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  • Writer's pictureEraina Ferguson


Contemporary Artist Erika Harrsch’s Solo Exhibition: Moving in the Borderlands Makes its Debut Along with Four Public Art Installations by Artist Cheyenne Randall

Idyllwild Arts presents its Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration on October 10 at their Idyllwild, CA campus (52500 Temecula Rd, Idyllwild CA 92549). This free event includes public programming scheduled from 9am to 1:30pm and 4pm to 6pm, which will creatively and thoughtfully celebrate the many contributions Indigenous People make to humanity. The morning’s events include AlterNATIVE, an “edu-tainment” overview of American History from an Indigenous perspective by renowned musician and educator Ed Kabotie (Tewa/Hopi); a film screening of Gather, an intimate portrait of the growing movement amongst Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political, and cultural identities through food sovereignty; and an outdoor Indigenous Foods Luncheon with a concert by Ed Kabotie’s band Tha ‘Yoties and a collection of booths offering various cultural and advocacy activities.

In the afternoon and evening portion of the event, Idyllwild Arts will debut Erika Harrsch’s thought-provoking solo exhibition, Moving in the Borderlands, with an opening reception and artist talk. Harrsch is a celebrated contemporary Mexican visual artist based in New York, with Indigenous roots in tribal communities in Mexico. “As a transnational artist, concerns about people's pathways to finding a place called Home are profound sources of inspiration present in my work,” she explains. Through a variety of mediums including installation, photography, projection, mixed-media, and performance, the exhibition examines the concept of hospitality in the context of transnational movement, knowledge systems, cultural identity, community, and separation through the intersection of civilizations. The exhibition will be on view through October 27, 2022 at the Parks Exhibition Center on the Idyllwild Arts campus.

Also on view for event attendees is a public art installation of four site-specific murals by Cheyenne Randall (Cheyenne River Sioux) entitled Paste, Present, Future. Randall’s interdisciplinary practice blends iconographic and historic photographs of Indigenous people by non-native individuals (including Edward Curtis and Roland Reed), celebrities, and landscape with tattoo elements, text, and collage. The resulting imagery raises questions about identity, constructed representation, and mimetic meaning and semiotics. The exhibition will be up through the life of the murals until natural elements deteriorate them, allowing the honesty of the material and medium of wheat paste to be fully articulated and explored by the viewer.

Both exhibitions were organized by independent curator and contemporary art scholar Erin Joyce, who says: “These are not just exhibitions but are interventions in that continuum of colonization that still sees itself played out in the ways Indigenous art is seen, exhibited, interpreted, and experienced. Cheyenne Randall and Erika Harrsch make work that forces the viewer to consider their role in misrepresentation, appropriation, and visibility.”

Idyllwild Arts is an institution rooted in respect, reverence, and support for Native American people, culture, and art, and is the only residential arts high school in the country to offer a Native American Arts program led by a Native American Director, Shaliyah Ben (Diné). Idyllwild Arts respectfully acknowledges the Qawishpa Cahuillangnah (also known as Cahuilla Band of Indians) on whose land the Idyllwild Arts community dwells.

For the full event schedule, visit

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