New Carlos Museum exhibition features the work of two leading Indigenous contemporary artists

Emory Report | Sept. 16, 2021

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The newest exhibit at the Carlos Museum features the work of two leading Indigenous contemporary artists, Marie Watt and Cannupa Hanska Luger. Shown is “Each/Other,” which was created for this exhibition. Image: Cannupa Hanska Luger (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota, European) and Marie Watt (Seneca and German-Scots), "Each/Other," 2020–21. Steel, wool, bandanas, ceramic, leather and embroidery thread. © Cannupa Hanska Luger and Marie Watt. Photography © Denver Art Museum. 

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“Each/Other: Marie Watt and Cannupa Hanska Luger," the first exhibition to feature together the work of two leading Indigenous contemporary artists whose processes focus on collaborative artmaking, will open Sept. 25 at the Michael C. Carlos Museum.  

Both artists — Marie Watt and Cannupa Hanska Luger — will be in residence during the exhibition, which runs through Dec. 12. 

Exploring the collective process of creation, “Each/Other” will feature more than two dozen mixed-media sculptures, wall hangings and large-scale installation works by Watt and Luger. The artists ask visitors to look beyond the idea of art as a noun and instead consider the collaborative processes of making and search for signs of the different hands that created the artworks. They encourage audiences to think about the people who sewed or formed beads or shared stories.  

That should be simple for visitors because the university has several unique connections to the exhibition.  

Emory students and Carlos Museum docents, patrons and employees embroidered bandanas for "Each/Other," a new, artist-guided piece of community artwork in the exhibit that was a collaborative project of both Watt and Luger. Members of the Emory community gave blankets and accompanying stories for Watt’s monumental “Blanket Series” sculpture that was made specifically for this exhibition. In addition, Emory students created clay beads that became part of the 4,000 total beads in “Every One,” a piece by Luger. 

Watt, who resides in Portland, Oregon, is a citizen of the Seneca Nation and has German-Scots ancestry. Luger, who is based in New Mexico, is a citizen of the Three Affiliated Tribes (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara) of Fort Berthold and has Lakota and European ancestry.  

This exhibition was organized by the Denver Art Museum, where it was curated by John Lukavic, the museum’s Andrew J. Mellon Curator of Native Arts. Emory art history professor and curator Megan E. O’Neil is the exhibition’s curator at the Carlos Museum, the second venue on the exhibition’s U.S. tour.  

Emory University was founded in 1836 on the historic lands of the Muscogee (Creek) people, 15 years after the First Treaty of Indian Springs (1821) dispossessed the Muscogee people of land, including both Emory campus locations. After this treaty, many Muscogee people relocated to Alabama and were then forcibly removed to present-day Oklahoma in 1836-1837. Sharing this acknowledgment of the history of the land deepens the perspective on the “Each/Other” exhibition and Emory’s commitment to honor Indigenous nations and peoples, both locally and beyond. The Carlos Museum is honored to present this exhibition that centers Indigenous knowledge, creativity and collaboration.