Ded Uŋk’uŋpi—We Are Here art exhibit opened at the James J. Hill House last weekend. 2012 marks the 150th anniversary of the largest mass execution in the history of the United States. On December 26th, 1862, 38 Dakota warriors were sentenced and hung as a result of the U.S./Dakota war. This timely and important group exhibit features works by 20 Native American artists whose work responds to the legacy of these events.
Work by eight of the artists has been selected for purchase as part of the Minnesota Historical Society’s permanent collection. The painting above is titled “The Crow is to Die For!” by Dwayne Wilcox.
Joe Allen, Angela Babby, Karen Beaver, Todd Bordeaux, Julie Buffalohead, Avis Charley, Gordon Coons, Jim Denomie, Michael Elizondo Jr., Evans Flammond, Charles Her Many Horses, Dakota Hoska, Henry Payer, Charles Rencountre, James Star Comes Out, Maggie Thompson, Jodi Webster, Gwen Westerman, Dwayne Wilcox, Bobby Wilson
Dakota Artist and Scholar Gwen Westerman Wasicuna said the following about the exhibit:
“With a stunning mix of humor and anger, hope and despair, this collection expresses the array of complicated responses to a brutal history. While the thirty-eight executed Dakota are prominent, other essential aspects of culture and tradition are also present, including the strength of Dakota women, the role of horses and honor, and the ever-present landscape of the homeland. Whether incorporating new interpretations of traditional forms of beadwork, winter counts, and horse masks, or employing diverse contemporary techniques in glass, found objects, and photography, the messages here are as diverse as the artists themselves. The stories depicted contribute to a broader understanding of the impact of these historical events and the power of art to tell a difficult story. Abstract, realistic, and representational, these pieces help us see the transformative capacity of trauma and healing, destruction and regeneration, and above all, representation and memory.”
This exhibit will be on view during Hill House hours until January 13, 2013.