By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
The innovative artistry and work of the late Shan Goshorn will be featured in an upcoming exhibit at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Okla. Goshorn, a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians known for her unique and thought-provoking basketry designs, will be featured in an exhibit entitled “Weaving history into art: The enduring legacy of Shan Goshorn”.
Information from the Gilcrease states, “Through Goshorn’s hand-woven basketry, ‘Weaving history into art’ will encourage engaging, empathetic interactions with difficult subjects, including the loss of Native homelands, cultural genocide, violence directed at Native women, and inappropriate cultural appropriation in a non-threatening experience that promotes informed dialogue among Native and non-Native audiences alike.”
The exhibit will run Oct. 9, 2020 to March 28, 2021 and will also include works from several artists inspired by Goshorn’s work including: Carol Emarthle-Douglas (Northern Arapaho/Seminole), Anita Fields (Osage/Muskogee Creek), Lisa Rutherford (Cherokee Nation), and Holly Wilson (Delaware/Cherokee Nation).
Although a gifted artist in various mediums, she was most renowned for her basketry where she developed a style of using printed archival paper as splints to weave photos and images into her works. In a 2014 interview, she told the One Feather, “It continues to be my goal to represent Native people – and especially the Eastern Band – in a good way; to educate international audiences about the issues that are unique to Native people. My current basketry work best illustrates the importance of informing people about the continued impact historic decisions have on Indian people today.”
According to the Gilcrease, the ‘Weaving history into art’ exhibit will debut a work by Goshorn, her last before her death in 2018, entitled “Squaw” – a commentary piece based on the ancient Venus de Milo work by Alexandros of Antioch. Of the work, Gilcrease officials noted, “Juxtaposing this model with the title ‘Squaw’ creates a tension and contrast to the Western ideal of beauty against a pejorative used to reduce Native women to disposable sexual commodities. ‘Squaw’ will serve as a catalyst for much-needed conversations on why Indigenous women suffer disproportionately higher rates of violence than non-Native women and the judicial system’s reluctance to prosecute these crimes.”
A self-taught basket weaver, Goshorn won awards at many art competitions and shows including winning the AT&T Grand Prize at the 25th Annual Red Earth Festival, receiving an Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Artist Fellowship in 2013, receiving a Native Arts & Cultures Foundation Artist Fellowship in 2014, and being named a United States Artists Fellow in 2015.
The Gilcrease Museum is located at 1400 North Gilcrease Museum Road in Tulsa, Okla. and can be reached at (918) 596-2700 or www.gilcrease.org.