Members of Matika Wilbur’s Project 562 team returned to Lawrence University in recent days to work with Native American students to restore a mural on the side of the Buchanan Kiewit Wellness Center that was first created as part of a mid-April convocation.
Due to harsh weather in April, the Project 562 Indigenous Land Project mural was unable to properly cure during its installation. Members of LUNA (Lawrence University Native Americans) and UWGB’s Intertribal Student Organization continued to work closely with the Project 562 artistic team to repair the mural once weather conditions improved.
That work has now paid off. The large mural, featuring the faces of three generations of Native Americans, is back in place. It includes the words Indigenize Education.
The mural was not created to be a permanent installation. The wheat paste project is expected to last two to five years, depending in part on weather conditions.
Wilbur, creator and director of Project 562, has used photography and art installations to tell the story of Native American communities.
“I’m so proud of you,” Wilbur said at the time of the
April convocation, addressing the more than a dozen Native American students
from Lawrence and UWGB who helped create the mural. “And I’m proud of Lawrence
for taking this huge step. This is a huge step to have indigenous representation
on a college campus.”
Wilbur, a visual storyteller from the Swinomish and
Tulalip tribes of coastal Washington, has been traveling the country — and
beyond — as part of Project 562, visiting close to 900 tribal communities in
all. The 562 is a reference to the number of federally recognized tribes in the
United States at the time the project launched in 2012.
After her travels are done, Project 562 is expected to live on in books, exhibitions, lecture series, web sites, new curriculum and podcasts, Wilbur said.
“Matika has a magical way of giving our Native
students and their allies permission to acknowledge and be proud of their own
cultural traditions, families and indigenous ways, even in spaces that may have
not been historically designed for us,” Brigetta Miller, an associate professor
of music in the Lawrence Conservatory of Music and a member of the
Stockbridge-Munsee (Mohican) Nation, said at the convocation.
“This work is more than making art for the sake of social justice,” she said. “It’s a way to truthfully show who we are. It’s a way for us to tell our own story.”
Update from Brigetta Miller: Due to unexpected inclement weather, this Project 562 Indigenous Land Project mural was unable to properly cure during its installation. Members of LUNA (Lawrence University Native Americans) and UWGB’s Intertribal Student Organization will be working closely with the Project 562 artistic team to repair the mural in the coming weeks once temperatures warm. Our campus community is deeply committed to caring for the mural and all that it represents. Thank you for your patience.
Story by Ed Berthiaume / Communications
The weather didn’t cooperate, but the work got done. And the results are beautiful.
large mural featuring the faces of three generations of Native Americans was
unveiled on the Lawrence University campus Thursday following a convocation
address by Matika Wilbur, the creator and director of Project 562.
“I would never have dreamed this as I was daring to dream as a young girl,” Wilbur told a nearly full Memorial Chapel during the spring convocation.
so proud of you,” Wilbur said, addressing the more than a dozen Native American
students from Lawrence and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay who helped create
the mural over the past five days. “And I’m proud of Lawrence for taking this
huge step. This is a huge step to have indigenous representation on a college
timeline for finishing the mural on the north-facing exterior wall of the
Buchanan Kiewit Wellness Center was accelerated early in Wilbur’s week-long
artist-in-residency because of the snow and rain that had been expected
Wednesday night into Thursday morning. She worked long days with the Native
students to finish the mural before the snow arrived.
The non-permanent mural, made with wheat paste, is expected to last two to five years before it begins to fade. How long an outdoor wheat paste installation lasts depends on weather conditions.
Following her convocation address, Wilbur led a walk from Memorial Chapel to the Wellness Center for a showing of the mural. A reception was held in the Steitz Hall atrium, where some of the participating students thanked Wilbur and her team for dedicating themselves to a project that reassures Native communities, especially young people, that they matter, that their faces should be seen and their voices should be heard.
a visual storyteller from the Swinomish and Tulalip tribes of coastal
Washington, has been traveling the country as part of Project 562, using
photography and art installations to connect with tribal communities and help
redirect the narrative on indigenous people. The 562 is a reference to the
number of federally recognized tribes in the United States at the time the
project launched in 2012.
sold most of her belongings, loaded her cameras into an RV and set out to
document lives in tribal communities across all 50 states. It’s gone even beyond
that, she said.
“I’ve also gone into urban Indian communities, also to Arctic communities, north of the border and south of the border and into the Caribbean islands,” she said. “So when, or if, this project is ever complete, I will have been to something like 900 tribal communities.”
Wilbur, a celebrated photographer, is expecting the travel to wrap up in about six months. After that, Project 562 will play out in books, exhibitions, lecture series, web sites, new curriculum and podcasts.
talked about her long and winding journey during Thursday’s convocation, which
included a performance by traditional Menominee flutist Wade Fernandez, an
Oneida drum/dance group and an opening invocation spoken in the Menominee
language by Dennis Kenote, chairman of the Menominee Nation Language and
Miller, an associate professor of music in the Lawrence Conservatory of Music
and a member of the Stockbridge-Munsee (Mohican) Nation, introduced Wilbur. Miller
is a 1989 Lawrence graduate who teaches ethnic studies courses in Native
identity, history, and culture and works with Native American students on
campus as a faculty advisor to the LUNA (Lawrence University Native Americans)
student organization. She hailed Wilbur’s convocation and mural project as a
historic moment for Lawrence, the Native students who are here and area tribes.
