Drawing from his half-Choctaw, half-Cherokee heritage, Jeffrey Gibson embraces traditions of Native American art and culture in his colorfully beaded sculptures and intricately patterned paintings. Wool blankets, rawhide, punching bags, and other objects are used as substrates for beadwork that often incorporates text drawn from a variety of sources, including literature and popular culture along with the artist’s own writings. In a unique exhibition planned specifically for the Wellin Museum, Gibson will explore the cultural complexities around the Native American powwow and the associations among costume, ritual, and performance.
“Many past histories,” Gibson stated, “have been disregarded because they seem irrelevant to our contemporary times, but I find that the social issues that people have dealt with for centuries have not completely changed.” By drawing out embedded cultural histories of race and gender, Gibson’s work inspires pedagogical discourse across disciplines and cultures.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.