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Wendy Red Star: Dear Educated Crow

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2021 Mixed medium inkjet print measures 9 x 11 in.

Multimedia artist Wendy Red Star’s solo exhibition Apsáalooke: Children of the Large-Beaked Bird is on view in MASS MoCA’s Kidspace through May 2022. A member of the Apsáalooke (Crow) tribe, the artist offers accounts of American history that rectify the frequently flawed narratives about Native people. An avid researcher, Red Star re-examines cultural artifacts and primary source historic imagery and uses them as the foundation for her beautifully annotated photographs and
installations. Dear Educated Crow is an annotated portrait of Alexander Upshaw taken in 1898 by Omaha photographer Frank Rinehart. Upshaw was one of the first children from the Crow tribe to attend Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, and he later served as an interpreter for Edward Curtis during his visit to the Crow Reservation. The text here was taken from a 1909 Billings Gazette news clipping, which reveals how white society saw Native peoples in that time period. Red Star uses red pen to add text and definition to the archival image as a means of questioning and correcting the deficient narrative about Upshaw.

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