On Tuesday June 30, 2020, Amanda Clem interviews Steph Littlebird Fogel about the exhibition This IS Kalapuyan Land, and its many iterations.
From the Five Oaks Museum: "What happens when a museum known for pioneer history turns over curatorial authority to a young Indigenous artist and writer? For Five Oaks Museum, the result is a bold, self-critical exhibition about the Tualatin Valley’s first people.
For the past 60 years, Five Oaks Museum has, like many museums, acquired, collected and preserved Native artifacts that were largely donated by settler-pioneer descendants — well-meaning groups who may not know local tribal communities’ true wishes for their peoples’ artifacts. All over the world, these Native objects are the basis for exhibitions and curriculum shared with the public. They are an incredible resource, but too often, Native culture is discussed in the past tense.
So, Five Oaks Co-Directors Molly Alloy and Nathanael Andreini decided to shift the dynamic of the typical Native exhibition and narrative.
To do this, Alloy and Andreini invited Steph Littlebird Fogel to guest-curate the Museum’s cornerstone historical display — This Kalapuyan Land— with a unique Indigenous perspective, and editorial twist:
As viewers move throughout the space, they encounter Littlebird Fogel’s hand-written edits and annotations that highlight errors, update language and note important passages in the original content."
Listen to learn more about the Five Oaks Museum (formerly known as the Washington County Museum at the Portland Community College's Rock Creek Campus) and the exhibition as it changed from "This Kalapuyan Land" to This IS Kalapuyan Land, to its current form on view virtually at fiveoaksmuseum.com, as well as printed on yard signs for an exhibition anyone could host at home or in a public green space.
Follow Steph Littlebird Fogel on Instagram @artnerdforever
If you are interested in hosting the exhibition...
Introducing Museum at (Our Place): This IS Kalapuyan Land
Let the museum come to you! Five Oaks Museum will be piloting neighborhood displays of local, contemporary Native American artwork from the museum’s This IS Kalapuyan Land exhibition. Imagine a Museum at Springville Road and a Museum at Orenco Garden Apartments, for example!
The Museum at (Our Place) kit comes with instructions, a learning guide, and a set of ten colorful yard signs, each featuring a different artwork, that can be arranged along a sidewalk or hung in windows.
If you are interested in being part of the pilot of Museum at (Our Place), email molly[at]fiveoaksmuseum.org