Re-Riding History:From the Southern Plains to the Matanzas Bay

Symposium, Crisp-Ellert Art Museum, St Augustine FL Thursday, February 12, 2015

Symposium Panel Chair : Emily Arthur

The following artists and scholars have been invited to speak about the exhibition in a contemporary context and how the exhibition responds to historical events: Nancy Marie Mithlo, Ph.D. (Associate Professor of Art History and Visual Arts, Occidental College and Chair of American Indian Studies, Autry National Center Institute), Emily Arthur (Artist andAssistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison); Harry Mithlo (Artist and Apache Tribal Historian), Juanita Pahdopony (Artist & past President of Comanche Nation College, Lawton, OK), heather ahtone (Asst. Curator, Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma-Norman), Edgar Heap-of-Birds (Artist, Professor of Native American Studies, University of Oklahoma), and Willie Johns (Cultural Specialist and Chief Justice of the Seminole Tribe of Florida). The exhibition curators will be present: Emily Arthur, Marwin Begaye, and John Hitchcock.

"Re-Riding History" addresses the 450th Anniversary of the city of St. Augustine. The Re-Riding History exhibition and symposium offers an Indigenous perspective on the 450th city commemoration.

Symposium: Thursday, February 12, 2015

Symposium Schedule:
10am – 12pm: Panel #1
2pm – 4pm: Panel #2
7pm – 8:30pm: Panel #3

Questions regarding the Symposium at Flagler College can be directed to the Project Director: Emily Arthur, Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Art Department, 6241 Humanities Building, 455 North Park Street, Madison, WI53706


ENCODED: Traditional Patterns/A Contemporary Response 2013

ENCODED: Traditional Patterns/A Contemporary Response creates an opportunity for five contemporary artists to exhibit their work in relation to The Richard E. and Dorothy Rawlings Nelson Collection of American Indian Art at the Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota Duluth. The project responds to a general trend in contemporary museum practice to invite critical reflection, and to view responses to museum collections as a basis for art-making and exhibition development.

Featured artists: Emily Arthur | Tom Jones | America Meredith | Henry Payer | Dyani White Hawk


Once Wetlands

Cummer Museum of Art, Jacksonville, Florida,  2012

In this series of screen prints and works on paper I am interested in memorializing a specific Florida location that has been cut down. Wetlands have been replaced with a high way and strip mall.

During construction fertile, native soil was sprayed down and covered with white sand filler to support concrete. The paper used in this series of artwork was run over and imprinted with the same trucks used to strip the landscape. Tire tracks across the paper serve as a physical record to the removal of trees; soil and animals.

In addition the works have been flocked with soil samples from the location that once supported wildlife. In a short time when the interchange is complete there will be no memory of the place as a living pinewood or wetland. With this work I am witness to the loss of gopher turtle, wild turkey and deer. I saw the animals flee from trucks, fire or lay dead in the road.

I see nature as an interdependent living force rather than the backdrop for human events. I view the landscape as living matter that holds a story with a specific genius to a place. My objective as the artist is to serve as witness a changed relationship with nature as living rather than dead matter.

In this series of works on paper, the artist can serves as witness to the changing relationship between people, plants, animals and our shared sacred space. As environmental crisis moves into the foreground of our lives I visualize a meeting point for all to survive. Not only to save native species but also to save the native parts of our selves.

  - Emily Arthur


Offerings 2011

Video Projection within the Gallerie dell’Accademia,Venice Italy.

An offering made onto the Pregnant Virgin within Venice's principal picture gallery, and one of the most important museum galleries in Italy. 2011


Exhibition, Heavy Hitters

2012 Oso Bay Biennial

Emily Arthur

Organized by artist and colleague Ryan O’Malley, the Heavy Hitters exhibition features artists  “whose actions and opinions strongly influence the course of events. In sports it’s the athlete who makes the big plays, a game changer, or an inspiration.”

The sports analogy is clear and the list of artists/educators is long. If our shared mission is to reach an island in Texas through printmaking during the Oso Bay Biennial then we must first change the content of the game within ourselves by breaking the old pattern of masculine against feminine; or any camp of printmaker against another in our field. The model of a market driven, rare & singular artist has been replaced by a community of artists assisting, self-organizing and self-curating within a horizontal social media format.

The shared work of Printmaking is to create and defend an original multiple in all of its democratic ideal. We can no longer afford the model that celebrates one mind, with one name on the wall and devalues the contribution of the total body. It is important to be aware of the Influence that we have on each member in our community rather than seek a divisive Impact. Rather than valuing the hero or the slam-dunk, we must also value the art of practice and the strength to change our thinking as new information is added midway through the game.

The masculine mode of imparting one fixed idea onto another person is outdated and dangerous. Instead, in the studio, classroom and professional field there exists a co-creative model born of collaboration where each voice is as important as the next. A container is held open to allow new creation during the event; the exhibition; the demonstration or the collective. We all secretly cheer for the underdog and desire to see the world as an inclusive whole instead of a restrictive half. How do we redirect the artist statement from, “let me help you to know about me,” to “let me help you to know about yourself?”

The strength of holding the space for a new consciousness happens through the fur and fangs of the feminine in both men and women. I am not talking about gender - but the masculine and feminine element that resides in all people. It is the feminine element of receptive mark-making and resilience in the studio that must be present before the masculine element can carry the work out into the world and defend it.  

Where a top-down or market driven model demands assessment and measure of the “right answer on the first try,” a from-the-ground-up model opens to possibility and potential of the unknown so often misunderstood in our culture. Nature loves variety and splinters herself into diversity within a healthy environment. We cannot hold our print community to a sterile monoculture; eliminating any uncategorized species rather than living with the feminine element and balancing Heavy Hitting with Wide Receiving.

 - Emily Arthur, 2012