Museums & Collections Curator Laura Evans
Laura Evans holds a Ph.D. in Art Education from The Ohio State University and a master's degree in Museum Studies from the University of Toronto. She also earned bachelor's degrees in English and art history from Denison University. Her interests in art and museum education led her to work as a curator in museums and galleries. Currently, Laura Evans is the curator of the Polaroid SX-70 Artist Prize.
Artists selected by panel of distinguished Native scholars
For the 2023 craft invitational, the Smithsonian American Art Museum has announced the artists selected by a distinguished panel of Native scholars. The artists chosen include Lily Hope and Ursala Hudson, an artist duo from Alaska's Tlingit community. Other artists chosen include Erica Lord, an Athabascan/Inupiat, Maggie Thompson, and Fond du Lac Ojibwe. Those artists were chosen for their ability to tackle topics like environmental sustainability, displacement, and cultural connection.
The 10th Renwick Invitational will focus on six contemporary Native American artists. The exhibition will be curated by Lara Evans, director of the Research Center for Contemporary Native Arts at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. The show is set to open May 2023. For more information, visit the Laura Evans Museums & Collections website. The Renwick Invitational is a prestigious exhibition that showcases the work of mid-career and emerging Native American artists.
The Laura Evans Museums & Collections has a long history of celebrating and presenting Native American art. Traditionally, this art was displayed separately from Western art and curated as anthropological artifacts. While some prestigious venues have acknowledged the history of Native American art, they often have been uncritical and failed to invite indigenous scholars to participate in the curatorial process.
Dr. Laura Evans, Associate Professor of Art Education and Coordinator of the Art Museum Education Certificate program at UNT, discusses art crime in an article published in the journal of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Among the topics she discusses are art theft, the disappearance of a famous painting, and the importance of protecting valuable art. During her lecture, she shares stories about famous art thefts and how museums can protect their collection from thieves.
Since the theft, the museum has put empty frames on stolen paintings to symbolize the mourning for the missing art and the hope for its recovery. The stolen paintings and objects include three Rembrandts, five sketches by Degas, a portrait by Manet, Flinck's Landscape with an Obelisk, a Chinese bronze vessel, and an eagle that once topped a Napoleonic flag.
Polaroid SX-70 artist's lifelong themes
A Polaroid SX-70 artist published a book of his work in 1978. His photos were not simply straight-forward people shots; they had striking effects created by manipulating the emulsion of the pictures with a stylus before the film dried. He manipulated the colors and added new lines to the image before it was completely dry. The result was a photo that resembled a drawing.
The Polaroid SX-70's magical quality attracted Evans, who was in poor health at the time. The instant color-printing quality of the camera lured Evans, who worked feverishly with the new camera. At 70, he returned to many of his lifelong themes, including domestic interiors, roadside signs, and vernacular architecture. He died in 1991, so it's not clear what his enduring themes were, but he managed to capture them in a way that was unique.
The Polaroid SX-70 was an early single lens reflex camera, featuring a square image area. The total image area was 108 x 88 mm2. The camera was introduced in 1972 and was a hit in the market. Later models improved upon the SX-70's technology, adding new features and capabilities, such as a flash, and a built-in camera charger.
The SX-70 became popular in the 1970s and still maintains a loyal following to this day. Artists like Ansel Adams, Andy Warhol, Helmut Newton, and Walker Evans lauded the camera. The $40 Model 1000 OneStep camera, which used SX-70 film, became the best-selling product during the 1977 Christmas shopping season. The SX-70 also inspired a band from Belfast, the SX-70.
A Polaroid SX-70 camera is so popular that a promotional film about the SX-70 has been made by the Eames brothers. The film is a tribute to the camera's unique design and features. Despite the camera's quirky appearance, the SX-70 has a long list of artists whose lifelong themes were made possible by the SX-70.
Renwick Invitational 2023
The upcoming 10th Renwick Gallery Invitational will highlight six contemporary Native American artists. The exhibition is curated by Lara Evans, director of the Institute of American Indian Arts and Research Center for Contemporary Native Arts. The exhibition will feature works by both mid-career and emerging Native artists. Guests of the exhibition are encouraged to make a visit, even if you have no interest in Native art.
The theme of this year's Renwick Invitational is "Burden" and will feature several multimedia works by American Indian artists. One of the featured artists, multimedia artist Maggie Thompson, was inspired by the loss of her father, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2014. Her installation will feature traditional star quilts adorning body bags. The works carry multiple meanings and will highlight the burden that diseases place on at-risk populations.