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Madison Museum of Contemporary Art Presents “Wendy Red Star: Apsáalooke: Children of the Large-Beaked Bird”

On view November 12, 2022–February 26, 2023

MADISON, WI—Multimedia artist Wendy Red Star (@WendyRedStar), a member of the Apsáalooke (Crow) tribe, creates art to offer a narrative of Native people in America that focuses on an Indigenous perspective rather than the typical stories told by non-Native scholars. An avid researcher, Red Star uses historic imagery and material culture as direct references for her own photographs and installations.

a person seated on a set modeled after a forest
Wendy Red Star, Indian Summer – Four Seasons Series, 2006. Full color print on phototex, 119 x 123 inches. Courtesy of the Artist.

Originated by the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), Wendy Red Star: Apsáalooke: Children of the Large-Beaked Bird will be on view at Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) from November 12, 2022, through February 26, 2023. Aimed at children and families, the exhibition invites opportunities for conversation and will be exhibited in The Shop and the State Street Gallery at MMoCA. Red Star specifically identified both spaces for the exhibition’s Madison presentation due to their visibility and accessibility to the public.

Red Star will present a virtual introduction during the Exhibition Celebration, scheduled for December 9, 2022, from 5–8 PM. The celebration will include entertainment and refreshments. Other activities during the run of the exhibition include art-making workshops, a presentation of archival images, guided tours, and more.

At the center of Children of the Large-Beaked Bird are portraits taken during the 1873, 1880, and early 1900s Crow Delegations that brought leaders to Washington D.C. to meet with officials to negotiate territory and reservation boundaries. Red Star adds details and annotations to these images that highlight the leaders’ humanity and importance. As Red Star notes: “It is critical to preserve and pass along culture, heritage, and shared values while also providing future generations with a sense of identity, solidarity, and empowerment.”

annotated archival photograph of Déaxitchish/Pretty Eagle seated
Wendy Red Star, Déaxitchish/Pretty Eagle, 2014. Framed archival pigment print on photo paper and red ink, 25 x 17 inches. 1880 Crow Peace Delegation, in Washington D.C., original photograph by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Ethnology.

Children of the Large-Beaked Bird, which is the English translation of “Apsáalooke,” takes a close look at the lives of children and the importance of language. The US government attempted to eradicate the Apsáalooke language by forcibly removing Crow children from their homes, sending them to boarding schools, and only teaching them English. Because of this concerted effort, only 3,000-4,000 tribal members speak the language. Red Star addresses this in her exhibition by having sections of the exhibition dedicated to children’s art-making, as well as opportunities for youth audiences and adults to learn Crow words as part of a community-building and culture-bridging project.

Wendy Red Star: Apsáalooke: Children of the Large-Beaked Bird, curated by Laura Thompson, Ed.D., was organized by the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA). Major exhibition support was provided by the W.L.S. Spencer Foundation, The Willow Tree Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, and Mass Cultural Council.

Presenting Sponsorship for MMoCA’s presentation of Wendy Red Star: Apsáalooke: Children of the Large-Beaked Bird has been provided by Jan and Bill DeAtley. Additional support has been provided by Dane Arts with additional funds from the Endres Mfg. Company Foundation, the Evjue Foundation, Inc., charitable arm of the Capital Times, the W. Jerome Frautschi Foundation, the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation, and the Hoocąk Language Division and the Ho-Chunk Nation.

About the Artist

Wendy Red Star works across disciplines to explore the intersections of Native American ideologies, both historically and in contemporary society. Raised on the Apsáalooke (Crow) reservation in Montana, Red Star’s work is informed both by her heritage and her use of many forms of creative expression, including photography, sculpture, video, fiber arts, and performance. An avid researcher of archives and historical narratives, Red Star seeks to incorporate and recast her research, offering new and unexpected perspectives in work that is at once inquisitive, witty, and unsettling. Intergenerational collaborative work is integral to her practice. She also works to create a wider forum for the expression of Native women’s voices in contemporary art.

Red Star has exhibited in the United States and abroad at venues including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris, France; Domaine de Kerguéhennec, Bignan, France; Portland Art Museum in Oregon; Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, Hannover, New Hampshire; St. Louis Art Museum, Missouri; and the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota; among others. She served as a visiting lecturer at institutions including Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut; the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa; the Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada; National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia; Dartmouth College, Hannover, New Hampshire; CalArts, Santa Clarita, California; Flagler College, St. Augustine, Florida; and I.D.E.A. Space in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In 2017, Red Star was awarded the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, and in 2018 she received a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship. In 2019 she had her first career survey exhibition at the Newark Museum in New Jersey. She holds a BFA from Montana State University, Bozeman, and an MFA in sculpture from The University of California, Los Angeles. She lives and works in Portland, Oregon.

About MMoCA

The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is always admission-free. Its vision is to be an organization that fosters the exchange of ideas and creates experiences that will inspire a wide audience; be a nexus for the work of emerging and established regional, national, and international artists; serve as a catalyst for the continued development of a vigorous community of artists; and provide a forum that will encourage people to be challenged by, reflect on, and make connections between art and the world around them.

The Museum includes four galleries and The Shop, a space to provide interactive contemporary art experiences and educational workshops to the community. The Rooftop Sculpture Garden provides an urban oasis with an incredible view which serves as a lovely venue for weddings, art openings, and cinema.

Please visit mmoca.org to learn more.

Contact:
Marni McEntee
608.257.0158 ext. 241
marni@mmoca.org

Images

a person seated on a set modeled after a forest

Attribution

Wendy Red Star, Indian Summer – Four Seasons Series, 2006. Courtesy of the Artist.

annotated archival photograph of Déaxitchish/Pretty Eagle seated

Attribution

Wendy Red Star, Déaxitchish/Pretty Eagle, 2014. Framed archival pigment print on photo paper and red ink, 25 x 17 inches. 1880 Crow Peace Delegation, in Washington D.C., original photograph by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Ethnology.

Published on Oct 28 2022

Last Updated on Nov 15 2022

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