First Major Retrospective for Award-Winning Ho-Chunk Photographer Tom Jones
Here We Stand opens July 23, 2022 at the Museum of Wisconsin Art
(WEST BEND, WISCONSIN—June 1, 2022) –The Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) presents Tom Jones: Here We Stand, the first major retrospective of the contemporary photographer. The exhibition will be on view July 23–October 9, 2022. An opening reception with the artist will be held on Saturday, July 23, 2:00–4:00. A robust schedule of programming accompanies the exhibition and is listed below.
The exhibition features 120 photographs from sixteen bodies of work spanning twenty-five years of the artists’ career. While each series is distinctly different in subject and photographic medium, Jones has remained consistent: Native American peoples are not vanishing, assimilating, or frozen in time. Native American communities are diverse, changing, and multidimensional with a commitment to family, land, and tribal community. Working as an “insider” member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, Jones deploys the lens of contemporary photography to explore personal and deeply felt issues of race, identity, and cultural appropriation.
“Unlike the photographers of late 1800s and early 1900s such as Edward S. Curtis whose staged scenes captured a romanticized Indian culture, Jones’s portraits are firmly anchored in present day,” said Director of Exhibitions Graeme Reid who curated the exhibition. “As an ‘insider’ his photography offers a counter-narrative to the traditional depictions of Indigenous culture.”
The Madison-based artist has earned a national and international reputation for his powerful and insightful photographs, including a recent second-place prize at the National Portrait Gallery’s 2022 Outwin Boochever competition. His work is in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the University of New Mexico Art Museum, Polaroid Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, Minneapolis Institute of Art, and many others. He has a BFA, MFA, and MA, and is a professor of photography at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
An accompanying catalogue provides a thorough and sensitive examination of the photographer who is rapidly becoming the voice of his generation. Included are essays by Jane L. Aspinwall, curator of photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg and Molli A. Pauliot, a doctoral candidate at University of Wisconsin–Madison in the Department of Anthropology and member of the Ho-Chunk Nation. The catalogue includes a full translation of Pauliot’s essay into the Ho-Chunk language by Henning Garvin, professor of linguistics at UW¬–Madison and Ho-Chunk language specialist. The catalogue can be purchased in the museum shop.
This exhibition is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and a grant from Wisconsin Humanities, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Special thanks to 2022 Exhibition Sponsors James and Karen Hyde, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Pick Heaters, RDK Foundation, Thomas J. Rolfs Family Foundation, and a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board.
The Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend is open Wednesday through Sunday, 9:30–4:00. Admission as low as $15 provides unlimited visits for one full year.
The exhibition and all exhibition activities will be held at the Museum of Wisconsin Art at 205 Veterans Avenue, West Bend.
Free Performance by the Bear Clan Singers & Dancers
Saturday, July 23 | 1:00
Location: Outside in the MOWA Gardens
Enjoy an authentic musical and dance performance in the MOWA Gardens by renowned troupe of Ho-Chunk professional entertainers, the Bear Clan Singers & Dancers. Group leader Rick Cleveland will provide insight and background on the dances, the music, and the Ho-Chunk culture throughout the performance. Attend
Saturday, July 23 | 2:00–4:00
Celebrate the opening and meet the exhibiting artist. Attend
Talk | Documenting History Through Visual Art
Saturday, July 30 | 2:00–3:00
The authors of People of the Big Voice: Photographs of HoChunk Families by Charles Van Schaick, 1879–1942 discuss the value of visual art and its relevance in documenting Native American history. e panel includes Matthew Daniel Mason, archivist at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, Michael Schmudlach, Wisconsin Historical Society Board of Curators member, and George A. Greendeer, Ho-Chunk Nation tribal genealogist. Moderated by exhibiting artist Tom Jones. Book signing to follow. Attend
Exhibition Tours with Tom Jones
Saturday, July 30 | 11:00–12:00
Saturday, October 1 | 2:00–3:00
Learn more about the works on view and the background of the photographs while exploring the exhibition with exhibiting artist Tom Jones. Attend
Talk | An Artist, Advocate, Educator—But Always an Indian First
Saturday, August 6 | 2:00–3:00
Tom Jones’s former students Dyani White Hawk, Kendra Greendeer, and Molli Pauliot discuss how Jones’s career and mentorship impacted their own paths as Native American artists. Moderated by Director of Exhibitions Graeme Reid. Attend