The art of Wendy Red Star and Kaj-anne Pepper will be featured in "Alterations," an upcoming exhibit at Linfield Gallery.
Through textiles, video, performance and installation, the exhibition explores how identity is performed. While very different, the work of Red Star and Pepper each address the ways in which costume and ritual can create, reinforce or subvert cultural identity.
Red Star's costumes are inspired by traditional Crow Indian men's "hot dance" outfits, but are re-imaged as women's fashion. Pepper's work as a performance artist in the drag community exposes the trauma and artifice of gender. Shown together for the first time, these two artists each illuminate different aspects of how cultural identity is performed intentionally and unintentionally.
Red Star works across disciplines to explore the intersections of Native American ideologies and colonist structures, both historically and in today's society. Red Star creates a forum for the expression of Native women's voices in contemporary art. Red Star holds a BFA from Montana State University, Bozeman, and an MFA in sculpture from University of California, Los Angeles. She has exhibited in the United States and abroad at venues including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Domaine de Kerguhennec and St. Louis Art Museum, among others. She was awarded an Emerging Artist Grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation in 2015. In 2016, she participated in Contemporary Native Photographers and the Edward Curtis Legacy at the Portland Art Museum, and recently mounted a solo exhibition as part of the museum's APEX series.
Pepper is a Portland-based performance and theatre artist, educator and choreographer. Pepper's drag persona, "Pepper Pepper," is a humorous and thoughtful gender bending MC and entertainer, through which Pepper explores vulnerability, artifice and identity. Pepper was a member of the gender terrorist drag troupe, Sissyboy, and has toured the United States with The Genderfluids. Pepper currently MC's Dark Night of the Soul, an evening of stand-up tragedy, and drag extravaganza Critical Mascara which occurs annually at PICA's T:BA festival. Pepper also pursues contemporary dance, performing with Linda Austin, Tahni Holt and Mizu Desierto.
All exhibits are free and open to the public. This exhibit is sponsored by the Lacroute Arts Series and the Department of Art and Visual Culture. Additional support comes from the Yamhill County Cultural Coalition, which includes funding from the Oregon Cultural Trust and the Oregon Community Foundation.