James Luna Exhibition Held at The Martha and Robert Fogelman Galleries of Contemporary Art
The Martha and Robert Fogelman Galleries of Contemporary Art at the University of Memphis displayed the work of James Luna, American Indian performance and installation artist this spring. Luna is a leading figure in the field of contemporary Native American Art. His performances and multimedia installations have been at national and international venues. For the last 30 years, his work has explored Native American issues in a contemporary style inspired by his personal experience and observations.
According to Luna, installation/performance art which uses a variety of media provides the best opportunity for Native American expression. From that perspective, his work confronts the nature of cultural identity, the tensions generated by cultural isolation and the dangers of cultural misrepresentation.
"It is my feeling that artwork in the medias of Performance and Installation offers an opportunity like no other for Indian people to express themselves in traditional art forms of ceremony, dance, oral traditions and contemporary thought, without compromise," Luna said in his artistic statement. "Within these (nontraditional) spaces, one can use a variety of media, such as found or made objects, sounds, video and slides so that there is no limit to how and what is expressed."
Luna is a Luiseno Indian and lives on the La Jolla Indian Reservation in San Diego County, Calif. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in studio art from the University of California, Irvine, and a master's in counseling from San Diego State University. In addition to his art, he is a full-time academic counselor at Palomar College and has taught art part-time at UC San Diego.
Open regular University business hours, The Martha and Robert Fogelman Galleries of Contemporary Art is located in rooms 230 and 240 of the Art and Communication Building, 3715 Central Ave., across from Holiday Inn. For more information, call the Department of Art at 901.678.2216 or go to www.memphis.edu/art/fogelmangalleries.php.