Photograph by Aaron Johanson

VoCA Talks in Denver; Denver Art Museum acquires Butterfly

I’m in Denver this week: this evening, I’m talking with artist and oral historian James McElhinney as part of Voices in Contemporary Art’s VoCA Talks program.

The program is being held at the Denver Art Museum’s Sharp Auditorium at 6:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public; if you’re in the Denver area, come by and say hello.

I’m also delighted to announce that DAM has acquired Butterfly, one of the pieces we made for SITE Santa Fe’s Unsuspected Possibilities show last year. I love this piece and can’t think of a better home for it. Many thanks to DAM (especially Chief Curator and Curator of Native Arts Nancy Blomberg and Associate Curator John Lukavic) and to PDX Contemporary Art for making it happen.

Photograph by Aaron Johanson

Unraveled: Textiles Reconsidered at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati

We’re in Cincinnati this week, and tonight is the opening of Unraveled: Textiles Reconsidered, a group show exploring the deconstruction and reconstruction of everyday textiles, curated by Kate Bonansinga, formerly of Portland and now director of the School of Art at the University of Cincinnati.

For the exhibit, the studio made Blanket Stories: Beacon, Marker, Ohi-yo, a blanket column inspired by the marker trees to be found in woodlands areas in the midwest. Anthropologists believe that these trees were “trained” by Indigenous peoples to provide navigation information along foot trails.


Blanket Stories: Talking Stick, Works Progress, Steward at the High Desert Museum

We’re in Bend today for the opening of Art for a Nation: Inspiration from the Great Depression a show curated by Faith Brower that explores the Works Progress Administration (WPA).

I’m honored to have been commissioned to make a piece for the show: Blanket Stories: Talking Stick, Works Progress, Steward consists of a stack of blankets contributed by the central Oregon community, and a wooden blanket totem, carved from a white pine beam salvaged from a previous incarnation of the sawmill on the High Desert Museum site.

Art for a Nation: Inspiration from the Great Depression runs through October 2 and if you’re not from the area, the High Desert Museum is well worth the trip. We have catalogued the blanket contributions and stories here on the site: click here to have a look.

Sewing circles for SITE Santa Fe

Back in May, we conducted several sewing circles in the Santa Fe area as part of our contribution to Unsuspected Possibilities, a collaborative exhibition featuring Sarah Oppenheimer, Leonardo Drew, and myself (which is up through 04 January and you should go see it).

We worked with the Santa Fe University of Art & Design, the Santa Fe Indian School, and Tierra Encantada High School, in addition to the community at SITE, on what would ultimately be First Teachers Balance the Universe Part I (Predator) & Part II (Prey), both of which are included in the show.

Joanne Lefrak, SITE’s Director of Outreach and Education, produced this video of the sewing circles (ably shot by Andy Primm), which gets at the collaborative nature of my work in a way that is difficult to convey with still photographs. It’s a lovely piece; and I’m grateful to Joanne and SITE for making it.