Jolene Rickard's Work in Major Exhibition of Art by Native Women
Associate Professor Jolene Rickard's work is part of a major exhibition of artwork by Native women that honors the achievements of more than 115 artists from the United States and Canada spanning over 1,000 years.
Rickard is a faculty member in the Department of Art and Department of History of Art and Visual Studies, as well as a 2020 Fulbright Research Scholar. She is a citizen of the Tuscarora nation, Turtle clan, and the former director of the Cornell American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program.
Hearts of Our People opened on June 2, 2019, at Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA). Curators Jill Ahlberg Yohe, associate curator of Native American Art at the MIA, and Teri Greeves, an independent curator and member of the Kiowa Nation, wanted to mount a major exhibition dedicated to Native women artists and 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.
For her piece ...the sky is darkening (2018), Rickard collected older Tuscarora and Haudenosaunee beadwork pieces and incorporated them with work by contemporary bead-workers.
"The piece is about deep reclamation of land by the Cayuga in conjunction with the complexity of the beaded bird," says Rickard in the audio tour produced for the MIA exhibition.
The MIA also hosted a symposium titled "Hearts of Our People — The Legacy, Relationships, and Power of Native Women Artists," which featured panels of artists and scholars exploring themes related to Native art. Rickard participated in the panel "Legacy," with artists Janet Catherine Berlo, DY Begay, and Yohe.
Last December, Hearts of Our People earned two top 10 critical reviews: "The Best Art Shows of the Decade" in Hyperallergic, and "From Renaissance Treasures To Life At San Quentin: 8 Exceptional Art Exhibits That Make 2019 Worth Remembering" in Forbes. The exhibition went on to the Frist Museum in Nashville (September 27, 2019–January 12, 2020). On February 21, it moved to the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C., where it will remain until May 17 when it travels to the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma, June 28–September 20.
By Patti Witten