Regalia is an exhibition highlighting the work of Linda Whitney in Plains Art Museum’s Mothers of Invention exhibition series. Mothers of Invention celebrates Midwest women whose artwork deserves greater critical review and elevated art museum audiences.
Much of Linda Whitney’s work is inspired by the vast and diverse art forms within pow wow dancing. Her regalia-rich work elevates, brings forth joy, and pays respect to the vibrant, complex, and alive contemporary Native people. Her work positions the creation of an outfit as a labor of love: regalia often takes days or months to create and is embedded with value, meaning, and symbolism. A headdress with many feathers, for example, shows that the wearer is an accomplished person. Headdresses are often gifted to people with great leadership, representing and honoring the wearer’s empathy for fellow tribal members. Dancing is a great responsibility. Eagle feathers are worn by both male and female dancers; they represent great accomplishments such as receiving one’s name in ceremony. The eagle flies the highest to carry prayers to the Spirit World.
Much like the care put into Native American regalia, Whitney employs the impossibly slow, tedious, and physical mezzotint process. Whitney has created an impressive body of work using this tedious and detailed process. Now one of North Dakota’s most accomplished artists, Whitney has earned several awards, has been included in prestigious international exhibitions, and held a 20+ year teaching position at Valley City State University (Valley City, ND), where she influenced the next generation of artists.
A catalogue will accompany Linda Whitney’s exhibition, Regalia. Underwritten in part by Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, the catalogue will contain an essay by Native American artist, scholar, and lecturer, Jaune Quck-to-See Smith, as well as an interview with Whitney conducted by artist Jane Reid Jackson, president of the International Mezzotint Society.
Thank you to NDSU Department of Apparel, Design, and Hospitality Management for their assistance for producing this exhibition.
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