Artists explore gender and society at Linfield Gallery

Kaj-anne Pepper, Linfield GalleryThe art of Wendy Red Star and Kaj-anne Pepper will be featured in “Alterations,” an upcoming exhibit at Linfield Gallery.

The exhibit will be on display Oct. 5 through Nov. 19 in the Linfield Gallery in the James F. Miller Fine Arts Center at Linfield College. An artists’ reception will be held Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 5 p.m. in the gallery.

A second artist talk will be held with Red Star Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 5 p.m. in Delkin Hall in the Bull Music Center.

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 Kerguéhennec 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.



Exhibitions of regional, national and international stature are on view throughout the academic year in the 1,500 square foot space at Linfield College. Patrons can expect challenging shows that exemplify diverse approaches to the practice of contemporary visual art. 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.

Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. The gallery is located in the James F. Miller Fine Arts Center on the Linfield College campus at 900 SE Baker Street in McMinnville. Parking is free. For more information, call 503-883-2804 or visit Linfield Gallery online at