The Elizabeth Rubendall Artist-In-Residence Program

The Elizabeth Rubendall Foundation has generously funded an artist-in-residence program at the Great Plains Art Museum since 2006. Artworks are commissioned by the museum to become part of the museum's permanent collection, and the artist completes the commissioned artwork(s) at the Great Plains Art Museum. The full artistic process is on display for visitors and school groups, creating a unique program as well as enduring art.

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Previous artists in residence


2018 Rubendall Artist in Residence: Henry Payer

Exhibition: March 3– June 30, 2018

Residency schedule:

Week 1: March 2-9

First Friday opening with artist in attendance, Friday, March 2, 5-7 p.m.

Family Day Art Activity, Saturday, March 3, 1-4 p.m. with short gallery talk at 1 p.m.

Paul A. Olson Lecture, Wednesday, March 7, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

About the artist

Henry Payer is a Ho-Chunk multidisciplinary artist who works primarily with collage and mixed media. Payer received a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM in 2008. He went on to study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and obtained a MFA in 2013. Payer has exhibited his work at locations such as the Great Plains Art Museum in Lincoln, NE; the Dahl Art Center in Rapid City, SD; All My Relations Gallery in Minneapolis, MN; Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art in Kansas City, MO; and Janus Galleries located in Madison, WI. Payer’s work has also been exhibited at the University of Venice Ca’ Voscari, Palazzo Cosulich and at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, Italy. Payer has spent time as an instructor at the Oscar Howe Summer Art Institute in the summer of 2015 at the University of South Dakota located in Vermillion, SD, and has also taught Native American Art History at the Little Priest Tribal College in Winnebago, NE. Payer has been recognized and awarded honors included having artworks chosen as Best of Show at the annual Northern Plains Indian Art Market in 2014 and 2011, Best of Division: Two Dimensional, 2016 4th Annual Native POP: People of the Plains and was award a Chancellor’s Fellowship while attending University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Payer’s narrative compositions are bold and contemporary. His works reference the altered landscape through Indigenous cartographic methods of “picture-writing” with traditional aspects of spatial representation and symbolism combined with European modernist models of cubism, spatial distortion and collage. Each work offers a visual narrative of symbols and appropriated voices from American consumer society that reconfigures history, the landscape or the identity of a portrait. Henry represents the work of a new generation of artists seeking to expand the range and voice of their visual and cultural representation, while attending to forms of tradition.

Henry Payer
Henry Payer

Her Mother Wore Army Boots, 2017

Henry Payer

K(no)w Exit, 2015
mixed media on canvas

(Included in Contemporary Indigeneity: Spiritual Borderlands 2016)