Power and Place: Native Arts, Exhibitions, and Minnesota Panel Discussion

Gwen Westerman, Caske's Pardon
Gwen Westerman, Caske's Pardon

Exhibiting Power: 2017-2018 Department of Art History Speaker Series

Date & Time:

Friday, March 2, 2018
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
6 PM, March 2, 2018


O’Shaughnessy Educational Center Auditorium

Power and Place: Native Arts, Exhibitions, and Minnesota, a roundtable discussion, will investigate current issues in the field of museum studies including Minnesota’s exhibition history of Native arts, collaboration with Native communities, and the ways in which museums have succeeded and failed to engage with decolonization. Panelists will dialogue about personal experiences related to curation, museum partnerships, and artistic endeavors, while challenging the public to consider social and institutional constructions of power. The discussion will be facilitated by University of St. Thomas Art History and Museum Studies graduate student, Alex Buffalohead, with introductory remarks by Dakota Hoska. Questions from the audience will be welcome.


  • Dr. Jill Ahlberg Yohe, Assistant Curator of Native American Art, Minneapolis Institute of Art
  • Joe Horse Capture, Director of Native American Initiatives at the Minnesota Historical Society
  • Dr. Gwen Westerman, Distinguished Faculty Scholar, English Department, Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Dyani White Hawk, Artist and Curator

Panelist Bios: 

Dr. Jill Ahlberg Yohe is the Assistant Curator of Native American Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. She received her Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico, and her dissertation and continuing research focus on the social life of Navajo weaving. Presently Ahlberg Yohe, along with co-curator Teri Greeves and a Board of 21 Native and non-Native scholars and artists are developing a major traveling exhibit Hearts of our People: Native Women Artists that will open at Mia Summer 2019 and will travel to four venues across the country. Central practices in curation and research include working collaboratively with community members and artists, mentoring emerging Native scholars, and creating opportunities for metacuratorial events that seek to broaden understanding of Native American Art.

Joe Horse Capture (A'aninin) has over 20 years of museum experience and has served in a curatorial role at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the National Museum of the American Indian-Smithsonian. He is widely published in the field of Native American art and culture and has served as a consultant for museums nationally and internationally. He is currently Director of Native American Initiatives at the Minnesota Historical Society.

Dr. Gwen Westerman, a visual artist and poet, lives in southern Minnesota, as did her Dakota ancestors.  Her roots are deep in the landscape of the tall grass prairie, and reveal themselves in her art and writing through the languages and traditions of her family. She is an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota Oyate, and through her mother a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.  The co-author of Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota, she also has a collection of poetry in Dakota and English, Follow the Blackbirds, published by Michigan State University Press.

Dyani White Hawk is a painter, mixed-media artist and independent curator based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is Sičangu Lakota, an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. White Hawk earned an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011 and a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2008. She served as Gallery Director and Curator for the All My Relations Gallery in Minneapolis from 2011-2015.  In May of 2015, White Hawk transitioned into full-time studio practice. 

Image Credit: Gwen Westerman, Caske's Pardon

All events are free and open to the public and handicap accessible. For accessibility requests contact: (651) 962-6315.

All programs offered by the University of St. Thomas shall be readily accessible to individuals with disabilities. For details, call (651) 962-6315.