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Biographical notes for "Resisting, Reclaiming, Reframing: Indigenous Communities and Art Museum Collections"

See all details on this March 8 event here.

In order of appearance:

David Freedberg is the Pierre Matisse Professor of the History of Art at Columbia University and Director of the University's Italian Academy. He is best known for his work on psychological responses to art, and particularly for his studies on iconoclasm and censorship (see, inter alia, Iconoclasts and their Motives, 1984, and The Power of Images: Studies in the History and Theory of Response, 1989). He continues to hope that one day he will return to his longstanding project on the cultural history of the architecture and dance of the Pueblo peoples (see also Las máscaras de Aby Warburg, 2013).

Sam Slater (Navajo; Columbia University)

Elizabeth Hutchinson is Associate Professor at Barnard College where she teaches courses on North American art with a particular emphasis on the visual cultures of colonialism. She is the author of The Indian Craze: Primitivism, Modernism and Transculturation in Native American Art, 1890-1915 (Duke University Press, 2009) and is currently working on a book about nineteenth century settler representations of Indigenous landscapes.

heather ahtone (Choctaw/Chickasaw; American Indian Cultural Center & Museum)

Sherry Farrell Racette (Algonquin/Métis/Irish; University of Regina) was born in Manitoba and is a member of Timiskaming First Nation in Quebec (unceded Algonquin territory). She has done extensive work in archives and museum collections with an emphasis on retrieving women’s voices and recovering aesthetic knowledge. Her principal areas of interest are Métis visual culture, Indigenous photography and traditional media in contemporary Indigenous art. Farrell Racette is also a curator, painter and textile artist. Beadwork is increasingly important to her artistic practice, creative research and pedagogy.

Scott Stevens (Akwesasne Mohawk; Syracuse University) is a citizen of the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation and the Director of the Native American Studies Program at Syracuse University. There he is an Associate Professor of Native American Studies and of English, he also holds courtesy appointments as an Associate Professor in the Depts. of Art and Music History and of Religion. He earned his PhD from Harvard University in English and American literatures and has published a variety of coauthored books and articles on Native American literature and visual culture. Before coming to Syracuse, Dr. Stevens was the Director of the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the Newberry Library in Chicago. Prof. Stevens had previously held teaching positions at Arizona State University and the University at Buffalo (SUNY). His recent publications include an essay on the tomahawk in early American visual and literary culture. He is a coauthor of the books Home Front: Daily Life in the Civil War North (U of Chicago Press, 2013) and The Art of the American West (Yale UP, 2014). Dr. Stevens is also a co-editor and contributor to the recent collection of essays Why You Can't Teach United States History without American Indians (U of North Carolina Press, 2015) and has contributed a chapter on museums to the Oxford Handbook of American Indian History (Oxford UP, 2016).

Wanda Nanibush (Anishinaabe of Beausoleil First Nation; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto) is the inaugural Curator of Indigenous Art and co-head of the Indigenous + Canadian Art department at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Nanibush is an Anishinaabe-kwe curator, writer, image-maker, and community organizer from Beausoleil First Nation, located in Southern Ontario. Nanibush has a Master’s degree in visual studies from the University of Toronto. Her AGO exhibitions include Rita Letendre: Fire & Light, Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989,and she is currently touring Rebecca Belmore, Facing the Monumental (AGO), Sovereign Acts (JMB), and Nanabozho’s Sisters (Dalhousie). Nanibush has published widely on the subject of Indigenous art and politics, women’s issues, and is currently at work on her first book, titled Violence No More: The Rise of Indigenous Women. She has taught graduate courses at the University of Toronto and OCADU.

Crystal Migwans (Anishinaabe of Wiikwemikoong Unceded Territory; Ottawa, Ontario; Columbia University) is an Anishinaabekwe of Wikwemikong Unceded First Nation, and the place she calls home is the Mahzenahzing (Painted) River. A multimedia artist by training, Crystal's path turned to research and community arts during her time as Curatorial Assistant at the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation in M'Chigeeng, Canada. She is currently in the Art History PhD program at Columbia University in New York, where she look for echoes of an Anishinaabe artistic legacy in the archives of the colonial metropolis. This talk comes from her dissertation research aimed at recovering and revitalizing weaving practices through active interaction with materials in museum collections.

