Join the Lunder Institute @ the MFA

 

Join the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Colby College Museum of Art’s Lunder Institute for American Art on Thursday, on Thursday, May 23, for New Discourses for Folk and Self-Taught Art, the fifth of six Lunder Institute @ programs to be held at museums around the country. This symposium will promote discourses around new understandings and reception of folk and self-taught art for the twenty-first century.

This symposium will bring together leading art experts to explore new definitions for folk and self-taught art in the 21st century and how the equitable integration of art into museums promotes cultural competency by deepening appreciation for art and people from diverse backgrounds.

Speakers:

Dr. Gabrielle A. Berlinger, folklorist and associate professor of American Studies and Folklore, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Kinshasha Holman Conwill, deputy director emerita, Smithsonian National Museum of American History and Culture

Jori Finkel, New York Times writer and American art critic

Lonnie B. Holley, American artist

Moderated by Michael J. Bramwell, Joyce Linde Curator of Folk and Self-taught Art

Reserve your free tickets here

This program is part of Lunder Institute@, co-presented by the Lunder Institute for American Art, an initiative of the Colby Museum of Art. Lunder Institute@ brings together artists and leaders of prominent American art museums to look critically at American art, its history, its future, and its evolution, and to engage publicly with a single question: What is the state of American art?

IMAGE: Sam Doyle, Jackie Robinson (detail), about 1983. Paint on found, weathered, corrugated roofing tin. M. Theresa B. Hopkins Fund, Harry Wallace Anderson Fund, and Robert Jordan Fund.

Watch Lunder Institute @The Addison

Last week, the Lunder Institute joined the Addison Gallery of American Art of American Art for Defining American Art: Then and Now, the fourth Lunder Institute @ conversation of 2024.

The Addison’s founding history provided a snapshot into the state—and stakes—of American art in the 1920s and 30s. Defining American Art: Then and Now is a two-part symposium that takes the Addison’s own formation as a case study to track evolving notions of American art over the last century, with special attention to questions of citizenship and national identity as they inform the field today.

This program is part of Lunder Institute @, an initiative of the Colby College Museum of Art’s Lunder Institute for American Art. Lunder Institute @ programs invite thought leaders at the nation’s most prominent art institutions to engage publicly with a single question: What is the state of American art? These convenings promote discourse leading toward innovation, new areas of exploration, and possible answers to questions around what American art is and what impacts its production, scholarship, and research.

Dwayne Tomah Named a 2024 Lunder Institute Fellow

The Colby College Museum of Art’s Lunder Institute for American Art is pleased to announce that it has selected Dwayne Tomah, a Passamaquoddy language teacher and keeper of culture, for a year-long fellowship to support his community-based practice.

As the youngest fluent speaker of the Passamaquoddy language, his life has been dedicated to language and culture preservation. Tomah has edited the Passamaquoddy dictionary and worked to help create his tribe’s Passamaquoddy language app for iOS. He is currently working with the Library of Congress on translating the Passamaquoddy Wax Cylinders. These recordings are the first recordings in the world of Native languages. They were recorded in 1890 by Jesse Walter Fewkes, who borrowed the device from the inventor Thomas Edison.

Tomah has served on the Passamaquoddy Tribal Council and has been involved in repatriation and Land Back issues. He shares historical truth regarding the Doctrine of Discovery from an Indigenous perspective, as well as Native legends through song and dance. In collaboration with Colby Arts, the Lunder Institute will organize multiple points of engagement with him over the course of his fellowship.

Join the Lunder Institute @ the Addison Gallery

 

 

Join the Addison Gallery of American Art of American Art and the Colby College Museum of Art’s Lunder Institute for American Art for Defining American Art: Then and Now the fourth Lunder Institute @ conversation of 2024.

The Addison’s founding history provides a snapshot into the state—and stakes—of American art in the 1920s and 30s. Defining American Art: Then and Now is a two-part symposium that takes the Addison’s own formation as a case study to track evolving notions of American art over the last century, with special attention to questions of citizenship and national identity as they inform the field today.

