Creativity Gallery, Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Center for Creativity
Bias: Current Monotypes of Laura Youngbird shares a recent collection of the artist’s layered and multi-process monotypes using the dress as metaphor. Not a simple garment, for the artist it represents a powerful artifact with currents that bind grandmothers, mothers, sisters and relatives with the power of a common thread. It is also a symbol of cultural erasure within the history of boarding schools, which were facilities of forced assimilation for Native youth. Through her work, Youngbird continues to advance the awareness of bias and social injustice issues, such as the Native American boarding school experience and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) movement. “The dress helps tell my story, which is woven together with my sisters, my mother and my grandmothers. My mother used to make dresses for my sisters and me; I remember the stories, the smell of the sewing machine combined with oil, fabric, the heat of the light and the sound of the motor as the stitches ticked away. The dress is a simple garment and a powerful artifact. It represents a sorrowful saga that entwines, binds and connects my grandmother, my mother, my sisters and all my relatives with the power of the common thread.”
Laura Youngbird (b.1954, Minnesota Chippewa, Grand Portage Band) completed her BFA, MA and BS for Art Education from Minnesota State University Moorhead. She is the former Director of Native American Art Programs at Plains Art Museum, taught art at Circle of Nations School in Wahpeton ND, and was Artist-in-Resident for the North Dakota Council on the Arts and Fargo Public Schools. Laura has received several awards including a 2018 First People’s Fund–Artist in Business Fellowship, Artist Initiative Grants in 2009 and 2013 from the Minnesota State Arts Board, and a Jerome Fellowship in 2003 to work and study with master potter, Richard Bresnahan at St. John’s University, MN. She recently received an Artist in Residence Fellowship from the Institute of American Indian Art, Santa Fe, NM. Laura has a Masters in printmaking and is a practicing artist working in mixed media-drawing, painting, sculpture and ceramics. Her work has been shown in numerous regional and national galleries and exhibitions.