Terrain: Speaking of Home
Artwork by Joe Feddersen
May 20, 2022 - September 23, 2022
NAS Building, 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W., West Gallery
Free. Photo ID and proof of up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination are required. Masks are optional.
Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays; closed weekends and holidays. No reservations required.
Native American artist Joe Feddersen (Okanagan and Arrow Lakes) explores Indigenous landscapes and icons, and the complex relationship between contemporary and native symbolism. Feddersen incorporates minimalist geometric patterns into his work that are reflective of the landscape and his Native American heritage. He works in an array of media, including painting, printmaking, photography, collage, and glass.
“My work is about the world around me. I draw from the landscape, current events, regional histories, tribal legacies, personal narratives, and contemporary dialogues,” says Feddersen. “My process consists of many steps before I even begin to work —researching ancestral work and its iconography as well as talking to elders. I told myself that I would focus on personal narratives, grounding them in Native traditions. In conversations with Elaine Timintwa-Emerson, a Colville Reservation elder, we talked about petroglyphs near home. She told me that the youth, while questing, would go to the rock wall and add to it. Therefore, they would extend the history, learning the past and adding parts of the present. I think of my work in this way; it is grounded in tradition yet speaks to the present.”
Joe Feddersen trained at Wenatchee Valley College; the University of Washington, Seattle; and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has been an active participant in the Contemporary Native Fine Arts Movement, exhibiting internationally since the early 1980s and in the Pacific Northwest. Feddersen exhibited in pivotal shows such as Continuum: 12 Artists at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York. He was an art faculty member at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, from 1989 until his retirement in 2009. He lives in his hometown of Omak, Washington, on the Colville Reservation.