Activist-artist Shan Goshorn to give Nov. 3 talk at WCU

“Bringing the Dawn,” one in the 12-image “Earth Renewal Series,” hand-tinted, double-exposed black-and-white photograph, 16 by 22 inches, by Shan Goshorn, 2009. Goshorn will give an artist’s talk at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, in Room 130 of the Fine and Performing Arts Center on the WCU campus.

“Bringing the Dawn,” one in the 12-image “Earth Renewal Series,” hand-tinted, double-exposed black-and-white photograph, 16 by 22 inches, by Shan Goshorn, 2009. Goshorn will give an artist’s talk at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, in Room 130 of the Fine and Performing Arts Center on the WCU campus.

Native American artist and activist Shan Goshorn will visit Western North Carolina in November for a talk at Western Carolina University and a demonstration at the Oconaluftee Institute for Cultural Arts.

An artist working in a variety of media, including paint, photography and mixed-media, Goshorn will speak about the progression of her work and her art as an expression of her activism during an artist’s talk at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, in Room 130 of the Fine and Performing Arts Center on the WCU campus. The event is free and open to the public.

“Pieced Treaty,” wood pulp splints and commercial dye, 20 by 20 by 26 inches, by Shan Goshorn, 2007. Goshorn will give an artist’s talk at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, in Room 130 of the Fine and Performing Arts Center on the WCU campus.

"Pieced Treaty" by Shan Goshorn

“Pieced Treaty” by Shan Goshorn

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5, Goshorn will lead a workshop demonstrate her process of hand-tinting black-and-white photography at OICA, 70 Bingo Loop in Cherokee. The workshop is limited to 25 people and includes lunch and supplies, although participants may bring their own black-and-white prints, in a matte finish. No artistic background is required.

Goshorn is a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and lives in Tulsa, Okla. An artist for more than 25 years, she has exhibited work across the United States, Canada, Europe, China and Africa. Her work addresses contemporary American Indian and human rights issues, including Indian stereotypes and treaty violations. For example, Goshorn wove “Pieced Treaty,” a basket in the traditional Cherokee “spider’s web” pattern, from paper printed with tobacco agreements between the state of Oklahoma and the Cherokee Nation. The basket is shown above right.

“‘Pieced Treaty” refers to the continual breaking of agreements,” Goshorn said. “I deliberately left the basket unfinished because the negotiations appear to be ongoing.”

The piece won first place in the basketry division of the 2009 Red Earth Festival’s artist competition and has been purchased by the National Museum of the American Indian, part of the Smithsonian Institution. Goshorn’s work is featured in numerous other collections, including the Institute of American Indian Art; in Cherokee, her work is in the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel and the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual.

The WCU School of Art and Design and the Oconaluftee Institute are co-hosts of Goshorn’s visit. The visit is funded by the Cherokee Preservation Foundation and the Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisan Resources, an initiative operated through Western Carolina University’s Cherokee studies program.

The Oconaluftee Institute partners with Southwestern Community College and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to offer an associate’s degree in fine arts. An agreement with WCU allows graduates to enter the university as juniors pursuing the bachelor of fine arts degree.

For more information, or to reserve a workshop space, contact Luzene Hill, Oconaluftee Institute program coordinator, at (828) 497-3945 or l_hill@southwesterncc.edu.