Archive for December, 2015

Finally, after two holidays, mother’s birthday, moving mother to a new facility with better care, cleaning up the mess left in the garage from the manic construction of 30 shipping crates and the house of the thick dust of sawdust that travelled from the garage for the construction of 30 shipping crates, I am able to post about the exhibition at the Museum of Northern Arizona, YOU ARE ON INDIAN LAND which I was privileged to have been a part of with the entirety of my project The Enculturated White Man: If Early America Had Embraced the Nobel Savage.


The museum’s introduction to the exhibit found on their website http://musnaz.org/features/youareonlindianland/:

From the Comprising a range of materials and processes, You Are On Indian Land addresses issues of post-colonial acculturation, cultural appropriation and social dissonance. Photography, assemblage sculptures, installation pieces, and video work create a visual dialogue and critical perspective on Indigenous art while actively engaging the notion of pop-culture, misappropriation and stereotypical representation through powerful and thought-provoking work.

It was my responsibility to get the work from my home in NW Arkansas to the museum in Flagstaff, Northern Arizona. I was so looking forward to the trip with the help of my friend, Virginia who generously gave a week of her time away from a new job as Director for the local DRESS FOR SUCCESS.


Virginia Germann

Originally hoping I could fit the work in a U-Haul trailer towed behind my truck. As the number shipping crates increased in size and number and filling the garage, I became increasingly overwhelmed with the size of U-Haul required to ship the project out west. Towing? Impossible! Finally, it was only going to fit in the largest truck and even then, with interpolation, four of the boxed work had to be stowed on their sides.

Tamara Ann Burgh

Locking up the truck

My anxiety over the weather during the three day trip through the often treacherous midwest (several months earlier in the year, in May, traveling through Oklahoma, I had encountered numerous blinding rainstorms and two tornados; one I knew was coming and the other viewed in full form over my left shoulder). My weather map showed light rain the first day, doable, with sun and those little wavy lines the other two days. Those innocuous little wavy lines, in reality, were gale force winds the length of Oklahoma, across the Texas pan-handle and the width of New Mexico. These were winds so strong it took the two of us to hold open the truck door on gas and coffee breaks. Over the east mountains pass into Albuquerque we encountered pouring rain, sleet, snow and the relentless wind. Our third day of travel into Flagstaff was a beautiful sunny welcoming gusty-only winds drive

We arrive early afternoon on Wednesday with the opening scheduled for Friday at 6:00 pm. Lots to do.

Tamara Ann Burgh

Arrival at Museum of Northern Arizona with curator Alan Petersen, Amber King, and Independent Curator Erin Joyce

Tamara Ann Burgh

A fraction of all the crates in the gallery and ready for unpacking


Unpacking the work.

Tamara Ann Burgh

Preparing the banners for the two that hang on the wall.

Tamara Ann Burgh

Two wall pieces with banners.

Tamara Ann Burgh

A view of some of the installed work.


Installation view


Installation view

Tamara Ann Burgh

Installation view with two pieces also shown by artist Chanupa Luger.

Tamara Ann Burgh

Museum of Northern Arizona Director and CEO Carrie Heineken, Me, and Curator Alan Petersen


Artists from left to right: Steven Yazzie, Cannupa Luger, Michael Namingha, Tamara Burgh, Nicholas Galanin

From the museum’s website: Curated by independent curator Erin Joyce and the Museum’s Fine Art Curator Alan Petersen, YOU ARE ON INDIAN LAND features work by Tamara Ann Burgh (Eskimo), Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit/Aleut), Ed Kabotie (Hopi-Tewa), Cannupa Luger (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara and Lakota), Michael Namingha (Hopi-Tewa), Steven Yazzie (Navajo), and interdisciplinary arts collective Postcommodity, which includes Raven Chacon (Navajo), Kade L. Twist (Cherokee Nation), and Cristobal Martinez (Chicano).

Also from the museum’s website:

“The exhibition looks at themes of liminality, reclamation of representation, and misappropriation of Native cultures,” said Joyce. “It examines not only the idea of indigeneity, but also what it means to be a Native North American artist working in non-traditional mediums.”

“Viewers will be compelled to reconsider their understanding of ‘Indian’ art,” said Petersen.

The title of the exhibition, inspired by the 1969-1971 American Indian Movement occupation of the island of Alcatraz, looks at the idea of contested landscapes in American, revised treaties and cultural imprisonment. The exhibition debuted at the Radiator Gallery in New York City and was mounted later at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Art in Santa Fe in May.

Tamara Ann Burgh

Talking to members at the opening reception

Tamara Ann Burgh

Talking to members at the opening reception.

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