Ho-Chunk photographer Tom Jones in the first major retrospective at the Museum of Wisconsin Art

West Bend, Wisconsin – –The Wisconsin Museum of Art (MOWA) presents Tom Jones: Here We Stand, the first major retrospective of the contemporary photographer. The exhibition will be on view from July 23 to October 9, 2022. An opening reception with the artist will take place on Saturday, July 23, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. A robust program of programming accompanies the exhibition and is indicated below.

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The exhibition presents 120 photographs of sixteen bodies of work spanning twenty-five years of the artists’ careers. Although each series is distinctly different in subject matter and photographic medium, Jones has remained consistent: Native American peoples are not disappearing, 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 “initiated” 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 late 1800s and early 1900s photographers such as Edward S. Curtis whose staged scenes captured a romanticized Indian culture, Jones’s portraits are firmly grounded in the present,” said the exhibitions director Graeme Reid, who curated the exhibition. “As an ‘insider’, his photography offers a counter-narrative to traditional depictions of Indigenous culture.”

The Madison-based artist has earned a national and international reputation for his powerful and insightful photography, including a recent second place finish in the National Portrait Gallery’s 2022 Outwin Boolever competition. His work can be found in the Smithsonian 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 holds a BFA, MFA, and MA, and is a professor of photography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

An accompanying catalog offers an in-depth and sensitive examination of the photographer who is quickly becoming the voice of his generation. Included are essays
by Jane L. Aspinwall, curator of photography at the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts and Molli A. Pauliot, doctoral candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Department of Anthropology and member of the Ho-Chunk Nation.

The catalog includes a full translation of Pauliot’s essay into the Ho-Chunk language by Henning Garvin, UW-Madison linguistics professor and specialist in the Ho-Chunk language. The catalog can be purchased in the museum shop.

This exhibition is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. Special thanks to 2022 exhibition sponsors James and Karen Hyde, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Pick Heaters, and a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board.

The Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend is open Wednesday through Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission as low as $15 provides unlimited visits for a full year.

Gallery opening
Saturday July 23 | 1:00–3:00

Round table on Native American photography
Saturday July 30 | 2:00–3:00

Exhibition tours with Tom Jones
Saturday July 30 | 11:00–12:00
Saturday October 1 | 2:00–3:00

Artist, Teacher, Mentor: A Discussion of Tom Jones
Saturday August 6 | 2:00–3:00

Studio Class | Tape work with Elena Terry
Saturday September 17 | 10:00–1:00
Studio Class | Basketry with Rae Skenandore
Saturday October 1 | 10:00–1:00

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