This program is part of Lunder Institute@, co-presented by the Lunder Institute for American Art, an initiative of the Colby Museum of Art.

Lunder Institute@ brings together artists and leaders of prominent American art museums to look critically at American art, its history, its future, and its evolution, and to engage publicly with a single question: What is the state of American art?

Read more

Watch Lunder Institute @The Broad

This weekend, The Broad Museum in Los Angeles, in collaboration with the Colby College Museum of Art’s Lunder Institute for American Art, presented Making The Un-Private Collection: Sayre Gomez + Patrick Martinez + Lynell George, the second of six Lunder Institute @ programs at museums around the country.

The first Un-Private Collection conversation of 2024 features Desire, Knowledge, and Hope (with Smog) exhibition artists Sayre Gomez and Patrick Martinez, moderated by noted author and native Angelino Lynell George. Gomez and Martinez’s paintings are emblematic of a new generation of artists using the visual language of Los Angeles as inspiration for their creative practice. Martinez’s paintings incorporate architectural elements to indicate and preserve identity and culture for the Latinx community as the landscape of the city changes. Gomez’s artworks portray the passage of time and urban decay that looms over the city through faded signage, as well as the neglected and vacant buildings he encounters. The artists and George discussed Los Angeles as a creative landscape and how their artworks are shaped by it. Lynell George is a Los Angeles-based journalist, essayist, and author, whose 2020 book A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia E. Butler was a finalist for a Hugo Award. Special Thanks to Leading Partner East West Bank

This program is part of Lunder Institute @, an initiative of the Colby College Museum of Art’s Lunder Institute for American Art. Lunder Institute @ programs invite thought leaders at the nation’s most prominent art institutions to engage publicly with a single question: What is the state of American art? These convenings promote discourse leading toward innovation, new areas of exploration, and possible answers to questions around what American art is and what impacts its production, scholarship, and research.

Join the Lunder Institute @ Crystal Bridges

 

Join Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Colby College Museum of Art’s Lunder Institute for American Art for Bite-Sized Conversations, the third Lunder Institute @ conversation of 2024.

American art is dynamic! Are you curious about how Crystal Bridges thinks about the pressing issues of American Art? How are new directions in American art reflected in our collection? How will multiple perspectives impact our new galleries?

Bite-Sized Conversations is an evening of short conversations that showcase the work and stories of regional artists Danielle Hatch, Linda Nguyen Lopez, and Kalyn Barnoski. Each conversation between an artist and a Crystal Bridges curator will be paired with either a beverage, tasty treat, or a craft activity. The curators leading the program include Curator of Contemporary Art Alejo Benedetti, Windgate Curator of Craft Jen Padgett, and Curator of Indigenous Art Jordan Poorman Cocker.

Tickets are $25 ($20 for members, free for students), reserve your spot online or call Crystal Bridges guest services at (479) 657-2335. Tickets include one alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage and curated hors d’oeuvre. Read more

Watch Lunder Institute @ the deYoung Museum

This weekend, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, in collaboration with the Colby College Museum of Art’s Lunder Institute for American Art, presented Making America: Conversations on Creative Work + Freedom of Expression, the first of six Lunder Institute @ programs at museums around the country.

Invited guests examined the state of American art through the lens of radical imagining and collective care in a pair of discussions featuring artists, curators, and interpretation specialists. Together, participants explored the responsibility of art workers in the face of censorship, the aftermath of the reversal of affirmative action, and ongoing assaults on education and freedom of expression. Moving beyond the buzzwords of diversity, equity, access, and inclusion, these conversations challenged both speakers and visitors to reassess the possibilities of creative work in shaping American life and discourse.

Watch below.

A conversation on interpreting American art

This conversation considers the role of art museum interpretation professionals in shaping the narrative of American art within the current socio-political climate.

