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Henry Payer, Jr.'s exhibition, "Left on Red" in the Edgar Heap of Birds Family Gallery, which is located on the 3rd Floor of Chalmers Hall.
Exhibition Dates: MON, SEPT 25 - FRI, OCT 20
Opening Reception: SUN, OCT 1 | 4pm - 6pm 
**light refreshments will be provided**

Artist Talk: MON, OCT 2 in Marvin Hall Forum | 5:30pm - 6:45pm
Artist Statement: "My interest is the reclamation of Ho Chunk history and the preservation of our visual culture. As an Indigenous artist it is important I bring about useful ways of talking about our experiences and sharing our story. My focus is on an accurate representation that challenges our pervasive American identity to interpret the modern Ho Chunk experience. I create works that address our cultural survivance and visual continuum.

I make collage paintings with the intent to create a contemporary aesthetic that reflects, revitalizes and reintegrates Ho Chunk visual art forms and stories. I have developed a multimedia artistic practice that expands the visual language through reincorporating traditional objects, forms and motifs using contemporary methods and techniques. My process involved traveling to these places of our historical removal, where I sought out access to documents, maps, photographs and cultural objects acquired by museums to research the visual forms and language of our material arts. This influenced my work by connecting to both our relationship to the land by relocation and our acquired traditional art forms. This exploration allows the artwork to speak on issues of land, identity and our visual culture by combining historical accounts, maps and photographs with literary concepts, art history and personal experiences.

By utilizing extensive research in combination with inherent perspective; I am able to recover, document and expand contemporary Ho Chunk artistic expression. I aim to contribute to the revision and inclusion of our history through the active depiction of the Ho Chunk narrative. My perception and relationship to land is based on a shared experience found within the power of these places of inspiration. This initial reaction is a physical intervention with sites of historical relevance where the act of removal/relocation shares the connection between collage and my cultural background. The multidisciplinary works then inform one another, contributing through the use of materials and shared content. While I have been fortunate to interact with traditional culture properties, I am committed to this lifelong accession of knowledge in an effort to develop artworks grounded in concepts specific to Ho Chunk aesthetics, stories and lifeways. My works are contemporary expressions that reflect my growth as a Ho Chunk artist and upholding the tradition of my culture."
Henry Payer is a Ho Chunk artist who works primarily with collage and mixed media. Born in Sioux City, IA in 1986, Payer received a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM in 2008. He was invited to study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and obtained a MFA in 2013. Henry has exhibited his work at locations such as the Great Plains Art Museum in Lincoln, NE; All My Relations Gallery in Minneapolis, MN; Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art in Kansas City, MO; and Overture Galleries located in Madison, WI. Payer’s work has also been exhibited at the University of Venice Ca’ Voscari, Palazzo Cosulich in Venice, Italy. Payer has spent time as an instructor at the Oscar Howe Summer Art Institute located at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. He currently lives in Sioux City, IA.

Payer’s narrative compositions are bold and contemporary. His works utilize Indigenous cartographic methods with traditional aspects of spatial representation and symbolism while appropriating European modernist models of cubism, spatial distortion and collage. Each work offers a visual narrative of symbols and appropriated voices from American consumer society that reconfigures history, references the altered landscape or the identity of a portrait. Payer questions our presumptions and challenges the dialogue of what is to be expected of Indigenous artists. Henry represents the work of artists seeking to expand the range and voice of their visual expression and cultural representation, while attending to concepts and forms of tradition.
His Instagram is: @hochunkhenry

**This exhibit was made possible by the Edgar Heap of Birds Family Exhibit Fund.
If interested in supporting , please visit kuendowment.org/heap** 

  • Brandon Lewis
  • Mary Ivey

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