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The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

They Teach Love: Internationally recognized artist exhibits work at WSU museum

Jeffrey Gibson unites and decolonizes through queer Indigenous American art
“To Name An Other” by Jeffrey Gibson.

They Teach Love.

That is the name of queer Cherokee-Choctaw artist Jeffrey Gibson’s art exhibition showing through March 9, 2024, at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. This year, Gibson was selected to represent the United States at the 2024 Venice Biennale international art exhibition.

Curated from the art collection of museum benefactors Jordan Schnitzer and his family foundation, “They Teach Love” features over 35 works from a period of about 15 years of Gibson’s career. Alongside the exhibition will also be a guided discussion from 1:30–3 p.m. and an opening reception from 4–6 p.m. on Sept. 19 at the museum.

“They Teach Love” is named after the exhibition’s centerpiece, a collective work of 50 wearable garments and 51 drums titled “To Name An Other.” On one of the garments is printed the phrase, “They Teach Love.”

“[‘They Teach Love’] is affirmative in terms of its inclusivity,” said Ryan Hardesty, museum executive director and “They Teach Love” curator. “I think so much of [Gibson’s] art is about creating community and a welcoming spirit that brings together all identities. And that phrase, ‘They Teach Love,’ is about positivity, that it takes courage to love one another to form a cohesive and supporting community.”

The guided discussion features Gibson; Nakia Williamson-Cloud, Nimíipuu tribe cultural resources program director; and Fabian Mondejar, fifth-year social studies-education double major and Muckleshoot tribe member, as panelists.

Moderated by Michael Holloman, associate art professor and Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation member, Hardesty said the panelists will discuss adornment, a common theme in Gibson’s work, historical Indigenous regalia and other fashion-related topics.

“[Attendees] can expect to learn more about the use of adornment and the clothes we choose in terms of how it reflects upon our sense of individuality, as well as a collective whole or a sense of community,” Hardesty said.

One hour after the guided discussion ends, the opening reception will begin with a welcome to the Nimíipuu and Palus homelands song and drum performance by Nimíipuu tribe members, with Gibson in attendance. Hardesty said he, Schnitzer and Williamson-Cloud are also giving remarks.

The museum is open from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesdays–Saturdays.

“I recognize that we have students from all over the nation and all over the world that come to WSU Pullman,” Hardesty said. “And I feel like the museum owes it to these students to show exhibitions that amplify their own experiences, that can introduce them to new ideas and new perspectives that are not their own, but also to show artists from outside the immediate region of, say the Inland Northwest.”

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About the Contributor
GABRIELLE FELICIANO, Evergreen life editor
Gabrielle is a junior from Chicago majoring in multimedia journalism. She has been a part of the Daily Evergreen since spring 2022. She is passionate about the arts, entertainment and everything in between.