Featuring Lisa Silberstein (she/her), manager of learning, experience, and programming in the area of experience development at the Oakland Museum of California and Erica Gangsei (she/they), director of interpretive media at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, moderatef by Abram Jackson, director of interpretation at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

A conversation on creativity + defiance in American art

This conversation explores the role of the artist, producing creative work, and meaning-making in the face of threats to freedom of expression. Featuring American Artist, Diedrick Brackens, and Rashaad Newsome, moderated by Devin Malone, director of public programs and community engagement at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

This program is part of Lunder Institute @, an initiative of the Colby College Museum of Art’s Lunder Institute for American Art. Lunder Institute @ programs invite thought leaders at the nation’s most prominent art institutions to engage publicly with a single question: What is the state of American art? These convenings promote discourse leading toward innovation, new areas of exploration, and possible answers to questions around what American art is and what impacts its production, scholarship, and research.

Join the Lunder Institute @ The Broad

Join The Broad and the Colby College Museum of Art’s Lunder Institute for American Art for The Un-Private Collection: Sayre Gomez + Patrick Martinez + Lynell George, the first Un-Private Collection conversation of 2024. Featuring Desire, Knowledge, and Hope (with Smog) exhibition artists Sayre Gomez and Patrick Martinez, and moderated by noted author and native Angelino Lynell George. Gomez and Martinez’s paintings are emblematic of a new generation of artists using the visual language of Los Angeles as inspiration for their creative practice. Martinez’s paintings incorporate architectural elements to indicate and preserve identity and culture for the Latinx community as the landscape of the city changes. Gomez’s artworks portray the passage of time and urban decay that looms over the city through faded signage, as well as the neglected and vacant buildings he encounters. The artists and George will discuss Los Angeles as a creative landscape and how their artworks are shaped by it. Lynell George is a Los Angeles-based journalist, essayist, and author, whose 2020 book A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia E. Butler was a finalist for a Hugo Award.

The program will also be available to view on YouTube both during and after the conversation.

The Un-Private Collection: Sayre Gomez + Patrick Martinez + Lynell George

Saturday, March 2, 2–3:30 pm

Tickets: $15

Oculus Hall at The Broad
221 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, California

Sayre Gomez

Sayre Gomez (b. 1982, Chicago, IL) works across mediums, including painting, sculpture, and video, to address themes of perception and representation. His works often deploy a range of painting techniques drawn omnivorously from Hollywood set painting, commercial sign painting, automotive airbrushing, and other traditions. The city of Los Angeles serves as a frequent setting and subject, given homage through references to roadside signage, car culture, fantastical sunsets, and other aspects of Angeleno visual culture. Recurring metaphors such as windows, doors, gates, and and walls are often used in Gomez’s work as part of an investigation into the role of context in the distribution and legibility of images in the 21st century. Gomez holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. His works are held in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington; The Broad, Los Angeles; Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Austria; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles among others. The artist lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

Patrick Martinez

Patrick Martinez (b. 1980, Pasadena, CA) earned his BFA with honors from Art Center College of Design in 2005. His work has been exhibited domestically and internationally in Los Angeles, Mexico City, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Miami, New York, Seoul, and the Netherlands, and at venues including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Brooklyn Museum, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian NMAAHC, the Tucson Museum of Art, the Buffalo AKG Museum, the Columbus Museum of Art, the Vincent Price Art Museum, the Museum of Latin American Art, the Crocker Art Museum, the Rollins Art Museum, the California African American Museum, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, and El Museo del Barrio, among others.

Lynell George

Lynell George is an award-winning L.A.-based journalist, essayist, and author. Her work explores social issues and human behavior, as well as urban histories, visual art, music and literature. A former staff writer for both the Los Angeles Times and LA Weekly, her pieces have appeared in Sierra, Alta: A Journal of Alta California, The New York Times, Oxford American, and High Country News, among many other publications. She is the author of three books of nonfiction: No Crystal Stair: African Americans in the City of Angels, After/Image: Los Angeles Outside the Frame, and A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia E. Butler, which was a 2021 Hugo Award Finalist.

