Teresa Baker, Out West
October 18th - December 1st
Opening Reception: October 18th @ 6 pm
Local poet, Jennifer Foerster will present a new poem in conjunction with the exhibition
Conversation with Claudia La Rocco, Teresa Baker and Jennifer Foerster - Sunday October 20th @ 1pm.
Interface is pleased to present, Out West, a solo exhibition of new work by Teresa Baker. Baker creates evocative, mixed media works that experiment with texture, color and space, often using unorthodox synthetic materials, such as vinyl and AstroTurf. The works for her show at Interface mark the first time Baker has incorporated these materials with natural ones such as willow and buffalo hide, which relate to her Native American heritage and evoke her experience growing up “out west” on the Northern Plains.
For the first time in my practice, I am combining the natural and unnatural.
I always draw from memory of moments and physical spaces; hours spent on the Northern Plains landscape where I am from, exploring, walking, looking, working- in a place much bigger than ourselves. A land and history that is important to my Mandan and Hidatsa tribes. I have typically used artificial materials to explore this idea of expanse: vinyl, synthetic felt, and AstroTurf. While often used for specific purposes, I find these materials have a bare quality to them that allow them to be transformed—an openness, like the wide plains landscape.
But, as I carried buffalo hide, sinew, and buckskin around with me for years, waiting to incorporate them in some way, I have finally found an opening: now combining them with willow, solder, synthetic yarn and AstroTurf.
All of these materials are taken out of the contexts for which they are typically used. They are pieces of other things, reframed in a new ecosystem where they rely on one another to survive. They all have their function within the work—but they no longer operate as they were intended.
Baskets are something we Hidatsas have always made. As a horticultural tribe, we need baskets, often called ‘burden baskets,’ to carry produce from the garden—always the duties of the women. I teach myself to make baskets, but they do not function. They are too tall, too wobbly, not practical for burdens.
This work is a long history of fragments, coming together to form a whole.
- Teresa Baker
Local poet, Jennifer Foerster, has been commissioned to present a new poem, which will be released at the opening reception for Baker’s show. There will be a conversation with with Baker and Foerster facilitated by SFMOMA Open Space editor, Claudia La Rocco, on Sunday October 20th at 1 pm.
This exhibition is part of our Creative Engagements series and is generously supported by funds from the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation.
Teresa Baker (Mandan/Hidatsa) Baker received her BA in Visual Arts from Fordham University, New York in 2008, followed by her MFA from the California College of Arts in San Francisco, 2013. Baker received the Headlands Center for the Arts Tournesol Award in 2013. She has recently had exhibitions at the Art Museum of Southeast Texas and Gray Contemporary (Houston). In the Bay Area, she has shown at the Luggage Store Gallery, Et Al., Kiria Koula, YBCA, and Interface Gallery, among others. In 2018, her visual essay, Sego Lily, was published by Open Space (SFMOMA).
Jennifer Elise Foerster is an alumna of the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) and received her MFA from the Vermont College of the Fine Arts. She is the recipient of a NEA Creative Writing Fellowship (2017), a Lannan Foundation Writing Residency Fellowship (2014), and was a Robert Frost Fellow in Poetry at Breadloaf (2017) and a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford (2008-2010). She has also received fellowships to attend Soul Mountain Retreat, Caldera Arts, the Naropa Summer Writing Program, Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Hermitage Artist Retreat. A member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma, she teaches at the IAIA MFA Low-Residency Program, and co-directs For Girls Becoming, an arts mentorship program for Mvskoke youth in Oklahoma. Jennifer is the author of Leaving Tulsa, (2013) and Bright Raft int the Afterweather (2018), both published by the University of Arizona Press. This spring, she will be completing her PhD in English and Literary Arts at the University of Denver. Jennifer grew up living internationally and now lives in San Francisco.