INTRICATE FORM Brenda Mallory + Sydney Pursel 2018 UCROSS NATIVE AMERICAN FELLOWS
JANUARY 18 – MARCH 17 Museum of Art | Fort Collins
JUNE 3 – SEPTEMBER 28 Ucross Art Gallery
The mission of Ucross is to foster the creative work of both accomplished and emerging artists by providing uninterrupted time, studio space, living accommodations, and the experience of Wyomingâ€™s majestic High Plains, and to serve as a responsible steward of its historic 20,000-acre ranch. Through its residency program supporting individuals and groups from an array of disciplinesâ€”writers, visual artists, composers, performing artists and moreâ€” Ucross participates in the process by which a society is strengthened and emboldened by its most forward-looking arts. Visiting artists from around the world forge a small, intimate community in a setting that allows their creative endeavors to thrive. A public, non-profit organization sustained by the generosity of many donors, Ucross is home to a working ranch located at the confluence of three pristine creeks. Ucross believes that being a responsible steward of the land resembles being a dedicated artist, and vice versa. Both require vision, imagination, commitment, and the sustainable use of resources. Through all of its initiatives, Ucross strives to cast a reflection into the future from the cultural mirror of our lives and times.
Situated on a 20,000-acre ranch 30 miles southeast
The Ucross Fellowship for Native American
of Sheridan, Wyoming, Ucross calls the broken hill
Visual Arts has been made possible through
country in the shadow of the Bighorn Mountains
the generous contributions of individuals and
home. The Ucross Board of Trustees has established
organizations. We are especially grateful to the
the foundationâ€™s mission to support creativity in the
Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for
arts in the broadest possible sense while serving as
its support of the fellowship and exhibition. The
good stewards of the land.
Wyoming Arts Council has provided grant support to this exhibition through funding from the Wyoming
As you climb into the hills out of the Clear Creek
State Legislature and the National Endowment for the
valley where the Ucross artist program is located,
Arts. We thank Michael Huvane and Ellie Hartgerink
evidence of previous inhabitants is all around.
for their early support for the fellowship. Board
This modern day ranch was once the home
members Jim Nelson and Lisa Hatchadoorian made
territory of Indigenous nations. In an effort to
important contributions in the beginning stages of
honor this lineage of place, Ucross has undertaken
the new program.
an initiative to strengthen ties to Indigenous artists of this hemisphere. In the last three years we have
At Ucross, we are aware of the consistency of effort
conceived and implemented the Ucross Fellowship
required to build genuine ties to the Indigenous
for Native American Visual Artists, which awards
communities of our region. We acknowledge that
Indigenous artists up to 4 weeks in residence, a
we are at the very start of building these relationships
stipend and inclusion in a gallery exhibition the
that are so meaningful and important to us. It is our
following year at the Ucross Art Gallery.
sincere hope that these exhibitions and the new fellowship will serve as a positive beginning of a
The exhibition Intricate Form presents the work of
long-term commitment to the work of contemporary
2018 Ucross Native American Visual Arts Fellows
Native American visual artists.
Brenda Mallory (Cherokee Nation) and Sydney Pursel (Ioway Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska). Intricate Form opens at the Museum of Art | Fort Collins in January 2019 and will travel to the Ucross Art Gallery in the summer of 2019. We thank Ucross Trustee and Museum of Art | Fort Collins Executive Director Lisa Hatchadoorian for her commitment to sponsoring the exhibition and for co-curating the exhibition with Andrea R. Hanley (Navajo). Hanley is Membership and Programs Manager at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa COVER LEFT:
Sydney Pursel, Medicine Man, 2013, fiber optic Indian statue, particleboard, wood, plexiglass, sticker machine, 5 feet x 17 inches x 16.5 inches
COVER RIGHT: ABOVE LEFT: ABOVE RIGHT:
Brenda Mallory, Zen Scrubber #2, 2015, scrubber pad, paint, deconstructed linen firehose, 54 x 18 x 6 inches Sydney Pursel, Culture Vulture Carrion Installation, 2017, mixed media, various size (detail) Brenda Mallory, Warm Lines (triptych), 2014, wool on paper, 22.5 x 30 inches each
Fe. We appreciate the significant guidance she has provided as we have developed this new Ucross initiative.