This program is part of the Lunder Institute @ initiative and is co-presented by the Lunder Institute for American Art, a part of the Colby Museum of Art. Lunder Institute@ invites institutions to be in conversation with one another and challenges them to look critically at American art, its history, its future and its evolution.

IMAGE (from left to right): Sayre Gomez, Patrick Martinez, and Lynell George.

Taking off the White Gloves: A Performance Art Series in Honor of Lorraine O’Grady

The Lunder Institute for American Art is incredibly excited to partner with the Davis Museum at Wellesley College for 𝘛𝘢𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘞𝘩𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘎𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘖𝘧𝘧: 𝘈 𝘗𝘦𝘳𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘈𝘳𝘵 𝘚𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘏𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘓𝘰𝘳𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘖’𝘎𝘳𝘢𝘥𝘺 ‘𝟻𝟻. This performance series features six multidisciplinary artists—Dominique Duroseau, M. Lamar, Tsedaye Makonnen, Nyugen E. Smith , Ayana Evans, and Eleanor Kipping—to accompany the Davis Museum’s  exhibition 𝘓𝘰𝘳𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘖’𝘎𝘳𝘢𝘥𝘺: 𝘉𝘰𝘵𝘩/𝘈𝘯𝘥.

As one of Wellesley College’s most esteemed alumnae in the arts, O’Grady will be celebrated with an opening on celebration on Thursday, February 8, featuring Dear BlaQness: emotionally nude. but BEAUTIFUL you are. [As. Is.] worthy of love, a performance by current Lunder Institute fellow Dominique Duroseau, and a symposium on Friday, February 9, featuring Funeral Doom Spiritual, a performance by M. Lamar.

Additional performances will take place throughout the spring semester, with Tsedaye Makonnen and Nyugen E. Smith appearing in separate performances on Wednesday, March 6, Ayana Evans on Thursday, March 7, and Eleanor Kipping on Saturday, May 25.

See the full performance schedule, including times and locations here.

The invited artists, who first convened as the performance art cohort at the Lunder Institute for American Art’s 2023 Summer Think Tank, will pay tribute to O’Grady’s inspiration and legacy, with performances scheduled for February, March, and May on Wellesley’s campus.⁣⁣⁣

All performances will be free and open to the all.

This performance art series is organized by the Davis Museum at Wellesley College with support from the Suzy Newhouse Center for the Humanities, Wellesley College’s Committee on Lectures and Cultural Events, the Art Department, and the Office of the Provost. It is made possible in part through the support and partnership of the Colby College Museum of Art’s Lunder Institute for American Art and the Colby Arts Office.

IMAGE: (top row, left to right) Dominique Duroseau, M. Lamar, Tsedaye Makonnen; (bottom row, left to right) Nyugen E. Smith , Ayana Evans, and Eleanor Kipping

Join the Lunder Institute @ the deYoung Museum

Examine the state of American art through the lens of radical imagining and collective care. The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, in collaboration with the Colby College Museum of Art’s Lunder Institute for American Art, present Making America: Conversations on Creative Work + Freedom of Expression, an afternoon of discussion featuring artists, curators, and interpretation specialists. Together, participants will explore the responsibility of art workers in the face of censorship, the aftermath of the reversal of affirmative action, and ongoing assaults on education and freedom of expression. Moving beyond the buzzwords of diversity, equity, access, and inclusion, these discussions will challenge both speakers and visitors to reassess the possibilities of creative work in shaping American life and discourse.

Making America: Conversations on Creative Work + Freedom of Expression

Saturday, February 10, 11:30 am–3:15 pm

Koret Auditorium, deYoung Museum
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco, California

Schedule:

11:30 am \ A Conversation on Interpreting American Art

Livestream here.

This conversation considers the role of art museum interpretation professionals in shaping the narrative of American art within the current socio-political climate.

Featured speakers:

  • Lisa Silberstein (she/her), manager of learning, experience, and programming in the area of experience development at the Oakland Museum of California
  • Erica Gangsei (she/they), director of interpretive media at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Moderator:

Abram Jackson, director of interpretation at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

2 pm \ A Conversation on Creativity and Defiance in American Art

Livestream here.

