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Arts & Culture

Crow Artists Headline 2016 MSUB Library Lecture Series

MSU Billings University Relations

Seldom seen drawings by a famous Crow chief will be  on display starting next week on the MSUB campus.

“The drawings themselves are very unique and have rarely shown, specifically the drawings by Medicine Crow that are held in the MSUB Library,” said Dr. Leanne Gilbertston,  director of the Northcutt-Steele Gallery and art professor.

The Medicine Crow drawings will be combined with contemporary art by present day Crow/Apsa'alooke artist  Wendy Red Star, for an unusual exhibit.

“Wendy’s work will be combined and she things of this as a unique opportunity for her work to be in conversation with Medicine Crow,” Gilbertson said.    She has been working on the art exhibit for nearly 2 years to bring it to Billings.

“Once we realized the potential this had in terms of working with original materials that belong to MSUB, working with a really exciting contemporary artist who has an international reputation and is from Hardin,” added Gilbertson.

Wendy Red Star is the niece of Crow artist Kevin Red Star.

Medicine Crow's ledger drawings and Red Star's work are the basis of the 2016 Fall  Library Lecture Series “The 1880 Crow Delegation to D.C.: Cultural Identity, Representation, and Legacy.”

Gilbertson commented the lectures have been a successful community outreach for the university in the past. For this year's series the Library and the Art Department decided to combine forces and feature part of the ledger drawings in the MSUB Library's Barstow Collection.

Credit MSU Billings University Relations
1880 Crow Delegation to Washington, D.C.

The first presentation will be October 18, 2016 at 6:30 P.M. by Dr. Adrian Heidenreich, MSUB professor emeritus of Native American Studies and Anthropology. He will talk about the historic 1880 Crow peace delegation's trip to Washington, DC.  During that trip Medicine Crow drew pictures of many sights, including the U.S. Capitol Building, steamboats, and the animals he saw.

Wendy Red Star will speak October 27, 2016. Other topics to be covered during the lecture series include the relationship of Red Star’s work with traditional Native American art, and the impact and influence to her work on generations of Native women.

Lecture series schedule:

  • Tuesday, October 18: Dr. C. Adrian Heidenreich, MSUB professor emeritus of Native American Studies and Anthropology. “The 1880 Crow Indian Delegation to Washington, D.C.: Cultural Identity, Colonial Policies, and Intercultural Images.”
  • Tuesday, October 25: Dr. John Lukavic, Associate Curator of Native Arts at Denver Art Museum. “From Contemporary to Traditional: Wendy Red Star and American Indian Contemporary Arts in Perspective.”
  • Thursday, October 27: Wendy Red Star: Multimedia and sculpture artist, as well as enrolled member of the Crow Tribe and descendant of the Crow Tribe. Artist talk.
  • Tuesday, November 1: Elizabeth Guheen, Director and Chief Curator of The Charles M. Bair Family Museum in Martinsdale, Montana. “Memory and Identity.” Rebecca West, Curator of Plains Indian Cultures and the Plains Indian Museum at Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming. “Behind the Scenes: Objects that Inspire Crow Indian Art.”
  • Tuesday, November 15: Dr. Janine Pease, faculty member in the social sciences and humanities department at Little Big Horn College at Crow Agency and Luella Brien, faculty at St. Labre Indian School in Ashland, Montana. “A Conversation on Crow Identity and Resilience Through the Arts.”
  • Tuesday, November 29: Desja Eagle Tail, recent MSUB graduate: “Native American Music: A journey in time though Native American Music with an emphasis on Crow traditional songs.” A musical presentation.

The Northcutt Steele Gallery will remain open until 8:30 p.m. on lecture series evenings and will feature the Wendy Red Star Art Exhibition, “Peelatchiwaaxpáash/Medicine Crow (Raven) and the 1880 Crow Peace Delegation,” from October 20 through December 1.