Henry Payer is Great Plains Art Museum's 2018 artist-in-residence

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Henry Payer is Great Plains Art Museum’s 2018 artist-in-residence

"Winnebago Camp" by Henry Payer
Excerpt of "Winnebago Camp" by Henry Payer

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Great Plains Art Museum will host Ho-Chunk multidisciplinary artist Henry Payer as the 2018 Elizabeth Rubendall Artist in Residence.

During his residency, Payer will use the lobby of the museum to create an artwork that will become part of the museum’s permanent collection. Visitors are encouraged to see the artist in action during his lobby working hours.

Henry Payer

Payer’s exhibition at the museum opens March 2 with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. He will be available to talk with guests during the opening. The exhibition runs through June 30.

Working primarily with collage and mixed media, Payer’s narrative compositions are bold and contemporary. His works reference the altered landscape through Indigenous cartographic methods of “picture-writing” with traditional aspects of spatial representation and symbolism combined with 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, the landscape or the identity of a portrait. He represents the work of a new generation of artists seeking to expand the range and voice of their visual and cultural representation, while attending to forms of tradition.

Payer earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 2008 and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013. He has exhibited his work at many locations including the Dahl Art Center in Rapid City, South Dakota; All My Relations Gallery in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri; and Janus Galleries in Madison, Wisconsin. He was as an instructor at the Oscar Howe Summer Art Institute at the University of South Dakota in summer 2015. He has also taught Native American art history at the Little Priest Tribal College in Winnebago. His awards and honors include best of show at the annual Northern Plains Indian Art Market in 2014 and 2011, best of division: two dimensional at the 2016 Native POP: People of the Plains and a Chancellor’s Fellowship while attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Since its inception in 2006, the Elizabeth Rubendall Foundation has funded the artist-in-residence program, which allows museum visitors and school groups to witness an artist in action.

The artist-in-residence public schedule is:

  • March 2-June 30: Solo exhibition on view, lower-level gallery

  • March 2, 5 to 7 p.m.: First Friday opening reception

  • March 2-9: First week of residency, artist working in lobby at various times

  • March 3, 1 to 4 p.m.: Family hands-on art activity, free and open to the public

  • March 7, 3:30 p.m.: Paul A. Olson Lecture, free and open to the public

Payer will return for another week of residency later this year. The Great Plains Art Museum, 1155 Q St., is open to the public 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free.

"What Separates Us, Connects Us" by Henry Payer, 2018

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