THE BRISCOE’S FALL EXHIBITION SHOWCASES NATIVE AMERICAN STORIES THROUGH A MODERN LENS
VISUAL VOICES: Contemporary Chickasaw Art Opening Reception Sept. 24. Exhibition on Display Sept. 25, 2020 – Jan. 18, 2021
If your image of Native American art doesn’t include a stormtrooper helmet, it’s time to expand your horizons at the Briscoe Western Art Museum. The Briscoe is giving everyone a modern view of Native American art and showcasing stories of the West that go far beyond boots and spurs during its fall exhibition, VISUAL VOICES: Contemporary Chickasaw Art. The traveling exhibition, which includes 15 Chickasaw artists and almost 60 artworks, will be on display at the museum Sept. 25, 2020, through Jan. 18, 2021. The public is invited to enjoy a first view of the exhibition during its opening reception on Thursday, Sept. 24, as well as a virtual curator’s talk on Saturday, Sept. 26.
Featuring the artworks of present-day Chickasaw painters, potters, sculptors, metalsmiths and weavers, the exhibition tells a beautiful and compelling contemporary visual story. From oil and watercolor paintings to textiles and metals, glass and bronze, the artworks are unique, intrinsically Southeastern in design and distinctive among contemporary tribal artists. Chickasaw artists featured in the exhibition include Brenda Kingery, Brent Greenwood, Daniel Worcester, Billy Hensley, Margaret Roach Wheeler, Norma Howard, Maya Stewart, Lisa Hudson, Dustin Mater, Paul C. Moore, Tyra Shackleford, Erin Shaw, Lokosh (Joshua D. Hinson), Joanna Underwood Blackburn and Kristen Dorsey.
Featured in the exhibition, Dustin Mater’s “Cosmic Warrior II”, a 2015 mixed media work that includes acrylic on molded plastic, as well as rabbit fur, deer antler and blacklip oyster shell, is the stunning stormtrooper helmet that goes beyond anything George Lucas ever envisioned. And is definitely not a typical Native American headdress.
“An exhibition of the caliber of VISUAL VOICES: Contemporary Chickasaw Art shows how contemporary Native American arts continue to evolve, diving deeper and revealing more about the psyche and consciousness through the work of artists from one specific Native American tribe, the Chickasaw Nation,” explains Michael Duchemin, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Briscoe Western Art Museum. “The works included in VISUAL VOICES offer an opportunity for us all to reflect on that evolution. Visitors will have to decide for themselves how the exhibition embraces more universal themes of humanity, while traditional Western art lovers may ponder how some of the works may be considered Western art. Our role as a museum is to highlight and share all of the stories conveyed through Western art, in order for visitors to gain a greater perspective on this unique part of American history.”
The Briscoe welcomes VISUAL VOICES with a space-limited, socially-distanced preview party, as well as a virtual curator’s talk. Additional programming, including a virtual tour of the exhibition, will be announced after the exhibition opening.
Exclusive Preview Party – VISUAL VOICES: Contemporary Chickasaw Art
Thursday, Sept. 24, 6 – 8 p.m.
Be among the first to see the Briscoe’s new exhibit while you enjoy beer, wine, light bites during a preview reception featuring remarks by Laura Clark, the Exhibition Program Manager for the VISUAL VOICES: Contemporary Chickasaw Art touring exhibition. Clark is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and interdisciplinary scholar, writer and curator. Her work explores North America’s numerous and distinct tribal histories, cultures and transnational narratives through research, writing and development of fine arts exhibitions. Artist Brenda Kingery, a San Antonio native whose work is featured in VISUAL VOICES, will also be at the reception. The 2017 Chickasaw Nation Dynamic Woman of the Year, Kingery was a 2019 inductee into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame. Tickets are $20 for Briscoe members, $40 for nonmembers. Tickets are available online, or by calling (210) 507-4865.
VISUAL VOICES Virtual Curator’s Talk
Saturday, Sept. 26, 11 a.m. – Noon
Join us Ryan Badger, the Briscoe’s Curator of Education, and VISUAL VOICES: Contemporary Chickasaw Art curators, Dr. Maneula Well-Off-Man and Karen Whitecotton as they discuss VISUAL VOICES. Well-Off-Man, chief curator of the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, and Whitecotton (Citizen Potawatomi), the director of collections at the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture, will discuss the background of the VISUAL VOICES exhibition as it closes out its national tour at the Briscoe. Tickets are free for museum members and $10 for nonmembers. Briscoe members please RSVP by phone: 210.299.4499 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
VISUAL VOICES: Contemporary Chickasaw Art is made possible by a grant provided by the Chickasaw Nation, guidance from the Chickasaw Artist Board and assistance from First Americans Museum. This exhibition is also made possible with funding from Humanities Texas and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the federal CARES Act. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The Briscoe continues to operate at 50 percent of its admission capacity, monitoring attendance through ticket counts and limiting admissions as necessary. The museum encourages social distancing through its acre and a half campus on the banks of the River Walk, with outdoor displays that include 32 sculptures extending from the museum’s McNutt Sculpture Garden, a lush public space featuring a beautiful courtyard surrounded by bronze sculptures depicting iconic figures of the American West. The Briscoe’s collection also spans 14 galleries in a restored 1930s building that offers high ceilings and spacious areas for guests to stay safely socially distanced.
The museum’s health and safety protocols require that both staff and guests wear masks. Temperature checks are also conducted. Additional sanitizing and cleaning protocols are practiced throughout the day and both visitor services and the museum store feature plexiglass shields for additional protection.
Museum hours are 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. seven days a week. The Briscoe is located on the south end of the River Walk, near the Arneson River Theatre and La Villita, with convenient parking at the Riverbend Garage directly adjacent to the museum or one of many downtown surface lots. Museum hours, parking and admission details are available online.