This conversation explores the role of the artist, producing creative work, and meaning-making in the face of threats to freedom of expression.

Featured speakers:

  • American Artist
  • Diedrick Brackens
  • Rashaad Newsome

Moderator:

Devin Malone, director of public programs and community engagement at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

This program is part of Lunder Institute @, an initiative of the Colby College Museum of Art’s Lunder Institute for American Art. Lunder Institute @ programs invite thought leaders at the nation’s most prominent art institutions to engage publicly with a single question: What is the state of American art? These convenings promote discourse leading toward innovation, new areas of exploration, and possible answers to questions around what American art is and what impacts its production, scholarship, and research.

This event is free and open to all. Seating is limited and unassigned. Tickets will be distributed in front of the Koret Auditorium starting one hour before the program begins. Program admission does not include admission to the museum.

IMAGE: Rashaad Newsome, Thirst Trap (detail), 2020. Collage on paper in custom mahogany and resin artist frame with automotive paint, 45 1/4 x 43 11/16 x 4 1/2 in. (114.935 x 110.966 x 11.43 cm). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, a gift from the Svane Family Foundation, 2022.26.24a-b. Courtesy of the artist and Jessica Silverman, San Francisco. Photograph by Randy Dodson

Jessa Rae Growing Thunder Named a 2024 Lunder Institute Ossorio Fellow

 

The Colby College Museum of Art’s Lunder Institute for American Art is pleased to announce that artist Jessa Rae Growing Thunder (Dakoda/Nakoda) is the recipient of the 2024 Alfonso Ossorio Creative Production Grant and will serve as a Lunder Institute fellow for the coming year.

Established in 2019 supported by the Ossorio Foundation, the Alfonso Ossorio Creative Production Grant provides financial support to artists affiliated with the Colby Museum and its Lunder Institute to further their intellectual pursuits, research, and the creation of new artworks that expand the boundaries of American art.

Growing Thunder is a third-generation beadwork and quillwork artist from the Fort Peck Assiniboine/Sioux tribes and a Great Plains tribal art historian raised by strong matriarchs. Following the path of her ancestors, she practices beadwork and quillwork as a way of life—one that is deeply connected to cultural knowledge, worldviews, and past, present, and future generations of Dakoda/Nakoda people.

In addition to her creative practice, she has consulted for numerous institutions, including the Autry Museum of the American West, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Baltimore Art Museum. She contributed research and didactics to the Colby Museum’s recent exhibition, Painted: Our Bodies, Hearts, and Village, for which she wrote interpretive labels on several pieces of historic beadwork featured in the galleries. In 2022, the Colby Museum acquired her piece, Assiniboine Pipe Bag, an acquisition that represented the museum’s first purchase of contemporary beadwork.

Drawing on her experience as a mother of two young daughters, Growing Thunder will utilize her fellowship to explore the impact of motherhood on her practice, and the connection between beadwork, quillwork, and expressions of mothering, love, and kinship. She will reflect on her own transition into motherhood through experimentation with color, texture, design, and multi-sensory elements within her work. Growing Thunder’s scholarly research practice will also contribute to these lines of inquiry by engaging historical Dakoda/Nakoda objects and ways of making to unpack how the functionality and designs of beadwork and quillwork contribute to the confidence and success of Dakoda/Nakoda children.

Her work has been shown in multiple museums, including the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, the Heard Museum, and the Joslyn Art Museum, and she has previously been an educator for the University of California-Davis, University of New Mexico, and Central New Mexico Community College. Growing Thunder was the cofounder of the Native American and Indigenous Advisory Committee to the University of California-Davis Chancellor, as well as the Save Wiyabi Project, which conducts community-based advocacy focusing on sexual/domestic violence against Indigenous women. She holds a doctorate in Native American studies from the University of California-Davis and was a 2022 Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow, working on a project that promoted traditional materials used in quillwork through community-based oral histories, land-based knowledge, and Indigenous sciences.

