorporating a diverse range of artistic media, this exhibition will seek to create dialogues regarding interpretations of sovereignty, spiritual connections to the land, and cultural identity within the boundaries of the Great Plains.