Schedule of Exhibitions

Hulleah J. Tsinhnahjinnie
Hulleah J. Tsinhnahjinnie
5 Minutes Work Buffalo Cows, 2010
Digital photograph printed on poly-satin fabric
Collection of the Great Plains Art Museum

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.

APA show

American Plains Artists 30th Annual Juried Exhibit -- Art of the Plains

August 7 - October 24

The 30th installment of American Plains Artists Annual Juried exhibition features artists working in any traditional 2D or 3D fine art media in a realistic or representational manner with a thematic focus on the American Plains. Organized by the American Plains Artists, the exhibition is part of its ongoing efforts to educate the public about the diversity found in artistic depictions of the American Plains.

Gwen Westerman
Gwen Westerman
Star Knowledge, 2013
100% cotton quilt, glass bead embellishments and Swarovski crystals in constellations, hand quilted with metallic thread.
Constellations associated with winter sky in northern Plains as described by traditional Dakota teachings. Courtesy of the artist

We Are Star People: The Art and Poetry of Gwen Westerman

September 1 - 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

SEPT. 4: First Friday opening reception 5-7 p.m.
SEPT. 1-5 AND NOV. 11-14: Artist in Residence -- Westerman will create artwork in the Museum lobby. Contact us for special events and to schedule tours.

Cowboys from the Collection
Olaf Seltzer
Charles M. Russell on Redbird, c. 1905-07
Oil on canvas
Gift of Dr. John and Elizabeth Christlieb

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
Valery Killscrow Copeland
First Powwow

Valery Killscrow Copeland, Ctomanee Waste Wyan, Good Woman of the Universe

November 6, 2015 - March 19, 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
Frederic Remington
Solitude, 1897Hand-tinted half-tone engraving

Denizens: Wildlife on the Western Frontier

An Exhibition of Vintage Engravings 1770-1902

February 5 – June 25, 2016

Curated by Lee Silliman, 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

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:

Cropping to Circles
Kendall McMinimy
Pivotal 2, 2013
Acrylic and toner on birch panel

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
Gina Adams
Honoring Modern Unidentified 2, 2013
Encaustic and oil on ceramic
Great Plains Art Museum Curator’s Choice Purchase Prize for Contemporary Indigeneity 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.