Ucross Art Gallery Features Native American Artists

On March 7, the Ucross Art Gallery announced its most recent exhibition,“Field Guide: Teresa Baker+Anthony Hudson + Jessica Mehta + Eliza Naranjo Morse,” which is will be on view through July 30.

“Field Guide” features art by the 2020 and 2021 recipients of the Ucross Fellowships for Native American Visual Artists, including Teresa Baker (Mandan/Hidatsa) of Los Angeles, California; Anthony Hudson (Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians) of Portland, Oregon; Jessica Mehta (Cherokee Nation) of Portland, Oregon; and Eliza Naranjo Morse (Santa Clara Pueblo) of Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico.

In the exhibition, the four artists, who are all from different regions and disciplines, explore diverse cultural traditions while forging new personal identities and investigating topical issues such as the diasporic experience, resilience, and autonomy. Evoking a trek though the surrounding Wyoming wilderness, “Field Guide” invites viewers to explore the intersecting visions of these artists, as well as their connection to place, nature and the larger universe. Offering a complex view of the present and past, and a co-mingling of place and voice, the works engage in contemporary Indigenous discourse while celebrating the vibrancy that Ucross’s extraordinary residency experience offers to each artist who attends. Several pieces in the show were created while the artists were in residency.

“I was inspired by the freedom of that land at Ucross, Wyoming, and wanted that freedom to enter my choices in my work,” said Baker, who received the Ucross Fellowship for Native American Visual Artists in Spring 2020.

The exhibition was guest curated by Andrea R. Hanley. Hanley, who serves on the Ucross National Advisory Council, has dedicated her career to the work of contemporary Native American artists and the Native American fine art field. She started her career at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., and she was the executive director of ATLATL, Inc., a national service organization for Native American arts. Hanley also worked at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona; the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico; and is currently the chief curator at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In addition to her work at the Wheelwright, she currently serves on numerous boards and is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation.

“The exhibition exemplifies why these artists were selected to receive the Ucross Fellowship for Native American Visual Artists, and it showcases contemporary Native American art at its finest,” Hanley said. “The ambition of the work will resonate with audiences, as it speaks to history, people and land narratives, as well as the dynamic and complex relationships that are part of the Native American experience.”

Launched in 2017, Ucross’s Native American fellowship program was designed to support the work of contemporary Native artists and cultivate artistic leadership, capacity, and community building. The fellowship award has supported the work of Native visual artists at all stages in their professional careers. Each year, two new Fellowship recipients are selected, and each chosen artist is gifted a four-week Ucross artist residency, which includes uninterrupted time, a private studio, living accommodations, meals prepared by a professional chef, staff support and the unparalleled experience of the majestic High Plains. In addition to the residency, the Ucross Fellowship for Native American Visual Artists also includes a $2,000 award, a $1,000 stipend and a featured exhibition at the Ucross Art Gallery in the year following the artist’s residency. Due to the renovation of the Ucross Art Gallery, which started in 2021 and completed in 2022, “Field Guide” features the work of those artists who were in residency in both 2020 and 2021.

“Field Guide” is on view at the Ucross Art Gallery, located at 30 Big Red Lane in Clearmont, Wyoming, through July 30. The gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

On May 5, Ucross will present an artist talk at Sheridan College’s Kinnison Hall at 11 a.m., as well as an exhibition reception at the Ucross Art Gallery at 6 p.m. Both events will be free and open to the public. For more information, to view the exhibition’s brochure and to register for the May 5 events, visit ucross.org.

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