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Symposium: Breaking the Chains: The Legacy of Oscar Howe

Apr 14, 2023 - Apr 15, 2023
10:00 am to 5:00 pm
1219 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR
General Accessibility


In this one-and-a-half-day event, artists will join academic and community scholars to explore ideas about Oscar Howe’s life and legacy introduced in the Dakota Modern exhibition and book. Speakers will discuss the role of cultural values in Howe’s practice as well as his art in relation to American and international politics. Other topics include the impact of Howe’s work as an educator through the summer workshop for Native students he founded, and the ongoing expression of his legacy through the work of Dakota and Lakota artists today.


Download the symposium flyer

Friday, April 14, 2023

Opening Keynote: Dyani White Hawk
6-7 p.m.
Sunken Ballroom, Mark Building

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Symposium Sessions
10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Whitsell Auditorium, Main Building

Closing Performance: Anthony Hudson (Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde) as Carla Rossi
Time TBA

Separate ticket link for Anthony Hudson performance coming soon! 

Paid registration includes entry to all Symposium lectures and programs, general Museum admissions (April 14-16), coffee and light refreshments and a box lunch April 15. Registrants will receive an email with additional information and a link to a mandatory Google Form requesting dietary preferences and access needs.

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Bank of America Foundation, Ameriprise Financial, The Standard, and Greg and Cathy Tibbles.


Keynote speaker

Dyani White Hawk (Sičáŋǧu Lakota) is a visual artist and independent curator based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. White Hawk earned a MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She served as Gallery Director and Curator for the All My Relations Gallery in Minneapolis. Support for White Hawk’s work has included Anonymous Was a Woman Award, Academy of Arts and Letters Award, McKnight Foundation Fellowship, Carolyn Glasoe Bailey Foundation Minnesota Art Prize, United States Artists Fellowship in Visual Art, Eiteljorg Fellowship for Contemporary Art, Nancy Graves Grant for Visual Artists,  Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Fellowships and Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Walker Art Center, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Denver Art Museum, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Akta Lakota Museum among other public and private collections.

Symposium Presenters

Bill Anthes is the author of the books Native Moderns: American Indian Painting, 1940–1960, and Edgar Heap of Birds, both published by Duke University Press, and the co-editor, with Kathleen Ash-Milby, of the catalog for the exhibition, Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe, published by the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian. He has received fellowships and awards from the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center, the Center for the Arts in Society at Carnegie Mellon University, the Rockefeller Foundation/Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, and the Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program. He teaches at Pitzer College in Claremont, California.

Roger Broer (Oglala Lakota) is an artist who paints directly and in modified versions of the monotype, a printmaking technique using oil paints instead of printer’s inks and a Plexiglas plate in place of the press, hand burnishing for greater control. Broer has won numerous awards including at SWAIA Art Market. His work is held in private, corporate, and public collections, including the US Department of Interior, Washington, DC and MONA in Kearney, NE, ATKA Lakota Museum and Red Cloud Heritage Museum in South Dakota. Broer earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Eastern Montana College (now University of Montana, Billings) and did graduate work at Central Washington University. He has been the invitational artist at several prestigious events and has served as a juror and on acquisition boards for museums and shows in South Dakota, Oklahoma, Washington, along with numerous lectures, workshops, residencies, boards and consultancies.

Christina E. Burke is an independent curator based in Tulsa, Oklahoma whose work focuses on Native stories told through Indigenous art, language, and cultural traditions. Since 1988 she has worked with Native art and artists at the Smithsonian Institution, the Heritage Center at Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Reservation, and for more than 16 years at Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa. While Curator at Philbrook, Christina helped acquire three major collections and many strategic purchases; curated temporary exhibitions including Impact: The Philbrook Indian Annual, 1946-1979 (2014); and developed long-term installations drawing from the museum’s extensive and diverse Native American object and archival collections. She also helped organize such traveling exhibitions as Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists (2019-2021) and Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe (2022-2023).

Gerald Cournoyer (Oglala Sioux Tribe), from Marty, South Dakota, is a painter known for his acrylic work on canvas. Utilizing traditional geometric designs, shapes, and colors he explores a depth of meaning in traditional Lakota spirituality. His design repetition mirrors his physical and ceremonial creative process. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Oklahoma and Master’s in Non-Profit Arts Management from Goucher College (Towson, MD). He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Philanthropy and Funding at Central Michigan University. Born and raised in Marty, South Dakota, Cournoyer is also the Tribal Arts Instructor at United Tribes Technical College who has blended his cultural and artistic backgrounds to connect with his students throughout his nearly 30-year career.

