Visual Arts

WCU Fine Art Museum: Contemporary Ponca Art

WCU Fine Art Museum: Contemporary Ponca Art


Through December 7, the Western Carolina University Fine Art Museum at Bardo Arts Center is hosting Julie Buffalohead: You and I, an exhibition featuring mixed media works by Julie Buffalohead. Buffalohead is a contemporary artist who uses animal and human figures in her art to investigate the complexities of personal and cultural relationships. “The Museum chose to feature Julie Buffalohead’s work because it combines a captivating aesthetic with a serious exploration of cultural and human interaction,” says Carolyn Grosch, curator of collections and exhibitions at the WCU Fine Art Museum. There will be a reception for this exhibition on Thursday, November 1, from 5–7 p.m., featuring a gallery talk at 5:30 p.m. followed by live music and refreshments.

An enrolled member of the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma, Buffalohead received her MFA degree from Cornell University and currently resides in Minnesota. Of Ponca and non-native descent, the artist uses elements of Native storytelling, particularly the animal and “trickster” characters that are prevalent in Native mythologies, to explore cultural perceptions and bi-racial identity, as well as contemporary issues facing indigenous communities. “The storybook quality of Buffalohead’s images draw the viewer in with a sense of wonder and curiosity—a desire to know more about what is happening in this dreamlike world,” says Grosch. “They come away with meaningful reflections on a variety of issues affecting the indigenous community and humanity more broadly.”

The WCU Fine Art Museum at Bardo Arts Center is located at 199 Centennial Drive, Cullowhee. Regular museum hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.,and Thursdays until 7 p.m. For information, call 828.227.ARTS or visit

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