Ruddell Gallery featuring Native American artist that explores environmental concerns

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, February 12, 2015/Categories: 2015








            Black Hills State University alumna Colleen Cutschall is featuring her collection of work "Geo-Engineered: Clouds of Secrecy" in the Ruddell Gallery in the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union on the BHSU campus. Included is this piece, "Morgellon." Cutschall&rsquos work depicts the toxic skies created by the use of aerosol cans. She will speak during an artist&rsquos reception March 2 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the gallery.



Black Hills State University alumna and Native American artist Colleen Cutschall is using her artwork to raise environmental awareness.

Cutschall&rsquos "Geo-Engineered: Clouds of Secrecy" is currently on display in the Ruddell Gallery on the second floor of the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union on the BHSU campus. The exhibit will continue through March 6. Cutschall will speak during an artist&rsquos reception March 2 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the gallery.

"I am excited to be able to exhibit in my home state and at my alma mater, BHSU," Cutschall said. "Exhibiting at BHSU seems like a homecoming for me."

Cutschall&rsquos series includes 20 pastel drawings on tar paper that depict the toxic skies created by aerosol spraying. The drawings are based on photographs Cutschall took between the Black Hills and Manitoba over a five-year period. Cutschall began the drawings for the exhibit a year ago. Each drawing shows the chemtrail patterns left by aerosol spraying and the unnatural quality of the skies that are seen by people from around the world. Cutschall named each of her drawings after the chemicals and health issues that result from aerosol spraying.

Cutschall chose to use pastels and tar paper for her work based on the chemical interaction between the two. Once combined, the image gradually ages and yellows, further enhancing the idea of toxic skies.  

Cutschall is an Oglala-Sicangu Lakota artist from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and Professor Emerita at Brandon University in Brandon, Manitoba. She spends her winters in Spearfish, where she uses her home as a studio to create artwork.

A painter, draughtsperson, installation artist and sculptor, Cutschall has had an accomplished career as an artist. Her earlier work focused on Lakota creation mythology and themes of sacred time and space. Her recent work includes the "Geo-Engineered" series. Her work has been exhibited in both the United States and Canada.

Cutschall designed the Spirit of Warriors bronze sculpture at the Little Bighorn Battlefield in Montan and she was part of a group that produced a large scale, public sculpture for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Cutschall co-curated an exhibit for the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. and has served on numerous art-related boards.

The Ruddell Gallery is open during regular Student Union hours: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. All shows at the Ruddell Gallery are free of charge. For more information, contact James Knutson or Dave Wilson at 605-642-6706 or the Student Union Information Center at 605-642-6062.


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