The Eye Center of Northern Colorado Exhibition Series:
Intricate Form: Brenda Mallory & Sydney Pursel
January 18 – March 17, 2019
The mission of Ucross Foundation (Clearmont, WY) is to foster the creative work of both accomplished and emerging artists by providing uninterrupted time, studio space, living accommodations, and the experience of Wyoming’s majestic High Plains, and to serve as a responsible steward of its historic 20,000-acre ranch.
In the past couple of years, the Ucross Foundation has created and implemented a Fellowship for Native American Visual Artists, which awards Indigenous artists up to 4-weeks in residence, a stipend and inclusion in a gallery exhibition the following year at the Ucross Art Gallery. Brenda Mallory and Sydney Pursel are the first two recipients of this new fellowship.
Brenda Mallory’s (Cherokee Nation) work ranges from individual wall-hangings and sculptures to large-scale installations. She works with mixed media, creating multiple forms that are joined with crude hardware or mechanical devices in ways that imply tenuous connections and aberrations. She is interested in ideas of interference and disruption of long-established systems in nature and human cultures. Mallory grew up in Oklahoma and currently lives in Portland, Oregon. She received a BA in Linguistics & English from UCLA and a BFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art.
Mallory has received grants from the Oregon Arts Commission, The Ford Family Foundation, Regional Arts & Culture Council. In 2015 she was an Eiteljorg Museum Contemporary Native Art Fellow and in 2016 she received a Fellowship in Visual Arts from the Native Arts and Culture Foundation.
Sydney Jane Brooke Campbell Maybrier Pursel
Sydney Jane Brooke Campbell Maybrier Pursel specializes in socially engaged, activist, performance, video and new media arts. As a member of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska with strong Irish Catholic roots, she investigates personal identity and contemporary Indigenous issues through art. Some of Sydney’s projects are used to educate others about food politics, assimilation, language loss, appropriation, and history in addition to projects amongst her own community focusing on language acquisition, culture and art.
Her work has been shown at public parks, universities and alternative spaces in Columbia, MO; Kansas City, MO; Lawrence, KS; San Francisco, CA; Santa Fe, NM; Seattle, WA; Toronto, ON; Vermillion, SD; and White Cloud, KS. Pursel received her MFA in Expanded Media at the University of Kansas and her BFA in Painting from the University of Missouri.
Melanie Yazzie: Mind Mapping
January 18 – March 17, 2019
As a printmaker, painter, and sculptor, Melanie Yazzie’s work draws upon her rich Diné (Navajo) cultural heritage. Her work follows the Diné dictum “walk in beauty” literally, creating beauty and harmony. As an artist, she works to serve as an agent of change by encouraging others to learn about social, cultural, and political phenomena shaping the contemporary lives of Native peoples in the United States and beyond. Her work incorporates both personal experiences as well as the events and symbols from Dine culture. Her work is informed and shaped by personal experiences and tries to tell many stories about things both real and imagined. The history of Native America and Native peoples includes forced assimilation and cultural genocide that has occurred due in great part to government boarding schools. Native youth and communities today are burdened with the consequences of this history and by an educational system that prioritizes knowledge foreign to Native community’s indigenous knowledge.
Melanie Yazzie is a professor of printmaking in the Department of Art and Art History at University of Colorado, Boulder.
This exhibition has been sponsored in part by: