Bently Spang

July 14, 2014 - March 13, 2015

Bently Spang is a multi-disciplinary artist, curator, educator and writer working in mixed media sculpture, video, performance, and installation. He is also an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Nation in Montana, the home of the Tsistsistas/Suhtaio people. Years of exposure to the contemporary and historical artwork of his people, in both community and museum contexts, have helped the artist understand his role as a contemporary Tsistsistas/Suhtaio artist. Just as his relatives in the past did he deliberately expresses himself in a wide variety of mediums, modes of expression and thematic directions, refusing to limit his work to singular directions, material categories or thematic structures.

Spang seeks to express his experience as a contemporary Tsistsistas/Suhtaio, creating a document of this time period for future generations just as his relatives in the past did for the current generations. In so doing, he embraces the complexity of the contemporary and historical issues surrounding cultural identity and place, exploring the inevitable concerns that arise—personal, communal, environmental and cultural—when the two converge. The artist’s ongoing relationship with his reservation homeland is often a central element of his work, and he and his people continue to devise strategies to meet the challenges of today and ensure the survival of the Tsistsistas/Suhtaio people.

Spang’s artwork is in museum and private collections in the US and Europe, and he has exhibited widely in the US, Europe, Mexico, Canada, and South America. Museum collections include the Denver Art Museum, National Museum of the American Indian and the Montclair Art Museum.

Three recent exhibitions of note include: 2014-Tekcno Powwow 3, mixed media performance, University of Wyoming; 2014-On Fire, single-channel video installation with drawings, University of Wyoming Art Museum; 2014-Indienes des Plaines, Musee Du Quai Branly, Paris, France.

Currently Spang works as an independent artist and maintains a studio in Billings, Montana.