Bill Gilbert UCROSS BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Art & Ecology and Lannan Endowed Chair, Department of Art & Art History, University of New Mexico
INTRODUCTION Andrea R. Hanley
Recognizing a need in the field, Ucross announced an initiative to encourage the work of contemporary Native American artists in 2017. With this one important step, Ucross activated contemporary Native artist leadership, capacity and community building, and the Native American Fine Art Movement. Recipients are offered a four-week residency, a stipend, and will be featured in a Ucross exhibition. The creativity and visionary nature of the residency supports diversity and advances knowledge and expertise in the Native arts field. Ucross is well-suited to support, encourage, and foster the artistic development and experimentation of Native artists and communities.
Sydney Pursel, Dress Made of Treaties, 2015 paper, thread, 5 x 3 x 3 feet
Enabling contemporary Native artists to negotiate and position community-driven Indigenous narratives within the public sphere is a challenge and motivator for both arts institutions and artists. The change of scenery provided by the Ucross facilities, which are sited on the epic Wyoming landscape, can breathe new life into artwork and offer a burst of inspiration, fueled by dialogues with other creatives. Ucross is an environment in which attending Native artists can create and, just as important, generate opportunities to exhibit their work in various institutions and museums in which they may not be exhibited otherwise. Hopefully other national arts residencies and institutions will follow Ucrossâ€™s lead in supporting Native artists with time and space to focus on their practice and thoughts.
The inaugural exhibition for the Ucross Fellowship for Native American Visual Artists is dedicated to the work of two Native artists who also happen to be women. The exhibition Intricate Form: Brenda Mallory + Sydney Pursel, 2018 Ucross Native American Fellows focuses on an identity-based narrative that deals with contemporary issues as well as cultural history and aesthetics. Traditionally, Native women and their art practices have stood as reminders of cultural strength. Many Native children were brought up on the money made from Navajo weavings or Pueblo ceramic vessels and became artists themselves. Indian Country could never have endured without Native women. Sydney Pursel, an enrolled member of the Ioway Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, balances a bit of humor with serious social critique, creating ironic discourse around indigenous and contemporary issues. Her work is an investigation into how colonization, oppression, American history, and uneven power dynamics have contributed to cultural identity. Multiple, fluid, and conflicting identities, diasporic communities, and geography further complicate identity construction, and all are issues that Pursel addresses in her practice. Purselâ€™s Dress Made of Treaties, 2015 (dress and video), is a conceptual installation exploring ideas around forced relocation of American Indians and its ramifications for the artistâ€™s Tribe, among
others. The artist wears a paper Victorian-style dress constructed from printed treaties between the U.S. and the Ioway Tribe and maps of the Ioway original homelands. For centuries, many treaties have defined the trust between Native nations and the U.S., and the dress embodies the fragility of that relationship. More than 370 ratified treaties helped support the U.S. expansion that led to many broken promises made to Tribes, which included exchanging homeland for assured resources, annuities, land, and/or reservations. During her performance, Pursel literally falls and mangles the dress, signifying those broken treaties and other contemporary Native issues. She also conceptually points to the negative effects of modern-day diets and the spread of diabetes through Indian Country by turning on a TV and opening a beer and junk food. Within an Indigenous cultural context, Pursel’s experiential works reaffirm her cultural values and identity. Brenda Mallory, an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation, recently received the prestigious Eiteljorg Museum Contemporary Native Art Fellowship. Mallory’s works range from wall hangings to large scale installations. She identifies “disruptions and repair” as ongoing themes that support her practice, whether they occur at a personal level or in large systems like culture, agriculture, or the global environment. Many of her works in this exhibition, specifically her minimalist prints composed of grids, lines, and stripes, are very calming due to their focus on intricacy and space. Rifts #2, 2014, a collagraph
that is threaded together, attests to the artist’s attention to line, surface, tone and proportion. Mallory often produces prints, sewn works, and drawings, or works with discarded or found materials that she breaks apart and reconstitutes using hardware. Her reconstructions often suggest irregularity or distortion. Mallory explains, “the damaged and repaired object holds more information than it had in its pristine form - sometimes it is stronger, sometimes weaker, but never the same as before. I like to see repairs, mends, the evidence of struggle, and the healing act of pulling order from chaos. […] I work mainly with found or reclaimed materials, not only because I find them challenging, but because they come with their own history.” By allowing her materials to guide her practice, the works serve as a powerful sign for enlightened Tribal core cultural values and offer interconnectedness to a contemporary reality. This exhibition is an example of how the Ucross Fellowship for Native American Visual Artists can enable projects by Native artists that recognize and support contemporary Indigenous discourse and celebrate and engage the vibrant community that Ucross and Wyoming can offer. Andrea R. Hanley is the Membership and Program Manager for the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has over three decades of professional experience working in the field of exhibition development and arts management, primarily focusing on American Indian art. Ms. Hanley is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation.