Teri Greeves (Kiowa; Santa Fe, New Mexico) is a beadworker who both follows and updates the Kiowa tradition of beadworking. Her work is represented in museum collections throughout the world, including the Brooklyn Museum here in New York. Recently, she has been included in important exhibitions of contemporary Native art at the Peabody Essex Museum, the Oklahoma State University Museum, the Textile Museum of Washington DC and Crystal Bridges Museum, among others. She is the recipient of important awards and fellowships. Teri is, along with Jill Ahlberg Yohe, curator of the important upcoming exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Art Hearts of Our People: Native American Women Artists. As part of this work, she formed the Native Exhibition Advisory Board—a panel of 21 Native artists and Native and non-Native scholars from across North America—to provide insights from a wide range of nations at every step in the curatorial process.

Greeves uses her talents to tell the story of the American Indian, both contemporary and historical. Through her beaded objects and jewelry, and her signature beaded high-top sneakers, she continues the tradition of story-telling, considering native life in modern society. She lives and works in Santa Fe.

Sonya Kelliher-Combs (Athabascan, Iñupiat; Anchorage, Alaska) is an artist of Iñupiaq from the North Slope of Alaska, Athabascan from Interior Alaska, German, and Irish descent. Kelliher-Combs strives to create work through a contemporary lens that addresses the importance of traditional knowledge and carries cultural traditions and values of her people, including respect for land, animals, sea and fellow humans. Her experience with traditional women’s work has taught her to appreciate the intimacy of intergenerational knowledge and material histories. She draws from historical, familial, and cultural symbolism to form imagery that speaks about abuse, marginalization and the historical and contemporary struggles of Indigenous peoples.

Kelliher-Combs received a BFA from University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and an MFA from Arizona State University. She is a recipient of the Anchorage Cultural Council’s Mayor’s Awards for the Arts, the State of Alaska Governor’s Award for the Arts, Rasmuson Foundation Fellowship, Eiteljorg Fellowship, Native Arts and Cultures Artist Fellowship, and the Joan Mitchell Foundation’s Painters and Sculptors Grant. Her work can be found in numerous private and public collections including the National Museum of the American Indian, Anchorage Museum, Eiteljorg Museum, British Royal Museum, Institute of American Indian Art Museum of Contemporary Native Art, and Alaska State Museum.

Jason Lujan (Brooklyn, New York) is originally from Marfa, Texas and has lived in New York City since 2001. His current work creates layered connections using cultural, commercial, and political design, often utilizing visual signifiers rooted in Asia and North America. Previous exhibitions and performances include the Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ; the National Museum of the American Indian, NY, NY; the Curibita Biennial in Brazil; Continental de Artes Indígenas Contemporáneas at the Museo Nacional de Culturas Populares, Mexico City, and the Museum of Contemporary Native Art in Santa Fe. Together with artist Maria Hupfield, he is co-owner of Native Art Department International, a collaborative arts project that has exhibited or appeared at Artists Space, the Kitchen, the Drawing Center, Stamps Gallery, and Galerie SE Konst in Sweden. Jason occasionally curates and co-organizes exhibitions in New York City, and is a board chair with the downtown arts non-profit ABC No Rio. With curator Rebecca Jacobs he is co-curating an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York scheduled to open October 2019. www.jasonlujan.com

Hiʻilei Julia Hobart (Kanaka Maoli; Columbia University) is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Indigenous Studies at Columbia University, Hiʻilei Julia Kawehipuaakahaopulani Hobart received her doctorate from New York University Department of Nutrition and Food Studies. Her teaching and research focuses on indigeneity and race, settler colonialism, food, and the Pacific. She is currently writing a book on the social history of ice in Hawaiʻi from 1850-1980, which examines how cold temperature emerged as a taste quality of colonial power and leisure within the tropics. She is also currently co-editing a volume of Social Text on the topic of Radical Care, which identifies care as a praxis of radical politics.