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‘A Bundle of Sticks is Strong: Rooting for the Home Team’

August 31, 2010


Over the course of the summer, I have been crazy busy. I finished a book manuscript, wrote a couple of essays for books, worked on a new series of prints, did the artwork for Michigan Indian Day, and it seems like a dozen other projects as well. Of course, this was all coupled with a two-week residency at the National Museum of the American Indian in DC and lots of trips Up North (as we say in Michigan) with my daughters.
Tomorrow, I will be driving to Cleveland to install a solo exhibition based on eighteen new prints that I created from incised baseball bats. Thinking primarily about immigration and the usage of Native peoples as sporting mascots, the show brings together a team of ‘Indians’ and ‘Immigrants’.

According to the Artist’s Statement:
Known as the national pastime or America’s game, baseball occupies a central role in our nation’s collective imagination. Phrases derived from the ballpark pepper our everyday speech: in the big leagues, covering your bases, hitting a home run, out in left field, on deck, rain check, right off the bat, stepping up to the plate, striking out, and swinging for the fences, to name only a few. The game has equally been seen as an emblem of our country abroad and has been enthusiastically accepted by fans worldwide, particularly in Latin America and Japan.
Against this diamond shaped playing field, Dylan Miner proposes that a different game is being played, one that reveals truths of our collective past and points toward potential futures. As an artist and historian, Miner discloses that Native peoples are commonly relegated to either the dustbin of history or to the rural marginality of reservation life. Immigrants, particularly those from the global south, are inversely presented as a threat to the future of America. This exhibition challenges conventional notions of what it means to be a United States citizen at a time when even the most basic Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment is being contested.
Bringing together a series of eighteen relief prints created directly from the inventive use of incised Louisville Slugger baseball bats, Miner has composed a full roster of positions that compose two opposing teams: Indians vs. Immigrants. His muscularly rendered compositions of professional baseball players and community leaders unite the contested fields of sports and politics in a singular manner by posing the question of whether you are rooting for the home team. Who is the home team after all?
Scope more at the Cleveland State University Art Gallery
I’ll upload photos from the installation later this week!!


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