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Ucross Announces Intricate Form: Brenda Mallory + Sydney Pursel: 2018 Ucross Native American Fellows

Ucross Announces

Intricate Form: Brenda Mallory + Sydney Pursel: 2018 Ucross Native American Fellows

Exhibition Opening June 3, 2019 at the Ucross Art Gallery

Public reception to take place on Friday, June 21 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Ucross, Wyoming – (June 3, 2019) – Ucross is pleased to announce the opening of its inaugural exhibition presenting artwork by winners of the newly established Ucross Fellowship for Native American Visual Artists. Intricate Form: Brenda Mallory + Sydney Pursel: 2018 Ucross Native American Fellows opens on June 3, and will be on view through September 28. Brenda Mallory (Cherokee Nation) and Sydney Jane Brooke Campbell Maybrier Pursel (Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska) were selected as the first two recipients of the Native American Fellowship and both were in residence at Ucross in 2018.

A public reception with artist talks by Mallory and Pursel will take place on Friday, June 21 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. The multidisciplinary exhibition includes works on paper, video, installation, and sculpture. Major support for the exhibition and the fellowship program has been provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts and the Ucross Board of Trustees. The Wyoming Arts Council has also supported the exhibition, through funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Wyoming State Legislature. The Museum of Art | Fort Collins presented the exhibition from January 18 – March 17, 2019, and the University of Wyoming Art Department will feature the work in its gallery in Summer 2020.

“It is a great honor to present the work of Brenda and Sydney in this exciting exhibition, and to welcome them back to Ucross for the opening,” says Ucross President Sharon Dynak.  “The new fellowship has great meaning for the organization, situated as we are on the High Plains with strong Native American history and presence. We thank the artists for bringing their extraordinary work to our region.”

Mallory’s work ranges from individual wall-hangings and sculptures to large-scale installations. She works with mixed media, creating multiple forms that are joined with crude hardware or mechanical devices in ways that imply tenuous connections and aberrations. She is interested in ideas of interference and disruption of long-established systems in nature and human cultures.

“I like to see repairs, mends, the evidence of struggle, and the healing act of pulling order from chaos,” states Mallory. “To me it is a metaphor for hope and resilience when I transform these materials that have been deemed worthless or broken into something that is thought-provoking and beautiful.” Mallory grew up in Oklahoma, is a member of the Cherokee Nation and currently lives in Portland, Oregon. She received a BA in Linguistics & English from UCLA and a BFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art.

Pursel is an interdisciplinary artist specializing in socially engaged, activist, performance, video, and new media arts. Through her art, she explores personal identity, drawing from her Indigenous and Irish Catholic roots. Some of Pursel’s projects are used to educate others about food politics, language loss, appropriation, and history. Other projects among her own community focus on language acquisition, culture and art.

“Like most Americans, I am a person of mixed heritage,” says Pursel. “While I strongly identify with my Native and Irish roots, I am a combination of many backgrounds and identify as many things on multiple levels. My work investigates how colonization, religious influence, oppression, assimilation, and uneven power dynamics have contributed to a loss of cultural identity.” Pursel is an enrolled member of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska. She lives in Columbia, Missouri. She received her MFA in Expanded Media at the University of Kansas and her BFA in Painting from the University of Missouri.

The exhibition is co-curated by Andrea Hanley (Navajo), who is the Membership and Program Manager for the IAIA (Institute of American Indian Arts) Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, NM, and Ucross Trustee and Museum of Art | Fort Collins Executive Director Lisa Hatchadoorian. Hanley wrote the exhibition essay and was instrumental in developing the new Ucross Native American Fellowship initiative.

Initiated in 2017, the Ucross Fellowship for Native American Visual Artists supports the work of contemporary Native American artists at all stages of their professional careers. It is open to disciplines that include, but are not limited to, painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, video, performance art, installation, ceramics, and projects involving multiple disciplines. Two Fellowships are awarded annually, one each in spring and fall. The Fellowship provides up to a one-month residency at Ucross, and a stipend of $2,000. Each Fellow will be featured in an exhibition at the Ucross Art Gallery during the year following their residency. The next application deadline for the Fellowship is September 1, 2019.

 “At Ucross, we are aware of the consistency of effort required to build genuine ties to the Indigenous communities of our region,” says Bill Gilbert, Ucross Trustee and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Art & Ecology and Lannan Endowed Chair, Department of Art & Art History, University of New Mexico. “It is our sincere hope that (this) exhibition and the new Native American Fellowship will serve as the positive beginning of a long-term commitment on the part of Ucross Foundation to support the work of contemporary Native American visual artists.”

About Ucross

Located in northeast Wyoming in the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains, Ucross fosters the creative spirit of deeply committed artists and groups by providing uninterrupted time, studio space, living accommodations, and the experience of the majestic High Plains, while serving as a responsible steward of its 20,000-acre ranch. Residencies are awarded to nearly one hundred artists each year. Ten artists are in residence at one time, typically a mix of four visual artists, four writers, and two composers.

Since its establishment in 1981, Ucross has provided more than 2,000 residencies to writers, visual artists, and composers, including such distinguished fellows as Annie Proulx, Terry Tempest Williams, Colson Whitehead, Elizabeth Gilbert, Ann Patchett, Ricky Ian Gordon, Bill Morrison, Theaster Gates, Anthony Hernandez, Academy Award and Tony winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and recent National Book Award winner Sigrid Nunez. National partners of Ucross include the Sundance Institute Theatre Program, the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, the Whiting Foundation, the Alliance of Artist Communities, and the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel. The Ucross Foundation Art Gallery is a significant cultural resource for surrounding communities and beyond. For further information, visit

The Ucross Art Gallery is located a half-mile east of the intersection of Highways 14 and 16 East in Ucross. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., or by appointment. For further information, contact (307) 737-2291 or


Ucross Foundation

Carly Fraysier | | (307) 737-2291

Images available upon request