John Michael Kohler Arts Center hosts community celebration of HMong Textile Art

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John Michael Kohler Arts Center hosts community celebration of HMong Textile Art
Ka Oskar Ly, Ancestral Futures, 2023; cotton, indigo, acrylic paint, and LED light strips. On view in Cloth Origins: Textiles from the HMong Journey. Courtesy of the artist. Photo courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

SHEBOYGAN, WI.- The John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, opened two exhibitions exploring contemporary and traditional HMong art with a free community celebration. The exhibition Cloth as Land: HMong Indigeneity, on view Nov. 18 through June 16, 2024, features artwork by three contemporary Hmong artists and works from JMKAC’s collection of Hmong textiles. HMong Indigeneity lives in teb chaws—land, country, and place. For a people without teb or chaws, however, where has HMong Indigeneity gone when it is still very much alive? This exhibition gives form to HMong Indigeneity by looking at kinship through cloth as land.

Cloth Origins: Textiles from the HMong Journey, on view through Jan. 14, 2024, unravels ancient textile practices rooted in human connections, landscapes, and ancestral wisdom that nourish people through kinship.

Special guests at the celebration included curator Pachia Lucy Vang; artists Ger Xiong/Ntxawg Xyooj, Pao Houa Her, Tshab Her, Kaying Yang of RedGreen Rivers, Xao Yang Lee, and Ka Oskar Ly; and exhibition graphic designer Christina Vang.

Cloth as Land: Hmong Indigeneity is funded by grants from the Henry Luce Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Terra Foundation for American Art, Travel Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Humanities, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional support provided by the Kohler Trust for Arts and Education, Ruth Foundation for the Arts, the Frederic Cornell Kohler Charitable Trust, Kohler Foundation, Inc., and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Founded in 1967, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (JMKAC) is dedicated to generating creative exchanges between an international community of artists and a diverse public. Central to its mission is promoting understanding and appreciation of the work of self-taught and contemporary artists through original exhibitions, commissioned works of art, performing arts, community arts initiatives, and publications.

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