Ho-Chunk photographer Tom Jones receiving first major retrospective

The Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) presents “Tom Jones: Here We Stand,” the first major retrospective of contemporary Ho-Chunk photographer Tom Jones. The exhibition will be on view July 23–October 9, 2022. An opening reception with the artist will be held on Saturday, July 23, 2:00–4:00.

The exhibition features 120 photographs from sixteen bodies of work spanning twenty-five years of Ho-Chunk photographer Tom Jones career. While each series is distinctly different in subject and photographic medium, Jones has remained consistent: Native American peoples are not vanishing, assimilating, or frozen in time. Native American communities are diverse, changing, and multidimensional with a commitment to family, land, and tribal community.

Working as a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, Jones deploys the lens of contemporary photography to explore personal and deeply felt issues of race, identity, and cultural appropriation.

“Unlike the photographers of late 1800s and early 1900s such as Edward S. Curtis whose staged scenes captured a romanticized Indian culture, Jones’s portraits are firmly anchored in present day,” Director of Exhibitions Graeme Reid, who curated the exhibition, said. “As an ‘insider’ his photography offers a counter-narrative to the traditional depictions of Indigenous culture.”

The Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend is open Wednesday through Sunday, 9:30–4:00. Admission as low as $15 provides unlimited visits for one full year.

Tom Jones, Zach (Ojibwe) (from the Encountering Cultures series), 2008. Archival digital print; 50 x 40 in. Courtesy of the artist.
Tom Jones, Zach (Ojibwe) (from the Encountering Cultures series), 2008. Archival digital print; 50 x 40 in. Courtesy of the artist.

About the Artist

The Madison-based artist has earned a national and international reputation for his powerful and insightful photographs, including a recent second-place prize at the National Portrait Gallery’s 2022 Outwin Boochever competition. His work is in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the University of New Mexico Art Museum, Polaroid Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, Minneapolis Institute of Art, and many others.

He has a BFA, MFA, and MA, and is a professor of photography at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

An accompanying catalogue provides a thorough and sensitive examination of the photographer who is rapidly becoming the voice of his generation. Included are essays by Jane L. Aspinwall, curator of photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg and Molli A. Pauliot, a doctoral candidate at University of Wisconsin–Madison in the Department of Anthropology and member of the Ho-Chunk Nation.

The catalogue includes a full translation of Pauliot’s essay into the Ho-Chunk language by Henning Garvin, professor of linguistics at UW–Madison and Ho-Chunk language specialist. The catalogue can be purchased in the museum shop.

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