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2009 Fellows

Past Fellows: 2009

  • Edward Poitras (b. 1953, Métis)

    Edward PoitrasPoitras is a member of the Gordon First Nation, born and now living in Regina, Saskatchewan.  His art training was conducted at Saskatchewan Indian Cultural College in 1974 and Manitou College (La Macaza, Quebec) from 1975 through 1976.  Poitras has taught at numerous institutions, including the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, University of Manitoba, and First Nations University of Canada.  Notably, he was the first Native artist ever chosen to represent Canada at the Venice Biennale in 1995.  Poitras’ work is recognized for its variety of media and materials that blend as if they had always been compatible.  From sculptures to installations, he explores how treaties and colonialism have affected First Nations peoples, and the way in which contemporary Native peoples integrate their lives in both rural and urban areas.

  • Jim Denomie (b. 1955, Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe)

    Jim DenomiesmallerDenomie spent the first four years of his life living on his reservation before he and his family were relocated to Chicago.  He currently lives in Shafer, Minnesota.  In 1995, he graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a minor in American Indian Studies.  In 2008, he was the recipient of a Bush Artist Fellowship; in 2012, a McKnight Fellowship; and in 2015, a Native Arts and Culture Fellowship and Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptures Fellowship.  Denomie paints in vivid colors, allowing his paint and brush strokes to enhance his sometimes comical, biting, sullen, or surreal subjects.  His narrative paintings usually involve characters that comment on past and current events about, usually, Native Americans.

  • Jeffrey Gibson (b. 1972, Mississippi Band of Choctaw/Cherokee)

    Jeffrey GibsonIn his formative years, Gibson and his family moved frequently, including living abroad in Germany and Korea.  The experience of growing up in diverse settings and cultures has undoubtedly lent to his distinctive artistic voice.  He graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1995, and Royal College of Art (London, England) with a Master of Fine Arts in 1998, the latter of which his tribe, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, paid for.  In 2008, he was the Ronald and Susan Dubin Fellow at the School for Advanced Research, and an artist in residence at Crow’s Shadow Institute.  In 2012, he was the recipient of the Smithsonian Institutions’ Contemporary Arts Grant and Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant.  His multi-media works are contemporary abstract, interpretative enterprises with composites of Native American traditional materials such as beads and found objects that reference both his global and Native influences.

  • Wendy Red Star (b. 1981, Crow)

    wendyredstarRed Star grew up on the Crow Indian reservation.  She currently lives in Portland, Oregon.  She graduated from Montana State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture in 2004, and the University of California—Los Angeles with a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture in 2006.  In 2010 and 2015, Red Star was an artist in residence at Crow’s Shadow Institute and in 2015, she was the recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Emerging Artist Fellowship.  Currently, she is an adjunct professor of art at Portland State University.  Red Star is a multi-media artist, specializing in photography, video, and performance pieces that encourage her viewers to contemplate colonized and dehumanized interpretations versus more accurate and contemporary views of Native Americans.  Usually she is the main subject in her self-portraits that shed light on the authenticity of her Crow culture.

  • Faye Heavy Shield (b. 1953, Kainai-Blood)

    Faye Heavy ShieldHeavy Shield grew up on the Blood Indian reserve in Alberta, Canada, speaking both Blackfoot and English.  She currently lives in Calgary, Alberta.  She attended elementary school at St. Mary’s Residential School in Cardston, Alberta, a Catholic school that has influenced her sculptures and installation pieces.  She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Calgary in 1986 after initially attending the Alberta College of Art and Design.  Having grown up in a traditional setting, spending a lot of time with her grandmother, in 2007, Heavy Shield was the narrator and interviewee for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation project-episode “Legends of Kainai: Stories from the Blackfoot People of Southern Alberta.”  Site-specific, minimalistic, and repetitive in approach, Heavy Shield’s sculptures refer to memory, community, and landscape.



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