by Shana Lombard, Communications Assistant
While most who partake in the profession of an artist do not get to experience doing so with their child, that is not the case for Wendy Red Star and Beatrice Red Star Fletcher. Together the two have collaborated on making indigenous art which was exhibited at the WSU Museum of Art this past fall.
A member of the Crow Tribe, Red Star has been a part of many art installations across the country and continued that at the WSU Museum of Art this past fall. Red Star and her ten-year-old daughter, Beatrice, gave a lecture in November about their collaborations to share the vast stories of the Crow people.
Red Star earned a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from Montana State. She uses a variety of mediums for her work. Throughout her many projects, she has used photography, sculptures, fiber arts and performances. At our museum, Red Star used the medium of photography and silk-screened photos. These were pieces she created at a residency she had on the Umatilla reservation in Pendleton, OR.
In four of the pieces that were on display, Red Star was posed in her traditional Crow regalia and sitting in scenery of one of the four seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter. Her portion of the art exhibit also showed two photographs from her Crow’s Shadow Prints collection. One was of a station wagon with a background of red and white geometric designs going across. The other was of trucks decked out with Pendleton blankets and traditional items, presumably from the Crow Fair Indian Days powwow parade, also with a geometric background of various colors. The inspiration of the background was from Pendleton blankets Red Star saw at a local Pendleton Woolen Mills store.
At her lecture, Red Star went over many pieces in her collection and what the meaning is behind each piece. Red Star’s daughter, Beatrice, also shared on her own art.
Two collections that Beatrice Red Star Fletcher shared about were when her mother handed her pictures to color. The other collection she talked about was her collection of her take on an “everyday Native American.” This piece was to defeat stereotypes on what Native Americans look like and how they act in their everyday life.
It is clear that Red Star’s mission is to share the story of her people, the Crow, through art. She also pioneers for other Native American women to step into the art realm.
The WSU Museum of Art held its last day of operations with Wendy and Beatrice’s lecture. The museum will reopen under a new name and in a new building, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. It will have its first day of operations just before WSU hosts Mom’s weekend in April. One of the opening exhibits will feature another Native American artist, Marie Watt of the Seneca tribe.