Venice Biennale artist Jeffrey Gibson exhibition opening at the WSU Schnitzer Museum

Two individuals wearing Indigenous-inspired garments in front of a brightly decorated wall.
Jeffrey Gibson, Mx. Oops and Xavier, 2018 (The Anthropophagic Effect).


PULLMAN, Wash. — The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU welcomes visitors to the fall semester with an extraordinary exhibition featuring the works of one of today’s foremost artists, Jeffrey Gibson. The exhibition, “Jeffrey Gibson: They Teach Love, From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation,” will run from Aug. 22, 2023 to March 9, 2024, and will showcase over 35 captivating objects spanning 15 years of Gibson’s prolific career.

In addition to the Gibson exhibition, “Here in a Homemade Forest: Common Reading Connections” also opens Aug. 22 and is inspired by Washington State University’s common reading book, “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants.” The exhibition is curated by Michael Holloman and explores themes of reciprocal relationships with the land and other living beings through diverse artworks and cultural objects by Native and non‑Native artists.

The museum has newly extended hours and encourages visitors to enjoy its exhibitions from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays.

“Jeffrey Gibson asks us to co‑envision a future and to move toward it. Ceaselessly prioritizing collective imagination as a tool toward manifestation and realization,” said Ryan Hardesty, executive director of the museum. “We are extremely delighted to have the opportunity to share Gibson’s visionary work with our WSU Pullman community and beyond.”

Gibson, an artist of Mississippi Choctaw and Cherokee heritage, has been chosen to represent the United States this year at the Venice Biennale, an internationally renowned art exhibition held every two years in Italy. The event showcases contemporary art from around the world, and it serves as a platform for cultural exchange.

Gibson’s work celebrates the rich cultural heritage of his Cherokee and Choctaw roots while seamlessly blending elements of modernism and contemporary popular and queer culture. His multimedia practice represents a vibrant call for empowerment within queer and Indigenous communities, promoting strength, joy, and resilience. Born in 1972 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Gibson has traversed major urban centers across the world. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1995 and a Master of Arts in painting at the Royal College of Art, London, in 1998. As a citizen of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and of Cherokee heritage, Gibson’s work is deeply rooted in his identity and experiences.

The works showcased at the WSU exhibit delve into Gibson’s exploration of radical transformation, both in objects and people, as he takes viewers on a journey through printmaking, photography, painting, sculpture, and contemporary adornment in fashion. The display also includes recent works exploring performance, installation, and video, revealing the artist’s foray into new expressive forms.

A highlight of the exhibition is the centerpiece work, “To Name An Other,” an immersive installation consisting of 51 screen-printed elk hide drums and 50 wearable garments. Originally commissioned as a performance by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, the installation marks a pivotal moment in Gibson’s career, where he embraces collective-based projects and performances to engage the communities he collaborates with. Through this interactive approach, Gibson seeks to foster affinity and decolonize our minds and institutions, pointing the way toward a more inclusive and harmonious future.

“We are honored to have the works of one of today’s foremost artists on the WSU Pullman campus,” said Elizabeth S. Chilton, chancellor, WSU Pullman provost and executive vice president. “Gibson’s work draws from his Indigenous heritage and combines aspects of Indigenous art and culture with modernist traditions. This exhibit will provide an immersive opportunity for WSU students, faculty, staff, and community members to explore why and how the past matters in shaping a better future. We are truly honored to host this exhibit at WSU.”

Organized by the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, this exhibition and related education and outreach programs have been made possible by a grant from the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation. Additional funding for this exhibition has been provided by the David G. Pollart Center for Arts and Humanities, the WSU Pullman Office of the Chancellor, Nancy Spitzer, the Samuel H. and Patricia W. Smith Endowment, and friends of the museum.

About the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation:

Jordan Schnitzer is a renowned art collector who started collecting contemporary art at age 14. With a collection that exceeds 20,000 works and includes many of today’s leading contemporary artists, it has grown to be one of the country’s largest and finest private collections — particularly famous for its expansive collection of prints and multiples. His foundation, the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, generously lends works to qualified institutions and has organized more than 160 exhibitions of art from his collections, which have been exhibited in over 120 museums. To learn more about the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, please visit jordanschnitzer.org.

For additional information or to schedule an interview with Jordan Schnitzer, please contact Michael Nevius, Director of Marketing, 503‑450‑0735, michaeln@jordanschnitzer.org

Location | The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU is located in the Crimson Cube (on Wilson Road across from Martin Stadium and the CUB) on the WSU Pullman campus. For more information, please visit museum.wsu.edu.

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