The Academy Art Museum (AAM) received a generous grant from Art Bridges Foundation to offer a series of free public programs related to tintype photographs of Native American people by contemporaryDiné artist Will Wilson that are on view in AAM’s latest exhibition In Praise of Shadows.
The slate includes three film programs—a selection of Sky Hopinka’s short films, followed by a conversation with the artist; short films by Indigenous American directors and producers; and a lecture by scholar Rebecca Weaver-Hightower that addresses depictions of Native American people in film throughout history. The programs complement and expand on themes that Wilson explores in his work, offering audiences a greater understanding of the racist and genocidal mythologizing at work in non-Native art and film about Native American people, and the settler colonial gaze that Wilson and many Indigenous artists and filmmakers are resisting.
All programs are generously supported by Art Bridges arts patron Alice Walton’s visionary program that subsidizes loans of major artworks and related programming in rural museums. Details about each event follow.
An Evening with Sky Hopinka
Tuesday, June 6, 6 pm
Register Here: https://academyartmuseum.org/an-evening-with-sky-hopinka/
View a selection of short films by renowned experimental filmmaker Sky Hopinka, followed by a post-screening discussion with the artist and Dr. Ryan Conrath, Salisbury University professor and film programmer. Conceived in connection to Diné artist Will Wilson’s portraits of Native American people on view in the exhibition In Praise of Shadows, the program examines representations of Indigenous people and worldviews in art and film.
Sky Hopinkais a 2022 MacArthur Fellow. He received a BA from Portland State University and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. He is currently Assistant Professor in the Film and Electronic Arts Program at Bard College. His work has been shown at many film festivals and exhibited at the Memorial Art Gallery at the University of Rochester, Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Hopinka is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin and a descendent of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians.
Rebecca Weaver-Hightower: The Settler Colonial Gaze
Thursday, June 8, 6 pm
Register here: https://academyartmuseum.org/rebecca-weaver-hightower-the-settler-colonial-gaze/
Dr. Rebecca Weaver-Hightower offers a thought-provoking talk on the construction of settler colonial ideology and its visual manifestations in cinema, photography, and museum exhibition practice. Offered in connection to Diné artist Will Wilson’s portraits of Native American people on view in the exhibition In Praise of Shadows, the lecture examines representations of Indigenous people and worldviews in art and film over time.
Weaver-Hightower is a professor in the Department of English at Virginia Tech. She recently co-authored Cinematic Settlers: The Settler Colonial World in Film, and she authored both Frontier Fictions: Settler Sagas and Postcolonial Guilt and Empire Islands: Castaways, Cannibals and Fantasies. She is also a co-editor of Archiving Settler Colonialism: Culture, Space and Race and Postcolonial Film: History, Empire, Resistance.
Shorts Program: “Critical Indigenous Cinema”
Thursday, June 15, 6 pm
Register here: https://academyartmuseum.org/critcal-indigenous-cinema/
Join us for a program of short experimental films by contemporary Indigenous producers who use cinema to provide counter-images to settler narratives in visually and conceptually daring ways. Curated by Dr. Ryan Conrath, Salisbury University professor and film programmer, and conceived in connection to Diné artist Will Wilson’s portraits of Native American people on view in the exhibition In Praise of Shadows, the program examines representations of Indigenous people and worldviews in art and film. Following the screening, Conrath and B.L. Strang-Moya, filmmaker and Ocean City Film Festival organizer, will discuss the films and their contributions to contemporary film culture as well as to a rethinking of Native American people’s involvement in cinema more broadly.
About the Academy Art Museum
As the premier art museum on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, the Academy Art Museum presents high-quality exhibitions and a full range of art classes for visitors of all ages. Past exhibitions have featured artists such as James Turrell, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Rothko, Pat Steir and Richard Diebenkorn. The permanent collection focuses on works on paper by American and European artists from four centuries including recent acquisitions by Graciela Iturbide and Zanele Muholi. Arts educational programs range from life drawing lessons to digital art instruction, and include lunchtime and cocktail hour concerts, lectures and special art events, as well as a free block-party style Juneteenth Celebration and Fall Craft Show celebrating 26 years. AAM also provides arts education to school children from the region and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. To continue the institutional movement of offering free public programming and to give barrier-free access to art, AAM eliminated admission fees in 2023.
Location: 106 South Street, Easton, Maryland
Hours: Tuesday-Wednesday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Thursday-Friday 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, and Saturday-Sunday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Closed Mondays and Federal holidays.