News and Events


March 13, 2018 -- Ucross, Wyoming -- Ucross Foundation and Whitney Center for the Arts will co-host a performance and talk by contemporary Native American artist Sydney Pursel on Tuesday, March 20 from 4:00-5:00 p.m. in the WCA Concert Hall. Pursel, a member of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, is the first artist to be awarded the new Ucross Fellowship for Native American Visual Artists. The event will include a performance of her interactive piece “Waroxi,” a screening of her short video “Revitalize (or the opposite of an apple)”, and an artist talk. The performance is free and open to the public.

SydneyPursel.pngSydney Jane Brooke Campbell Maybrier Pursel is an interdisciplinary artist specializing in socially engaged, activist, performance, video, and new media arts. Through 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.

Pursel lives in Columbia, Missouri, and is currently an artist-in-residence at Ucross. While at Ucross she plans to work on several Native American garment projects that utilize bottle caps as material, and engage stereotypes about drinking issues related to Native American and Irish Catholic cultures. Her work will be featured in an exhibition at Ucross in 2019.

Pursel’s art has been shown at public parks, universities and alternative spaces in Columbia, MO; Fulton, MO; Kansas City, MO; Lawrence, KS; San Francisco, CA; Santa Fe, NM; Seattle, WA; Toronto, ON; Vermillion, SD; and White Cloud, KS. She received her MFA in Expanded Media at the University of Kansas and her BFA in Painting from the University of Missouri.

Initiated in 2017, the Ucross Fellowship for Native American Visual Artists supports the work of contemporary Native American visual 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 collaborative projects involving multiple disciplines fellowships will be awarded annually, one each in spring and fall. The award includes a one-month residency at Ucross, a stipend of $1,000, and inclusion in a forthcoming exhibition at the Ucross Foundation Art Gallery. Major support for the Fellowship has been provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, as well as by the Ucross Foundation board of trustees. The next Fellowship winner will be announced in May.

Established in 1981, Ucross Foundation 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 good steward of its 20,000-acre ranch. Residencies are awarded to nearly one hundred visual artists, writers and composers each year. National partners of Ucross include the Sundance Institute Theatre Program, the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, Pew Fellowships in the Arts, the Alliance of Artist Communities, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Elaine Lebenbom Prize for Female Composers, the Whiting Foundation, and the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction.

Whitney Center for the Arts is home to live performances, art exhibitions and Sheridan College Schools of Music and Art. As one of the most advanced arts education centers in the west, it features programs in music, painting, drawing, ceramics, printmaking and digital media. Thanks to a generous donation from Whitney Benefits, the WCA opened in 2016, providing students and arts patrons across the Northern Rockies with a state-of-the-art space for fine and performing arts programs, and shows and performances by artists from around the world. The 54,000 square-foot performing arts facility features a 422-seat concert hall, the largest in the region, including a changeable proscenium stage, motorized fly system and hydraulically convertible orchestra pit. Two gallery spaces showcase work by students, faculty and traveling shows throughout the year.

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