Wendy Red Star: A Scratch on the Earth

Columbus Museum of Art

Located in Lower Level Walter Wing
On view April 21–September 3, 2023

Admission Information

Wendy Red Star: A Scratch on the Earth is a special exhibition and requires an additional fee.

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Exhibition Description

Columbus Museum of Art presents Wendy Red Star: A Scratch on the Earth, on view April 21–September 3, 2023. Organized by The Newark Museum of Art, this mid-career survey is the most comprehensive exhibition of Red Star (b. 1981) to date and features more than 40 works, highlighting 15 years of her studio practice.

Bringing the historical details of Crow and colonist history into the Technicolor present, Red Star uses photography, textiles and mixed media installation to explore themes of Crow history, the indigenous roots of feminism and contemporary life on the Crow Indian reservation in Montana where she was raised.

“The Columbus Museum of Art is proud to host Wendy Red Star: A Scratch on the Earth,” said Deidre Hamlar, Director of the Aminah Robinson Legacy Project and in-house curator for the exhibition at CMA. “Our Columbus community’s awakening to the history and endurance of Indigenous people should not be for a day or a month, but for a lifetime. We hope this exhibition is a step towards bridging the void.”

An enrolled member of the Apsáalooke (Crow) Tribe, Red Star works across disciplines to explore the intersections of Native American ideologies and colonialist structures, both historically and in contemporary society. The exhibition’s title is a translation of the Apsáalooke word Annúkaxua and refers to a U.S. government policy enforced after 1880 that prioritized keeping the Crow people on their reservation. Through her research-based practice, Red Star investigated the boundaries of the Crow reservation and the process of negotiation throughout the 19th century. Photographic works in the exhibition, including the 1880 Peace Delegation series and Um-basax-bilua, Where They Make the Noise, refer to the legacy of struggles and resilience of the Crow community as they fought for the preservation of their land and culture.

“Growing out of this historical narrative in which arbitrary borders were repeatedly imposed on the Apsáalooke, the exhibition explores how boundaries between cultural, racial, social and gender lines have been subsequently reinforced and how they blur across time and space,” notes Nadiah Rivera Fellah, the guest curator. “The Apsáalooke word also implies a historical shift in self-perception for the Crow people and the seeds of a post-colonial, post-reservation identity.”

Red Star draws on pop culture, conceptual art and aspects of reservation life to push the boundaries of photography with self-portraiture, photo-collage and altered historical photographs. She often incorporates photography with textiles and fashion as bearers of tradition, using humor and materiality to confront the often-offensive ways in which Crow culture has historically been represented and perceived, bringing her unique perspective on American history to life.
A centerpiece of the exhibition is a new multi-media installation, Monsters, co-directed by Red Star and Amelia Winger Bearskin, artist and Google VR JUMP Start creator. The five-minute video is screened in a simulated sweat lodge and documents the Montana landscape in a 360-degree format, leaving the viewer immersed in aspects of Crow mythology related to the land.

This is a traveling exhibition organized by The Newark Museum of Art in Newark, New Jersey, with funding in part provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The exhibition was curated by Tricia Laughlin Bloom, PhD, Newark’s Senior Curator of American Art, and Guest Curator Nadiah Rivera Fellah, PhD, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at The Cleveland Museum of Art.

Wendy Red Star: A Scratch on the Earth is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue, published by The Newark Museum of Art.

Support Wendy Red Star: A Scratch on the Earth

In appreciation of your support, you will be recognized on the exhibition donor wall and other materials, receive a copy of the exhibition catalogue, be invited for special programs throughout the run of the exhibition including opportunities to join a private, curator-led tour. To join our list of generous sponsors, click below, and please include “Wendy Red Star Sponsor” and the name by which you choose to be recognized in the comments box.

Become a Sponsor

Thank you Exhibition Supporters

Major Sponsor

Champion Sponsors
Sara Clayton Meyers & Robert Meyers

Experience Sponsors
Carol Andreae & Jim Garland

Friend Sponsors
Sheryl Brown
Kirk P. Fisher
DeeDee & Herb Glimcher
Wendy & Chris Johnson

This exhibition was organized by:


Wendy Red Star, Winter—Four Seasons (detail), 2006. Archival pigment print on sunset fiber rag, 23 x 26 in. (58.4 x 66 cm). The Newark Museum, Gift of Loren G. Lipson, M.D., 2016 2016.46.1.3 © Wendy Red Star

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