Jhon Goes in Center (Oglala Lakota) is a cultural creative, Lakota art and culture educator, mentor and art servant. He was raised on the Pine Ridge Sioux Reservation and completed higher education in Museum Studies at the University of Colorado. He is silversmith and works in traditional Lakota art mediums including wood and pipestone carving, hide tanning, beadwork, and porcupine quillwork, as well as traditional dancing and regalia creation. He has served on the Boards of the Denver Art Museum and South Dakota Art Museum. Other art related service includes a tenured Advisory role for the Red Cloud Heritage Center. Additional opportunities have included commissions, exhibitions, consultations, lectures, and curatorial work  at various cultural institutions. Goes In Center resides near his birthplace in Rapid Creek and maintains his creativity and the art of personal adornment in his studio at the Racing Magpie Gallery in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Jessica L. Horton is an associate professor of modern and contemporary Native North American art and director of the Curatorial Track PhD in Art History at the University of Delaware. Her scholarship confronts the intertwined devastations of colonialism and ecocide, a dire situation in which Indigenous makers can act as critical interlocutors and creative emissaries of alternative worlds. She is the author of Art for an Undivided Earth: The American Indian Movement Generation (Duke University Press, 2017), and Earth Diplomacy: Indigenous American Art and Reciprocity, 1953–1973 (forthcoming, Duke University Press). Her research has been supported by the Clark Art Institute, the Getty Research Center, the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Warhol Creative Capital Book Award, among others.

Nicolas G. Rosenthal is Professor of History at Loyola Marymount University. He is the author of Reimagining Indian Country: Native American Migration and Identity in Twentieth-Century Los Angeles (University of North Carolina Press), and is at work on a history of Indigenous artists in the twentieth century, pieces of which have been published in the Western Historical QuarterlyAmerican Indian Culture and Research Journal, and Journal of Urban History.

Sarah Sik is a scholar of 19th- and 20th-century art, design, and visual culture.  Subjects of past publications, presentations, and curatorial work have included the design work of Midwestern japonist John Scott Bradstreet, the gendering of japonisme, the influence of German jugendstil on American design, the sadistic furniture of Art Nouveau sculptor François-Rupert Carabin, the emergence of celebrity culture in fin-de-siècle France, the use of the child model by Die Brücke painters, the print piracy of French graphic artist Maurice Biais, art theory and criticism pedagogy for contemporary printmakers, and the printmaking collaborations of Dakota artist Oscar Howe. She has served on the faculty at Penn State, Bucknell University, and the University of South Dakota.

Tipiziwin Tolman (Dakota and Lakota from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe) is an Indigenous scholar, Tribal Language Revitalization and Lakota Language Advocate. She is currently a graduate student in the Master’s of Indigenous Language Revitalization at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; her research is centered on her great grandparents’ winter count and its corresponding written key which in the Dakota language. She is currently an adjunct faculty at Washington State University’s Teaching and Learning Department in Pullman, Washington, and her family owns Haípažaža Pȟežúta, an online store offering natural beauty and wellness products inspired by Lakota and Dakota traditional plant knowledge. She serves on the Policy Advisory Committee for the National Academies of Medicine’s Culture of Health Program and is a board of directors member of the Lakota Language Consortium Board, a group of tribal members and fluent speakers working towards creating more speakers of Lakota.

Kylie Wanatee (Rosebud Sioux Tribe) is from Rosebud, South Dakota and is currently a freshman at the University of South Dakota, pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She participated in the Oscar Howe Summer Art Institute in 2019, 2021 and 2022. Her artistic practice includes painting in acrylics, gouache on paper and oil paints.

Joe Williams (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate)  serves as Director of Indigenous Programs at Plains Art Museum in Fargo, ND, and is a freelance storyboard artist. Williams holds a MFA in Visual Effects from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and a BA in American Indian Studies from the University of South Dakota. Williams has worked with Native American youth for the majority of his career, both in the social context as well as in the art field. From 1993 to 2007, he was part of the Oscar Howe Summer Art Institute (OHSAI), first as a student and later as staff. In 2021 he returned as the institute’s drawing instructor. Inspired by his work with USD he created the Northern Plains Summer Art Institute, now in its fourth year. Williams served in the U.S. Army National Guard for 20 years, deploying three times overseas in service to his country.