Brenda Mallory, Rifts #2, 2014 collagraph print, thread, paint on Rives BFK 38 x 11.5 x 1 inches
BRENDA MALLORY Disruptions and repair. Those are subjects that interest me, whether they occur at a personal level, or in large systems such as human cultures, agriculture, or the global environment. I use mainly discarded or found materials, putting them together with hardware or mechanical devices in ways that imply aberration or malformation. I often create pieces (prints, sewn works,
Brenda Mallory’s work ranges from individual wall-hangings and sculptures to large-scale installations. She works with mixed media and organic materials, creating multiple forms, often joined with crude hardware or mechanical devices in ways that imply tenuous connections and aberrations. Texture and repeated rhythmic forms are instrumental to Mallory’s abstract compositions that deal with concepts of disruptions and repairs.
them. The damaged and repaired object holds more information than it had in its pristine form— sometimes it is stronger, sometimes weaker, but never the same as before. I like to see repairs, mends, the evidence of struggle, and the healing act of pulling order from chaos. I work mainly with found or reclaimed materials, not only because I find them challenging, but because they come with their own history. To me it is a metaphor for hope and resilience when I transform these materials that have been deemed worthless or broken into something that is thought-provoking and beautiful.
mixed heritage. My mother is from a very large Irish Catholic family and my father is part Native American. I was baptized Catholic and am also an enrolled member of the Ioway Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska. While I strongly identify with my Native and Irish roots, I am a combination of many backgrounds and identify as many things on multiple levels. My work investigates how colonization, religious influence, oppression,
drawings) or find objects that I cut or break apart in order to reconstruct and reform
Aha! Like most Americans, I am a person of
Mallory lives in Portland, but grew up in Oklahoma and is a member of the Cherokee Nation. She received a BA in Linguistics & English from UCLA and a BFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art. Mallory has received multiple grants including the Oregon Arts Commission, The Ford Family Foundation, Regional Arts & Culture Council. In 2015 she received the Eiteljorg Museum Contemporary Native Art Fellowship and in 2016 was a Native Arts and Culture Foundation Fellow in Visual Art. Residencies include Anderson Ranch, Crow’s Shadow, Glean, Arizona State University’s Map(ing) project, and Pulp & Deckle Papermaking and Bullseye Glass. She was a Ucross resident in the fall of 2018.
assimilation, and uneven power dynamics have contributed to a loss of cultural identity. Multiple, fluid, and conflicting identities, diasporic communities, and geography further complicate identity construction. Events in American history, like the gold rush and Westward Expansion, disenfranchised Native peoples while providing opportunities for others. Knowing some of my ancestors were likely responsible for the atrocities enacted upon others throughout America’s colonial past haunts me. Through art, I explore how stereotypes, appropriation, cultural consumption, and cultural revival from the Age of Exploration to contemporary DNA testing affect our identity, especially as Native peoples. My chosen name, Sydney Jane Brooke Campbell Maybrier Pursel, is one of the ways I have begun to reconcile the various identities I hold. Each name has its own history and story that contributes to me as a person.
Sydney Jane Brooke Campbell Maybrier Pursel is an interdisciplinary artist specializing in socially engaged, performance, video and new media arts. Through art she explores personal identity drawing from her Indigenous and Irish Catholic roots. Some of Sydney's projects are used to educate others about food politics, assimilation, language loss, appropriation, and history in addition to projects amongst her own community focusing on language acquisition, culture and art. Her work has been shown at public parks, universities and alternative spaces in Columbia, MO; Kansas City, MO; Lawrence, KS; San Francisco, CA; Santa Fe, NM; Seattle, WA; Sheridan, WY; Toronto, ON; Vermillion, SD; and White Cloud, KS. Sydney received her MFA in Expanded Media at the University of Kansas and her BFA in Painting from the University of Missouri. She was the first recipient of the Ucross Fellowship for Native American Visual Artists and is an enrolled member of the Ioway Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska. She was a Ucross resident in the spring of 2018.
INTRICATE FORM Brenda Mallory + Sydney Pursel
Museum of Art | Fort Collins
2 0 1 8 U C R O SS N AT I V E A M E R I CA N F E L LOW S
JANUARY 18 - MARCH 17, 2019
JUNE 3 - SEPTEMBER 28, 2019 Ucross Art Gallery
FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019 Exhibition reception 5– 7 pm Events are free and open to the public.
The exhibition is supported in part by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Museum of Art | Fort Collins and the Wyoming Arts Council, through funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Wyoming State Legislature.
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