“Matika has a magical way of giving our Native students and their allies permission to acknowledge and be proud of their own cultural traditions, families and indigenous ways, even in spaces that may have not been historically designed for us,” she said.
the week of activities, students could be heard speaking to one another in
their Native languages, Miller said, calling that a reflection of the pride that
emanates from this project.
work is more than making art for the sake of social justice,” Miller said. “It’s
a way to truthfully show who we are. It’s a way for us to tell our own story.”
that story, and giving young people an opportunity to embrace their own story,
is what first ignited Project 562, Wilbur said. She had been asked to teach at
a tribal school in the northwest, and at first hestitated.
turns out I loved working with kids,” she said. “It did something special for
me. It recentered me in my community and helped me to realize my purpose and realign
me with what I am meant to do. It taught me that I have this role where I’m
supposed to feed the people, I’m supposed to participate in making my community
a healthier, happier place.”
That experience teaching led her to her next revelation, one that would put her on the road to Project 562. She said she finally fully realized that the true Native American story wasn’t being told or taught.
“It was while I was teaching, I saw over and over and over again that the American dream did not include us,” Wilbur said. “I realized that when Lincoln said, ‘For the people,’ he did not mean Native American people. I came to understand that the core of our curriculum is not based in truth. It does not cultivate our indigenous intelligence.”
So she set out to change that, one photograph and one art installation at a time.
The large mural now visible at the center of the Lawrence campus speaks to that — a new mindset, a new message about respect and truth and inclusion that needs to reverberate long after the Project 562 team has left Appleton.
a Native professor here on this campus, this project gives me hope for the future
generations,” Miller said. “It’s history unfolding before our eyes.”
Lawrence University President Mark Burstein officially opens the university’s 170th academic year, along with its 2018-19 convocation series, Thursday, Sept. 13 with his annual matriculation address.
All convocations begin at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel and are free and open to the public.
Now in his sixth year as Lawrence’s 16th president, Burstein has focused on creating learning communities in which all members can reach their full potential.
Prior to Lawrence, Burstein served nine years as executive vice president at Princeton University and 10 years at Columbia University as a vice president working in human resources, student services and facilities management.
Joining Burstein on this year’s series will be:
Oct. 23 — Katherine Cramer, professor of political science, UW-Madison Known for her innovative approach to the study of public opinion, Cramer presents “Listening Well in a World that Turns Away.”
Her scholarship focuses on the way Americans make sense of politics and their place in it. She is the author of “The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker,” which examines rural resentment toward cities and its implications for contemporary politics. The book earned Cramer the 2017 American Political Science Association’s Qualitative and Multi-Method Research Section Giovanni Sartori Award for the best book developing or using qualitative methods.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science at UW-Madison, she earned her Ph.D. in political science at the University of Michigan.
Jan. 17, 2019 — Phil Plait, astronomer A popular science writer based in Boulder, Colo., Plait is the mind behind the blog “Bad Astronomy,” on which he tries to debunk scientific myths and misconceptions. In 2009, Time magazine included it on its list of the 25 best science blogs. He will deliver the address “Strange New Worlds: Is Earth Special?”
While he’s never been a NASA employee, he was part of the Hubble Space Telescope team at NASA ‘s Goddard Space Flight Center and has been involved with NASA-sponsored public outreach programs for several satellites that study high-energy forms of light emitted by black holes, exploding stars and super-dense neutrons stars.
April 11, 2019 — Matika Wilbur, director/photographer Project 562 Wilbur, a member of the Swinomish and Tulalip peoples of coastal Washington, has been on a five-year mission to change the way we see Native America. As a visual storyteller, she has traveled the country with her camera, creating portrait art of the lives and experiences of people from the nation’s indigenous communities. She will present the address, “Changing the Way We See Native America.”
A one-time fashion photographer who earned a bachelor’s degree from the prestigious Brooks Institute of Photography, Wilbur launched Project 562 in 2012 with a goal of photographing and collecting stories of Native Americans from each federally-recognized Indian tribe in the United States. To date she has visited more than 300 sovereign nations in 40 states documenting the diversity, vibrancy and realness of Indian country.
She has taught visual arts at Tulalip Heritage High School in Washington state, providing training and inspiration for the indigenous youth of her own community.
Her photography has been exhibited in national and international venues, including the Seattle Art Museum, the Royal British Columbia Museum of Fine Arts and France’s Nantes Museum of Fine Arts.
May 22, 2018 — David Burrows, professor of psychology and director of inclusive pedagogy Burrows, whose address is titled, “Education for Effective Action,” is the 10th recipient of Lawrence’s Faculty Convocation Award, which represents the judgment of faculty peers that the person’s professional work is of high quality and deserves the honor of selection.
His career in higher education spans more than four-and-a half decades, including the past 13 years at Lawrence after joining the administration in 2005 as provost and dean of the faculty. In 2017, he returned to the classroom as a full-time member of the psychology department, where he teaches “Principles of Psychology,” “Cognitive Psychology” and Freshman Studies.
Burrows, who earned a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, taught and served as psychology department chair at the State University of New York at Brockport and spent 17 years at Skidmore College, where he was department chair and associate dean of the faculty. Immediately prior to Lawrence, Burrows served as vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college at Beloit College from 1997-2005.
His current scholarship focuses on how students learn in college settings. He has worked with students to help them develop good self-evaluative skills as an enhancement for learning and is interested in the concept of engagement as a critical factor in learning and cognitive development.
AboutLawrenceUniversity Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.