Hallie Ford Museum of Art Wins Grant from Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University received a $15,000 grant from the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian to publish a catalog on the work of multimedia artist Joe Feddersen, a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes.

The National Museum of the American Indian announced 13 recipients Thursday for the inaugural Visual and Expressive Arts Grants program. This new program offers support to a wide range of arts activities with the goal of increasing knowledge, understanding and appreciation of contemporary Native American arts.

The grant will allow the Hallie Ford Museum, in partnership with the University of Washington Press and The Evergreen State College, to co-publish the exhibition catalog "Joe Feddersen: Vital Signs." The exhibition is a retrospective of Feddersen's best work in prints, glass and weaving since the mid-1990s. The book accompanies an exhibition organized by faculty curator and anthropology Associate Professor Rebecca Dobkins that will be on display at the Missoula Art Museum in Montana June 2-Sept. 20, at the Tacoma Art Museum in Washington Sept. 12, 2009-Jan. 10, 2010, and at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art Jan. 30-March 28, 2010.

The "Joe Feddersen: Vital Signs" catalog will include a biographical essay by Dobkins, an introduction by artist Barbara Thomas and a critical essay by artist/writer Gail Tremblay. The book, available later this spring, will be a new volume in the prestigious Jacob Lawrence Series on American Art and Artists of the University of Washington Press. Feddersen's work explores the interrelationships between urban place markers and indigenous design through powerful combinations of contemporary media and native iconography.

The Smithsonian grants were made in two funding areas, the visual arts and expressive arts. The Hallie Ford Museum received a visual arts grant, which supports exhibitions and installations of contemporary Native American art, as well as publications and critical writing.

Another visual arts grant given to the Art Association of Jackson Hole, Wyo., will support a traveling exhibition by Willamette alumna Marie Watt, a 1990 graduate who serves on Willamette's Native American Advisory Council. Organized by the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper, Wyo., the traveling exhibition, "Marie Watt: Blanket Stories," will allow the artist to lead gallery talks, present a slide lecture and organize a family sewing circle to encourage discussion about contemporary and historical Native American art, traditions and personal inspiration.

For more about the Visual and Expressive Arts Grants and a list of the other winners, go to