Perpich News

Missy Whiteman (Visual Arts 1995) Shares Artist Talk with Studio Arts Students

October 17, 2023

Missy Whiteman (Visual Arts 1995) joined Studio Arts students and faculty on Monday, October 16, 2023 for an hour-long artist talk about her recent work and practice. Whiteman is one of the visiting artists who attended the Mini Portfolio Day exercise in early October and provided portfolio feedback to Perpich Visual Arts and Media Arts seniors to help them prepare for Portfolio Day on October 9, 2023. It was wonderful to welcome her back again to share her own artwork. Missy has a tremendous resume including work with the Walker Art Center and Hennepin Theater Trust. She is doing important work in the community supporting other artists with applying for grants and teaching indigenous youth to create their own films. She shared several of her short films and music videos with Perpich students.

Aiyana Beaulieu (Visual Arts 2024) was part of the audience for Missy’s presentation. “I really resonated with Missy’s approach to sharing her work through many art forms and mediums,” said Beaulieu. “As an interdisciplinary artist myself, I admire the work she’s created. I especially admire how she seeks to share that and support others on their artistic journey as well. It was moving and empowering to see the messages Missy has shared about indigenous experiences and truth through her art.”

“It was wonderful to about hear Missy’s focus as an interdisciplinary artist,” said Kathryn D’Elia, Visual Arts Instructor and Studio Arts Chair. “She believes that working in multiple mediums enables you to speak to your viewer in more than one language, which I found to be such an empowering idea. I also enjoy that Missy combines things she loves, like hip hop, in with telling vital indigenous stories and the rights they are still fighting for. It provides a beat and a contemporary immersion in with really poignant and hard truths.”

Missy Whiteman (Northern Arapaho and Kickapoo), is an Emmy-nominated writer, director, producer, curator, and multimedia artist. Whiteman understands her work to be a voice for her ancestors, their stories, and ancestral wisdom. Her late father, Ernest Whiteman, influenced her work with the gift of artistic vision and practice of art as ceremony.

While based in part Indigenous traditional practices and perspectives, her work also addresses themes of historical genocide, loss of culture, and land in relation to colonization and healing though the creative process. Whiteman connects life, death, spirit world, and the rebirth process through restorative activation of spirit, DNA memory, language, and cultural revitalization.

Many of Missy’s films have screened on international, national, and local venues such as The Walker Art Center, National Geographic All Roads Festival, and Bilbao, Spain. Whiteman is a current recipient of the McKnight Fellowship for Media Arts, Hennepin Theatre Trust/All My Relations Digital Public Arts Fellowship, 2020 Forecast Public Art Mid-Career Fellowship 2020, and is an alum of The Sundance Native Lab Fellowship and Jerome Fellowship for her short film project The Coyote Way: Going Back Home.

Her current project, The Coyote Way X: Expanded Cinemam, is a multi-dimensional cinematic experience of The Coyote Way: Going Back Home short film intertwined with performance, live score, video mapping, and 360/VR.