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Truth Telling in honor of Native American Month

Studio Theater in Exile, which is now physically housed in the Black Box at Hudson Valley MOCA, will be showing Truth Telling in honor of Native American Month. The exhibit can be seen on www.studiotheaterinexile.com and www.HudsonValleymoca.org for the months of November-December.

The exhibit features the works of eight contemporary Indigenous artists: Christi Belcourt, the late T. C. Cannon, Nicholas Galanin Yéil Ya-Tseen, Hock E Aye VI Edgar Heap of Birds, Margaret Jacobs, Rose B. Simpson, Duane Slick and Benjamin West. Their visual truth-telling presents a counter-hegemonic view of Native people

The exhibit Featuring the works of eight contemporary Indigenous artists: Christi Belcourt, the late T. C. Cannon, Nicholas Galanin Yéil Ya-Tseen, Hock E Aye VI Edgar Heap of Birds, Margaret Jacobs, Rose B. Simpson, Duane Slick and Benjamin West. Their visual truth-telling presents a counter-hegemonic view of Native people.

Curated by Jonette O’Kelley Miller, curator and art historian, commented “For Indigenous people, land, water, and nature are revered and protected because they give and sustain life. Unfortunately, European settlers considered that perspective as naive. Developing the land and taking its resources; i.e., procuring authority and economic power were deemed as more highly evolved.ⁱ Therefore, the presence of an indigenous people group was considered a nuisance that needed to be removed and eradicated.

The featured artists, all internationally known, express themselves in conceptual, figurative, indigenous, multimedia, and sculptural genres. Working in a variety of media, the artworks range from exuding a minimalist to a spiritual beauty.  Some works are deliberately provocative. Evoking the Trickster spirit, they expose latent mindsets and thus challenge viewers to deeper reflection.  Contemporary Indigenous visual artists are griots and healers. While providing ‘soul restoration,’ they reject the settler culture’s historical narrative.

In January 2022, the annual Writing the Walls project will begin their video presentations. Writing the Walls is a 15-year-old playwright/poet collaboration between Studio Theater (Mara Mills)  and Exile and HV MOCA (Livia Straus) that usually includes a live poets’ walk in the museum. However, the poems inspired by works How We Live II will this year be presented on the websites of the collaborators,  www.studiotheaterinexile.com and www.HudsonValleymoca.org.

About Studio Theater in Exile

mission: Studio Theater in Exile collaborates with playwrights and performers to create and develop original work. Studio Theater in Exile is a company without a space that collaborates with its environment. It is an outgrowth of the belief that theater takes place anywhere and can be performed anywhere – in the streets, galleries, libraries, museums, black boxes, backyards, and even on a stage. We have been working with performers and playwrights to develop work that can be performed in any venue. Co-founders, Mara Mills and Jeremy Gratt have worked together, since 1991, to present original work, based on the art in an exhibition, a social justice issue, history, or the spark of an idea. Karina Ramsey joined Studio Theater in Exile in 2018.