fbpx
facebook app symbol  twitter  linkedin  instagram 1
 

RICHMOND, Calif. — The Richmond Art Center in Richmond, Calif. is hosting Time and Again, an exhibition centered on artist Rigo 23’s monumental sculptural tribute to imprisoned Leonard Peltier (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe).

Peltier has been incarcerated for the past 45 years for the murder of two FBI agents, who were shot and killed at Oglala on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975. To many American Indians and others, Peltier, who turned 77-years-old on Sept. 12, is a symbol of an oppressive federal system that confines Native people to a dismal place in American society.

Want more Native News? Get the free daily newsletter today.

Rigo 23 is a well-known artist in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has exhibited his work internationally for over three decades, often placing murals, paintings, sculptures, and tile work in public venues.  

The Time and Again exhibition’s main feature is a sculpture made from California redwood, foam, plywood, and metal that is based on a small hand-painted self-portrait Leonard Peltier created in prison. The statue’s 9’x6’ base replicates the dimensions of a traditional prison cell. Each time the work is shown, the exhibition incorporates selections from the growing collection of photographs of supporters standing in solidarity on the statue’s feet.

Community celebrates Leonard Peltier’s 77th birthday on Sunday, Sept. 12 at Richmond Art Center. (Photo/Facebook)Community celebrates Leonard Peltier’s 77th birthday on Sunday, Sept. 12 at Richmond Art Center. (Photo/Facebook)The sculpture became controversial when it was completed in 2016 and first shown at the Katzen Art Center at the American University, Washington D.C. Facing pressure from the FBI Agents Association and a bomb threat made to the university on the same day, the artwork was abruptly removed from display. It took one year to return the sculpture back to Rigo 23.

Since its return to the artist, it has been exhibited at the Main Museum in Los Angeles (2018), SOMArts (2019) and most recently atop the roof of the San Francisco Institute of Art overlooking Alcatraz Island (2020).

The statue’s feet, which are detachable, have taken their own journey, traveling to significant sites of Native Resistance across the U.S. including Standing Rock, Alcatraz Island, Wounded Knee, Crow Dog’s Paradise, and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Supporters have been invited to stand on the feet as an expression of solidarity – and be photographed. In summer 2021, Richmond Art Center also welcomed members of the community to do so.

The current exhibition includes materials such as original sketches for the banner “It’s 1999, Why is Leonard Peltier Still in Prison?” mounted outside the Berkeley Art Museum; photographs from the Tate Wikikuwa Museum installed at the deYoung Museum that same year; brochure and zine from theTate Wikikuwa Museum at the Warehouse Gallery in Syracuse University where the Leonard Peltier sculpture premiered, in 2011; and historical photographs by the late Michelle Vignes documenting seminal events in the history of the American Indian Movement.

Arthur Jacobs contributed to this article from Emeryville, Calif.

Exhibition: September 9 – November 18, 2021
Richmond Art Center
2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804
Gallery Hours: Thurs 10am-2pm, Sat 10am-2pm, or by appt 510-620-6772

 

More Stories Like This

Bay Area's Trailblazing Two-Spirit Organization Turns 25
Q&A: Joel D. Montgrand (Rocky Cree), Star of 'True Detective: Night Country' and 'Avatar: The Last Airbender'
Native Bidaské with Miciana Alise on the Debut of Feature Film "Fancy Dance"
Sterlin Harjo Teams Up With Ethan Hawke for New FX Series
Mother Tongue Film Festival Opens at the National Museum of the American Indian On February 21st

Native Perspective.  Native Voices.  Native News. 

We launched Native News Online because the mainstream media often overlooks news that is important is Native people. We believe that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers.  We hope you'll consider making a donation to support our efforts so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous-centered journalism. Thank you.

 
About The Author
Native News Online Staff
Author: Native News Online StaffEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Native News Online is one of the most-read publications covering Indian Country and the news that matters to American Indians, Alaska Natives and other Indigenous people. Reach out to us at [email protected].