Published July 5, 2022
Exhibition will span both locations and run from July 14 to October 2, 2022
Buffalo, NY — O’nigöëi:yo:h Thinking In Indian is an exhibition of Hodinöhsö:ni’ artists celebrating 2022 as the 50th year of Indigenous Studies at the University at Buffalo.
At a time when the field of Native American and Indigenous Studies and Indigenous activism has blossomed, we look back and forward to the seeding of intellectual traditions, seizing of territorial imaginings through meaningful actions, and the threading of our grounded relationality as we come together with a good mind. Works by almost 50 artists from the Hodinöhsö:ni’ Confederacy – Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora – will be featured across the University at Buffalo in UB Art Galleries spaces. Visions of our artists will interconnect ideas through their imagery and highlighting of collective goals across generations and nations. The exhibition will include works created from a wide range of media – digital data, black ash, moose hair, glass beads, paint, and more. Each artwork is a demonstration of intergenerational knowledge with a 21st-century perspective.
“This exhibition of contemporary Haudenosaunee art offers an exhilarating and provocative way to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Native American Studies at UB and the launching of the new Indigenous Studies department,” said Theresa McCarthy, Interim Chair/Associate Professor in Indigenous Studies and Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence, College of Arts and Sciences. “We are celebrating this unprecedented legacy and the continuing impact of five decades of work as foundational to our efforts that lie ahead. Native American studies at UB has been historically defined by its emphasis on the transformative potential of grassroots organizing and community-engaged scholarship, and by centering Haudenosaunee knowledge as a source of our internal strength and a lens for looking at Indigeneity in broader national and global contexts. Knowing that Native studies needed to move beyond the classroom, our professors drew students to learning spaces that spanned from the frontlines to the cornfields, from city streets to remote communities and sacred sites, across borders and oceans. The Native American Studies at UB was unconventional, irreverent, and defiant in its refusal of imposed expectations and all forms of colonial authority that attempted to narrate and dictate Indigenous lives. Anchored in an unwavering insistence on our sovereignty and liberation, this was a program driven by an unbounded commitment to our people, by faculty who were ceaselessly generous with their time and energy, for whom serving our communities was the utmost priority. Those of us who joined the program were enfolded in as kin. We were taught invaluable lessons about ways to enact our caretaking responsibilities to each other and to the natural world, and about how the intellectual traditions of our ancestors informed our duty to work on behalf of the coming faces. So many of these assets, values, insights, themes, and contributions are reflected by the Haudenosaunee artists featured in this exhibit. As an orienting concept, “Thinking in Indian” promotes a dynamic, innovative, future-oriented consciousness appropriate to the exercising of our sovereignty in our efforts to move our Confederacy forward and build a better world for all of our people.”
“I enjoy advocating for artists who are pushing the boundaries of their chosen medium and/or those who are creating important work but may be emerging or lesser known in their field,” said curatorial consultant Margaret Jacobs. “This exhibition is particularly exciting because you have Haudenosaunee voices steering the entire artistic conversation.”
The title of the exhibition is inspired by one of the founders of Native American Studies at the University at Buffalo, Dr. John Mohawk “Sotsisowah” (Seneca). Thinking in Indian: A John Mohawk Reader is an Indigenous analysis of modern existence touching upon issues ranging from sovereignty to the coalescence of human wisdom. O’nigöëi:yo:h Thinking In Indian presents a multi-generational perspective, centering the artist’s voice around questions of land and gender, visual language and action, and imagining Hodinöhsö:ni’ futures.
O’nigöëi:yo:h Thinking In Indian speaks of Hodinöhsö:ni’ foundations of seeding, seizing territorial imaginings and threading our relationships between the human and non-human in the first person with the intention to provoke and inspire as it reframes present discourses.
Aritist list: Kat Brown Akootchook, Erin Lee Antonak, Tracey Anthony, Jay Carrier, Hannah Claus, Dawn Dark Mountain, Patricia Deadman, Elizabeth Doxtater, Katsitsionni Fox, Eric Gansworth, Ronni-Leigh Goeman, Hayden Hayes, Carla Hemlock, Barbara-Helen Hill, Carrie Hill, Dan Hill, Richard W. Hill, Sr., Stanley Hill, Sr., Karen Ann Hoffman, Melanie Hope, Alex Jacobs, Arnold Jacobs, Samantha Jacobs, G. Peter Jemison, Grant Jonathan, Peter Jones, Brandon Lazore, Ange Loft, Linley Logan, Faye Lone, George Longfish, Oren Lyons, Laticia McNaughton, Alan Michelson, Ann Mitchell, Shelley Niro, Roger Cook Parish, Erwin Printup, Jr., Erwin Printup, Sr., Luanne Redeye, Jolene Rickard, Natasha Smoke Santiago, Diane Schenandoah, Santee Smith, Samuel Thomas, Brooke Vandewalker, Marie Watt, and Waylon Wilson.
The exhibition opening reception will be Thursday, July 14, 2022, from 6-8pm at UB Anderson Gallery and at 5-7pm at UB CFA Gallery, second floor.
This exhibition is organized by UB Art Galleries with Margaret Jacobs (Akwesasne Mohawk), curatorial consultant, and guided by an advisory committee comprised of Dr. Mishuana Goeman (Tonawanda Band of Seneca), Professor of Gender Studies and American Indian Studies Interdepartmental Program, UCLA; Dr. Jolene Rickard (Tuscarora), Professor of the History of Art and Visual Studies and former Director of the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program at Cornell University; Laticia McNaughton (Mohawk), Ph.D. candidate in American Studies at the University at Buffalo; and Dr. Gwendolyn Saul, Curator of Ethnography at the New York State Museum. Special thanks to Dr. Theresa McCarthy (Onondaga) Interim Chair and Associate Professor in Indigenous Studies and Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence at the University of Buffalo.
Thank you to the following institutions for generously lending to the exhibition: Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, NY; Forge Project, Taghkanic, NY; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; Iroquois Museum, Howes Cave, NY; K Art, Buffalo, NY; McMaster Musuem of Art, Hamilton, ON; New York State Museum, Albany, NY; and Rockwell Museum, Corning, NY.
Support for the exhibition is provided in part by the Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts with additional support provided by the UB Department of Indigenous Studies. Support for UB Art Galleries is provided by the UB College of Arts and Sciences, the Visual Arts Building Fund, the UB Anderson Gallery Fund, and the Seymour H. Knox Foundation Fine Art Fund.
Image: Elizabeth Doxtater, Encircles Everything. Height unknown x 120 x 120 inches. Courtesy of the artist.
About UB Art Galleries
The University at Buffalo Art Galleries’ mission is to support art and ideas that are urgent and relevant to our time and place. A unique art museum with locations in the Center for the Arts and UB Anderson Gallery, UB Art Galleries presents year-round exhibitions, providing students and the broader community access to thought-provoking art, visiting artists, and stimulating educational programs. With a growing collection and archives, UB Art Galleries provides experiential learning opportunities for students, faculty, and researchers. Learn more about how UB Art Galleries advances art as both inquiry and creative practice available to everyone at ubartgalleries.buffalo.edu.