Growing Thunder is a member of the Growing Thunder Collective, an artist collective comprised of Joyce, Juanita, Jessa Rae, Camryn, and numerous Growing Thunder grandchildren who uphold traditional Dakoda/Nakoda art forms, just as their grandmothers did before them. The Growing Thunder Collective recently received the 2023 SHIFT Transformative Change and Indigenous Arts Award.

We’re Going on the Road! Announcing Lunder Institute @

The Colby College Museum of Art’s Lunder Institute for American Art is excited to announce its newest initiative, Lunder Institute @.

We’ve invited invited six prominent art institutions across the nation to respond to the question, “What is the state of American art?”

In February, the de Young Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco will host the first Lunder Institute @ program, followed by The Broad in Los Angeles, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and, finally, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.

This initiative offers space and time for institutions to consider, discuss, and innovatively respond to the opportunities and challenges within the field of American art in relation to their own institution, collection, and location within the United States. Moreover, this work fosters important and necessary dialogue within and between institutions.

Practice and methodology are core interests of the Lunder Institute, and that interest extends beyond individuals—artists, scholars, and curators—to institutional practices within the field of American art. As a think tank for the field and part of a leading academic art museum, the Lunder Institute seeks to provide opportunities and resources for institutions to engage with questions related to American art. A primary goal of this initiative is to promote transparency in the field of American art—beyond public-facing exhibitions and scholarship—extend that process across each organization, and share a product of that engagement with the public.

The Lunder Institute @ convenings will promote discourse in an open and fertile space leading toward innovation, new areas of exploration, and possible answers to questions that continue to arise around what American art is and what impacts its production, its scholarship, and its research.

See the full schedule of events here.

Meet Our Spring 2024 Fellows

The Lunder Institute for American Art is excited to welcome a new cohort of fellows for the 2024 spring semester.The Lunder Institute supports scholarly and creative research by selecting one or more scholars, curators, or artists annually whose work aligns with its mission of reshaping the contours of American Art. These fellows contribute to the Colby College community through a myriad of means, including academic engagement, public programs, onsite visits, and mining the Colby College Museum of Art’s permanent collection for inspiration.

Already at work remotely are the collaborative duo Enzo Camacho and Ami Lien, artists and writers from the United States and the Philippines. Together, their artistic practice moves from the Philippines outwards to other places, addressing localized iterations of labor and capital from the perspective of imperial damage.

Camacho and Lien’s fellowship will culminate in a visit to Waterville in the summer of 2024, during which they will participate in a series of community events. Prior to their site visit, Camacho and Lien will also conduct research into works in the museum’s Lunder Collection and other holdings made by unnamed artists, based on their own interest in folk or “peoples” vernacular. There will also be opportunities for students and faculty to be in virtual conversation with the artists during the spring ’24 semester.

Interdisciplinary artist Brian Smith will be in residence with the Lunder Institute from January to May of 2024, and will spend the entirety of the spring academic semester onsite, living and working within the Waterville community. Based in Portland, Maine, Smith’s practice draws on queer theory to complicate traditionally held views of nature as separate from human society. During his fellowship, Smith will focus on the development of a body of work that explores the relationship between humanity and the rising oceans through the perspective of queer ecology.

Smith’s fellowship period will advance his inquiries into the role of adaptation, transformation, and interconnectedness in our shared future. While in residence, Smith will mentor a Colby student interested in visual arts and environmental studies through a partnership sponsored by the college’s Buck Lab for Climate and Environment. The campus’s student and scholarly community will also have opportunities to engage with Smith in the studio and classroom. During his time on campus, Smith will research and learn from artists with conceptual and material underpinnings related to his own practice represented in the Colby Museum’s collection, including holdings by Frank Moore, Thaddeus Mosley, Hew Locke, Daphne Cummings, and Ashley Bryan.

