Dialogue: Wendy Red Star with Katerina Stathopoulou and Gaylord Torrence


On October 25, join us for a virtual conversation with Wendy Red Star on the occasion of Public Art Fund’s exhibition Travels Pretty. The exhibition debuts new works by Red Star presented on 300 JCDecaux bus shelters in New York City, Chicago, and Boston. Raised on the Apsáalooke (Crow) reservation in Montana, Red Star reshapes dominant narratives by casting light on the complex histories of Native Americans through a feminist Indigenous lens. 

For Red Star’s first public art exhibition, she explores parfleches, vibrantly painted rawhide bags made by certain nomadic tribes of the North American Great Plains. Painted with intricate geometric designs, these carrying cases were used by the Apsáalooke and other tribes to store and transport food and personal possessions. Visually weaving together stories across generations, Red Star created this dynamic body of work with bus shelters in mind. Standing as a metaphor for mobility and travel, Red Star draws an association between these suitcases used to transport goods and the buses used to transport people. 

Red Star will be in conversation with Gaylord Torrence, an expert on parfleches, and Public Art Fund Adjunct Curator Katerina Stathopoulou, curator of Travels Pretty. Together, they will examine Red Star’s practice and its meaning for art in the public sphere.

Register to watch virtually for free.

This event is co-presented by Public Art Fund and the MCA Chicago.

About the Speakers

Wendy Red Star (b. 1981, Billings, MT; lives in Portland, OR) has exhibited in the United States and abroad at venues including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY and Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY, both of which have her works in their permanent collections; Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris, France; Domaine de Kerguéhennec, Bignan, France; Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR; Hood Art Museum, Hanover, NH; St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO; Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN; the Frost Art Museum, Miami, FL; among others. Red Star holds a BFA from Montana State University, Bozeman, and an MFA in sculpture from University of California, Los Angeles. She is represented by Sargent’s Daughters. 

Katerina Stathopoulou is the curator of Wendy Red Star: Travels Pretty (2022). She is currently an Adjunct Curator at Public Art Fund in New York, NY. Recent projects include solo exhibitions with Martine Gutierrez, Farah Al Qasimi, Elle Perez, and Claudia Wieser. In 2021, Stathopoulou co-curated the Thessaloniki PhotoBiennale in Greece. She is a contributing author to numerous publications, including The Real and the Record (2021), Ai Weiwei: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors (2019), Among Others: Blackness at MoMA (2019), and MoMA Highlights: 375 Works from The Museum of Modern Art (2019). 

Gaylord Torrence, Curator Emeritus of Native American Art at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and Professor Emeritus in Fine Arts, Drake University, is widely recognized for fostering both new perspectives in historical Indigenous art and the recognition of contemporary Native artists. His recent publication, Continuum, showcasing Native art and artists from the Nelson-Atkins collection, received the 2021 Kotz Award for Art in Literature. Torrence guest curated the first permanent installation of Native American art in the American Wing of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. His exhibitions and publications include The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky, organized by Musee du quai Branly, Paris, and touring to both the Nelson-Atkins Museum and The Met; and in 1994, The American Indian Parfleche: A Tradition of Abstract Painting. He is currently a guest curator for the Heard Museum in Phoenix.