Special Exhibitions

current exhibition

Blake Little, “Hollywood Style Cowboys, Sun Valley, California“, 1991

On view through February 14, 2021


Experience the grit, determination, and pride of North America’s gay rodeo circuit. Blake Little’s black-and-white photographs tell the story of a lesser-known part of American Western culture, capturing scenes of camaraderie, identity, and sport in an expansive redefinition of what a cowboy can be.

upcoming exhibitions

On view March 13 to May 23, 2021

Artists for Conservation International Exhibit of Nature in Art

This annual juried exhibition features 60 works of art celebrating nature and spotlighting conservation opportunities. Paintings and sculptures tell stories of natural diversity that is being lost and human factors affecting it. Art can play a critical role in informing and emotionally connecting the public to wildlife and driving a change for the better.

Artists for Conservation (AFC) is the world’s leading group of artists dedicated to supporting the environment. With a network of over 500 nature and wildlife artists spanning five continents and 27 countries, exhibition organizer AFC is a driving force in a global educational movement for conservation.

James Museum artist John Seerey-Lester (1945-2020) was an active member of Artists for Conservation. To honor his distinguished career and recognize the first anniversary of his passing, the museum will display 20 of his dynamic paintings alongside the AFC exhibition. Never before displayed at the museum, the art is from the James Collection and on loan from Suzie Seerey-Lester.

Organized by Artists for Conservation Foundation

Marco Grasso, Ouverture II, 2020

Karen Bondarchuk, Crow 11, c.2014

On view June 19 to September 6, 2021

Ergo Sum: A Crow A Day

In 2014, Canadian-born artist Karen Bondarchuk set out to mark the passing time that her mother – diagnosed with dementia in 2010 – no longer could. For 365 days, she produced a crow a day on a small hand-cut panel, remembering her mother as she once was and grieving her loss. The resulting body of work explores communication and an artist’s relationship to the world; it resonates for its depth, beauty, and whimsy.

This exhibition is organized by the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, WI.  

On view January 28 to march 16, 2022

Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories

Beginning in the 1870s, the US government attempted to educate and assimilate American Indians into “civilized” society by placing children—of all ages, from thousands of homes and hundreds of diverse tribes—in distant, residential boarding schools. Many were forcibly taken from their families and communities and stripped of all signs of “Indianness,” even forbidden to speak their own language amongst themselves. Many children went years without familial contact, and these events had a lasting, generational impact.

The exhibition Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories explores off-reservation boarding schools in its kaleidoscope of voices. Visitors will explore compelling photographs, artwork, interviews, interactive timelines, and immersive environments. Stories of tragedy and familial love and friendships intersect. Experiences of gaining things useful and beautiful out of education, despite a formidable, fifty-year agenda that mostly maligned Native American capabilities, call us closer; each trial, each turning of power seeded in human survival, strengthening Indigenous identity.

This exhibition is made possible by NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. It was adapted from the permanent exhibition, Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories, organized by the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona.

Sioux children on their first day at school, 1897; photograph, variable size; Courtesy of Library of Congress.

Patriotic pageant at Sherman Institute, n.d.; photograph, variable size; Courtesy of Sherman Indian High School Museum, Riverside, California.