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08 Nov 2011

Presumptions and Portrayals: The Education of Charlene Teters

Related Event: Presumptions and Portrayals: The Education of Charlene Teters with speakers Charlene Teters

Charlene Teters will discuss her career as an activist and artist. Her activist career began with a vigorous dispute with the University of Illinois over their use of a stereotypical image of an American Indian for the school’s sports mascot. Teters describes her call to action: “‘If not you, then who?’ Kwame Ture–also known as Stokely Carmichael–said this to me before his lecture at the University of Illinois in 1989… He understood his role as a leader was to groom new leadership. That day he lifted me to a position of leadership in a movement that has defined my artwork for 20 years. It was also a lesson that captures the importance of people leading in times of crisis and need.”

The history of Teters’ work is the subject of a nationally aired award-winning documentary In Whose Honor? by Jay Rosenstein, which is included in SITE’s exhibition Agitated Histories. Her installation workObelisk: To the Heroes was featured in SITE Santa Fe’s Third International Biennial. Teters is a professor and Studio Arts Department Chair at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe and a founding Board Member of the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and the Media.