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Julia Buffalohead

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Julia Buffalohead

(1972 - )

Julia Buffalohead is an enrolled member of the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma. She received her BFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1995 and her MFA from Cornell University in 2001. She is a recipient of the McKnight Foundation Fellowship for Visual Arts, a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant, and the Foundation for Visual Artists from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Buffalohead lives and works in St. Paul, MN. She has exhibited locally and nationally at such institutions as the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art in Indianapolis, the Gorman Museum in Davis, CA, The Plains Art Museum in Fargo, ND, Carlton University (MN), St. Thomas University (MN), St. Johns University (MN), and the Buckley Gallery in Minneapolis. Buffalohead's work has focused upon describing Indian cultural experience through personal metaphor and narrative. In a July, 2003 article in the Cornell alumni magazine, she is quoted as saying "My imagery is so personal it's hard to think about the viewer, but I try to be provocative. I use stereotypes because Indians didn't have a hand in creating them. It's my way of saying 'This is not who we are. This is your invention.'" Just as frequently as the work has been evocative of animals, anthropomorphism and nature, it has been a critique of the simulacrum of the Old West, and of the prejudicial commercialization of Native culture. The work juxtaposes (constantly evolving) representations of animal spirit and Coyote motifs. Buffalohead has employed an eclectic palette of traditional and natural materials, such as birch bark, porcupine quills, and rawhide. She has blurred the boundary between drawing, illustration, bookmaking, sculpture and installation formats.


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