Monte Vista Projects presents, “Historical Vernacular”, a two-person
show by the artists Melanie Nakaue and Wendy Red Star that investigates
American cultural history, language and traditional folk crafts.
Melanie Nakaue’s “Folklore” series is
comprised of two single-channel animated videos and one
three-dimensional quilt block sculpture. The artist connects the dual
role of physical and aesthetic labor in her maternal and paternal
grandmother’s lives, and examines how family histories are preserved
through folklore and folk crafts that reflect the daily histories and
lives of working women.
By juxtaposing analog (folk crafts)
and digital (animation/video) forms the artist attempts to create a
discourse between representation, alternative narrative, history and
aesthetic and personal experience though animation, sound and sculpture.
of her sculptures, installations and video screenings include: Beloit
College, Beliot, WI, Portland Documentary and eXperimental Film
festival, Portland, OR, Searching for Gold Mountain Series, Alexander Gallery, Oregon City, OR, Un/Common, Pacific NW College of Art, Portland, OR, The Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA; Supersonic,
The Windtunnel, Art Center College of Art and Design, Pasadena, CA;
Gallery 4F, Los Angeles, CA, San Francisco Art Institute, San
Francisco, CA. Melanie was also selected for a public arts commission,
Newhall Art Walk, in Newhall, CA.
Wendy Red Star’s “The Crow Language Project” is
both a website and series of non-web presentations comprised of work
made by Wendy Red Star in collaboration with Crow language speakers.
The project is geared towards creative ways to learn how to speak Crow.
By using a creative series of engaging exercises, videos, and
interviews with Crow speakers Wendy Red Star teaches herself and her
two year old daughter how to speak Crow.
Wendy Red Star was
born in Billings, Montana just outside of the Crow Indian reservation
where she was raised. She grew up in a multi-cultural family. Her
mother is of Irish decent, her father a full blood Crow Indian and her
older sister is Korean. Wendy left the Crow Indian reservation when she
was eighteen to attend Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana
where she studied sculpture. She then went on to earning her MFA in
sculpture at UCLA. Wendy currently lives in Portland, Oregon where she
is an adjunct professor of art at Portland State University.
Red Star’s work explores the intersection between life on the Crow
Indian reservation and the world outside of that environment. She
thinks of herself as a Crow Indian cultural archivist speaking
sincerely about the experience of being a Crow Indian in contemporary
Her work has been shown at Helen E. Copeland
gallery, Bozeman, MT, The Fondation Cartier L’Art Contemporain, Paris,
France, The CSULB gallery, Long Beach, CA, Research & Development,
Chicago, IL, The Museum Tower at MOCA, Los Angeles, CA, And/Or gallery,
Dallas, TX, The UCLA New Wight gallery, Los Angeles, CA, The L.A.
Municipal Art gallery, Los Angeles, CA, The Domaine De Kerguehennc,
Brittany, France, The Hudson D. Walker gallery, Provincetown, MA, The
Plush Gallery, Dallas TX, The Laura Bartlett Gallery, London, England,
The Luckman gallery, Los Angeles, CA, and The Volitant gallery, Austin,