The Nevada Museum of Art proudly presents The Art of Jean LaMarr, an enrolled member of the Susanville Indian Rancheria. On view from Saturday, Jan. 29 through May 29, 2022, the exhibition features more than 100 paintings, prints, and sculptures spanning five decades of the art and activism of LaMarr, whose prescient melding of post-modern eclecticism and Native American motifs and subject matter has affirmed the dignity of Native American women, addressed the legacy of colonialism and above all sounded a ringing “rejection of the idea of the vanished American Indian.”
Among the bodies of work included in the exhibition are LaMarr’s early printmaking experiments with texture, patterning, and geometric design, based on looted Native American baskets and textiles she discovered in the collections of her alma mater, the University of California, Berkeley; her first forays into community-focused artmaking, inspired by the silkscreen prints and murals of the Chicanx artists she encountered in the Bay Area; works focusing on the endurance of cultural traditions, drawing on research she conducted after returning in the mid-1980s to the Susanville Indian Rancheria; large-scale paintings of landscapes sacred to Native peoples; posters designed for the annual Bear Dance; her series of large-scale monoprints on black paper from the late 1980s and 1990s critiquing symbols of the dominant history and culture of the United States; her feminist “Cover Girl” series, reclaiming the dignity of Native women who had been exposed and exploited by photographers; and mixed-media works, in series such as “From the Boudoir Window” and “War in My Backyard,” juxtaposing traditional ancestral marks with dark silhouettes of military equipment.
Accompanying the exhibition is “The Art of Jean LaMarr,” a 220-page hardcover book with an essay by Ann M. Wolfe and contributions from Allan L. Edmunds, Mary Lee Fulkerson, Debra Harry, Ph.D., Archana Hortsing, Lucy R. Lippard, Susan Lobo, Ph.D., Judith Lowry, Malcolm Margolin, Vincent Medina, Anya Montiel, Ph.D., Raymond Patlan, and Jan Rindfleisch.
Exhibition Preview, Book Release and Reception
5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28
I Heard the Song of My Grandmother: Art and Indigenous Feminisms
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29
In-person only. Join a gathering with artists, writers and curators to consider how activist art subverts stereotypes and advances rights for Indigenous women. Participants include Dr. Anya Montiel, curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian; Dr. Nancy Marie Mithlo, Professor, Department of Gender Studies at UCLA, Los Angeles; Kristen Dorsey, doctoral student, Department of Gender Studies at UCLA; and Las Vegas-based artist Fawn Douglas. Morning coffee and lunch included. View full schedule at nevadaart.org.
Suzan Shown Harjo on Indigenous Rights, Arts and Activism
6 p.m. Wednesday, March 9
In-person and on Zoom. Suzan Shown Harjo has worked for decades to shape a national Native American policy agenda that addresses issues at the core of Indigenous identity: sacred places protection and repatriation, religious freedom, treaty and inherent sovereign rights, mascot eradication and language revitalization. Join together in the Museum’s theater, as Harjo speaks virtually from Washington, D.C. to discuss past and ongoing issues surrounding artists’ rights, women’s rights and Native rights. Dr. Debra Harry, Associate Professor in the Department of Gender, Race, and Identity, University of Nevada, Reno, will moderate a conversation and Q&A following the presentation.
Community Forum: Reckoning with Nevada’s Boarding School Past
5 p.m. Thursday, March 31
In-person and on Zoom. Beginning in 1890, thousands of American Indian children were sent to Stewart Indian Boarding School in Carson City, Nevada as part of the U.S. government’s policy of forced assimilation. This community forum provides an opportunity to discuss this history and the traumatic legacy that remains. Participants include Stacey Montooth, Executive Director of the Nevada Indian Commission; Dr. Debra Harry, Associate Professor in the Department of Gender, Race, and Identity, University of Nevada, Reno will moderate a conversation and Q&A; and the debut of LaMarr’s performance, They Danced, They Sang, Until the Matron Came.
Susan Lobo on Art as Cultural Communication and the Intersections of Contemporary Native Life
Noon Friday, April 8
On Zoom only. Susan Lobo is a cultural anthropologist specializing in research and community-based advocacy work in urban and rural Native communities in the United States and Latin America. Lobo will discuss the multiple rich and layered ways that Jean LaMarr’s art speaks to us regarding contemporary Native life and social issues.
Jean LaMarr in conversation with Ann M. Wolfe
Noon Saturday, May 14
For more information on events and programs, visit nevadaart.org/calendar.
About Nevada Museum of Art
The Nevada Museum of Art is the only art museum in Nevada accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. A private, nonprofit organization founded in 1931, the statewide institution is supported by its membership as well as sponsorships, gifts and grants. Through its permanent collections, original exhibitions and programming, and E.L. Cord Museum School, the Nevada Museum of Art provides meaningful opportunities for people to engage with a range of art and education experiences. The Museum’s Center for Art + Environment is an internationally recognized research center dedicated to supporting the practice, study, and awareness of creative interactions between people and their environments. The Center houses unique archive materials from more than 1,500 artists working on all seven continents, including Cape Farewell, Michael Heizer, Walter de Maria, Lita Albuquerque, Burning Man, the Center for Land Use Interpretation, , Ugo Rondinone’s Seven Magic Mountains, and Trevor Paglen’s Orbital Reflector. The Center is home to the Great Basin Native Artists Archives, a free, open, public resource dedicated to living and deceased Native American artists working in the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin region. It consists of artist files, records, and materials such as resumes, artist statements, biographies, publications, images, exhibition records, sketchbooks, and other artist working materials. This research collection is a valuable record that illuminates the full story of the Great Basin.