AAM Announces a New Atrium Commission

The Academy Art Museum is pleased to announce its new exhibition Marty Two Bulls, Jr.: Dominion. South Dakota-based Oglala Sioux artist Marty Two Bulls, Jr. will transform the Museum’s Saul Atrium Gallery with a site-specific installation. His work critiques consumption culture, using the metaphor of the American Bison, one of the first American resources consumed almost to extinction. The amorphic Bisons emerge from a mess of detritus: paper and Tyvek cutouts, soda cans, milk jugs, and more. Two Bulls, Jr. reflects on consumerism by creating a wasteland resulting from a disconnection with nature and ancestral forms of knowledge.

Marty Two Bulls, Jr.

“We are looking forward to welcoming visitors to Two Bulls, Jr.’s Atrium commission, which serves as a layered acknowledgment of the oppression Native American people have endured in their homelands as well as a critique of consumer culture. The breadth of Two Bulls, Jr.’s practice is incredible: from the immersive, floor-to-ceiling hand-cut prints he amasses on top of one another for his wall-mounted work, to monumental sculptures made from found objects such as bottles and trash cans, Two Bulls, Jr. conjures a mimesis of a crucial sociopolitical reality. We are excited for the interactive dimension of the exhibition, which will allow visitors to scan QR codes to learn the histories of some of the elements Two Bulls, Jr. incorporates into his work, such as barbed wire and the American bison,” states Curator Mehves Lelic.

“Bison were a vital resource for many Native American people until the arrival of European settlers who hunted it to the verge of extinction. Two Bulls, Jr.’s work provides significant fodder for generative discussions about the legacies of colonization and the mistreatment of Indigenous people in this country, as well as our relationship to consumption and capitalism today. We’re thrilled to show our audiences such thought-provoking work and for rich dialogue to emerge,” adds Director Sarah Jesse.

The 2022-2023 Atrium Commission is generously supported by Carol Gordean, Joe Minarick in memory of Carol Minarick, and Mary Ann Schindler.

Marty Two Bulls, Jr.

Marty Two Bulls, Jr. is an artist and educator based in Rapid City, SD. Two Bulls is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and was raised in the high plains of South Dakota. Two Bulls comes from a family of diverse artists. His father, Marty Two Bulls, Sr., is an accomplished artist and was Two Bulls’ first art instructor. Two Bulls grew up in his father’s studio where he learned the fundamentals of sculpture, illustration, graphic design and most importantly how to make a living as a creative person. Two Bulls eventually went on to study printmaking and ceramics at The Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM where he earned a Bachelors in Fine Arts in 2011. In 2017 he was offered a full-time faculty position with Oglala Lakota College (OLC) to teach art. Two Bulls jumped at the opportunity to return to his homelands and work with his tribal community. Since returning home, Two Bulls has created a Graphic Arts program at OLC and continues to work as a positive force for the arts in his communities both near and far. Two Bulls has exhibited his artwork in galleries and museums both nationally and internationally with works in several museum permanent collections.

Detail from the installation Dominion, 2023, inkjet on paper

About the AAM Atrium Commission Project

The AAM Atrium Commission Project began in 2021 with Baltimore-based artist Zoe Friedman. Her exhibition, Sentient Forest was the inaugural site-specific artist commission for the Museum’s recently renovated Tricia and Frank Saul Atrium Gallery. The 2022-2023 Atrium Commission Terrestrial Caravan was created by Baltimore-based artist Hoesy Corona. Marty Two Bulls, Jr.: Dominion, the 2023-2024 Atrium Commission, is generously supported by Carol Gordean, Joe Minarick in memory of Carol Minarick, and Mary Ann Schindler.

About the Academy Art Museum

As the premier art museum on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, the Academy Art Museum presents high-quality exhibitions and a full range of art classes for visitors of all ages. Past exhibitions have featured artists such as James Turrell, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Rothko, Pat Steir and Richard Diebenkorn. The permanent collection focuses on works on paper by American and European artists from four centuries including recent acquisitions by Graciela Iturbide and Zanele Muholi. Arts educational programs range from life drawing lessons to digital art instruction, and include lunchtime and cocktail hour concerts, lectures and special art events, as well as a Fall Craft Show celebrating 26 years. AAM also provides arts education to school children from the region and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. To continue the institutional movement of offering free public programming and to give barrier-free access to art, AAM eliminated admission fees in 2023.

Location: 106 South Street, Easton, Maryland

Hours: (Fall/winter hours, beginning September 5, 2023) Tuesday-Wednesday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Thursday 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, and Friday-Sunday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Closed Mondays and Federal holidays. Admission: Free.


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