Blood Memoirs

Blood Memoirs: Exploring individuality, memory, and culture through portraiture

The Tweed Museum of Art at the University of Minnesota Duluth, announces the upcoming new exhibition Blood Memoirs: Exploring Individuality, Memory and Culture through Portraiture, which opens September 10, 2013.

Guest curator Amber-Dawn Bear Robe has created a compelling exhibition of painting, sculpture, photography, works on paper and video, all of which explore identity through the eyes of native and non-native artists. The exhibition looks at the contemporary vision of the “North American Self” by spotlighting how the artists choose to represent themselves, revealing a complexity of identity, a shared human constituent, and a mutual platform for dialogue. Bear Robe specifically chose Native North American artists and regional Minnesota artists who emphasize an alternative vision, depict history and humor, and portray the commonalities as well as differences in culture and character. Bear Robe is an art historian from Siksika, Blackfoot Nation, and is a curator and critic of contemporary Native and Aboriginal Arts. She currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she has recently been appointed Director of the Pablita Velarde Museum of Indian Woman in the Arts.

The opening reception for the exhibition will be held Tuesday, October 22, 2013 from 6-7:00, with a presentation by Amber-Dawn Bear Robe. From 7:00-9:00, one of the artists in the exhibition, Adrian Stimson, will be present as his alter ego “Buffalo Boy”, who, through performance, provides visual commentary on the Buffalo Bill shows of the past as well as other identity issues.

In conjunction with the reception, on Wednesday, October 23rd, internationally known film-maker Chris Eyre will be introducing and showing his film “Skins” from 6:00-8:00 in Montague Hall 70. Eyre has been described as “the preeminent Native American filmmaker of his time” by People magazine. He directed the highly acclaimed film Smoke Signals, which won the Sundance Audience Award and Sundance Filmmakers Trophy. Skins is an inspirational tale about two brothers living on the Pine Ridge Reservation and the struggles they face individually, and as part of the community. Eyre says “The power of storytelling through film forms the foundation of my directing values. As a Cheyenne/Arapaho filmmaker, my immediate artistic concern has, and continues to be, placing Native North American people and culture into mainstream media.”

The Tweed will also host a symposium on March 4, 2014 highlighting the Perspectives and Parallels: Expanding Interpretive Foundations with American-Indian Curators and Arts Writers: Aligning Tweed Collections and Museum Audiences project which includes the Blood Memoirs exhibition as well as the recent exhibition Encoded: Traditional Patterns/A Contemporary Response, guest curated by John Hitchcock.

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works.
The Tweed Museum of Art is a collecting art museum that holds in trust a historical and contemporary art collection of over 8,000 artworks on behalf of the University of Minnesota and the people of Duluth and the outlying regions. The museum is located on the campus of the University of Minnesota. Hours and directions can be found at or by calling 218-726-8222.
More information on the Tweed Museum and the Blood Memoirs exhibition can be found at