About the Exhibition

Special Installation in the Contemporary Gallery


March 13–January 2025

MOWA | West Bend

MOWA is pleased to present ukwé·tase (newcomer/stranger) by Wisconsin-born designer Chris T Cornelius in the museum’s contemporary gallery. At once installation, sculpture, and architectural form, this building like structure with a title in the Oneida language was designed for the 2023 Chicago Architectural Biennial. An accompanying land acknowledgment statement reminds visitors that the building stands on what was once indigenous land. The artist, a current resident of New Mexico and citizen of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, acknowledges that he too is a visitor: ukwé·tase underscores the notion that we are all strangers living somewhere on land with complex histories regarding ownership. In the design of the building, Cornelius deploys methodologies rooted in indigenous knowledge where fact, or the familiar, is coupled with myth, or the strange.

Cornelius was born in Milwaukee and raised on the Oneida reservation in northern Wisconsin. He received a BS in Architectural Science from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and an MA in Architecture from the University of Virginia. Past teaching positions include the University of Virginia, UW–Milwaukee, and Yale University. Cornelius has received numerous architectural awards including the Miller Prize at “Exhibit Columbus” in 2017, Architect’s Newspaper Best of Design Award in 2018 and 2022, and an artist residency at the National Museum of the American Indian in 2003. He is currently serving as chair of the Department of Architecture at the University of New Mexico.

Support for this exhibition
generously provided by

James and Karen Hyde