Artists and scholars Yumi Janairo Roth and Emmanuel David’s collaborative research examines the experiences of Filipino performers in “Wild West” shows, including the well-known Buffalo Bill’s Wild West traveling show, between 1899–1900, foregrounding their importance and establishing connections between the shows and the Spanish-American and Philippine-American wars. Over the course of their fellowship, Roth and David’s research and creative production will continue to draw attention to this overlooked group of Asian performers, situating them in the context of U.S. imperial expansion. Through this work, Roth and David aim to fill a major gap in the historical record and enhance understandings of the transnational aspects of the American West.

As Lunder Institute fellows, Roth and David will engage with the Lunder Collection’s robust holdings pertaining to the American West, including works by James McNeill Whistler, Alfred Jacob Miller, and Albert Bierstadt. Beyond mining the museum’s collection, Roth and David will utilize their fellowship to continue their scholarly inquiries into modes of representation of Filipinos at the turn of the century, revealing new understandings of the Filipino performers who traveled with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, a group that Roth and David collectively refer to as the Filipino Rough Riders. Roth and David also create artworks related to their research, including the site-specific series, We Are Coming, that installs the names of the Rough Riders on historic marquees. During their tenure as fellows, Roth and David will explore the potential for marquee installations in Maine, drawing out trans-regional connections between the Rough Riders and the numerous Maine locations that hosted Buffalo Bill’s Wild West shows in 1900, including Biddeford, Lewiston, Bangor, Dover, Augusta, and Portland. Additionally, Roth and David plan to produce a speculative archive that blends fiction and reality through created ephemera and “documentary” evidence of Filipino history in the United States. Roth and David’s fellowship will take the form of iterative visits to Colby College over the course of a year, with opportunities for faculty, staff, and surrounding community to engage with their scholarship.

Lien, Camacho, Smith, Janairo Roth, and David will join returning fellows Dominique Duroseau and Papay Solomon, who will each continue their fellowships into the spring.

Image: Enzo Camacho, Ami Lien, Brian Smith, Yumi Janairo Roth, and Emmanuel David.

Recapping the Painted: Our Bodies, Hearts, and Village Symposium

On November 3 and 4, 2023, the Colby College Museum of Art and its Lunder Institute for American Art hosted a two-day symposium, in conjunction with the Painted: Our Bodies, Hearts, and Village exhibition, featuring exhibition collaborators, artists, curators, and scholars of Native American art, American art, and art of the American West.

Together, participants reflected on the relationship between art, shared histories, and lived experiences, incubating new paths within art history, art practice, and the museum field. Topics included how Native artists delve into historical collections to assert visual sovereignty, how to activate museum collections in new and reparative ways, collaborations between institutions and Native communities, and more.

Watch here.

Image: Installation view from Painted: Our Bodies, Hearts and Village, Colby College Musuem of Art.

Meet our Summer Think Tank Guests for August

We have had an amazing group of people join us in June and July and we are very excited to announce our August participants for the Lunder Institute for American Art Summer Think Tank. In July, we welcomed a cohort of performance artists, celebrated Ossorio Fellow, Paula Wilson, and a group of visual artists, museum leaders, and art organization leaders.

Our August Chef in Residence is Dave Mallari who will host and curate supper clubs for our Summer Think Tank participants during the month.

In the first week of August, we welcome conversations around museum programs and performance.  Ed Patuto, Director of Audience Engagement at the Broad will be joined by Limor Tomer, Live Arts General Manager at The Met, Performing Arts Curator, Administrator & Fundraiser.

The following week, we’ll host scholar, curator and critic, Tiffany Barber along with artist, Kandis Wiliams. They will engage in discussion around the Black aesthetic and feminism.  In our final week of the Summer Think Tank, we will be joined by curators and scholars, Bridget Cooks and Robert Cozzolino who will ground us in their thoughts, theories and work to address centering Blackness and the Black experience in American art.

Since we started in early June, the Summer Think Tank has fostered insightful and amazing discussions around creative practice and American identities and experiences. We look forward to concluding our program with grounding conversations about the future landscape of American Art.

Though the conversations are not open to the general public, each will be recorded and preserved in an oral history archive for researchers to access.