The work of UW-Madison’s John Hitchcock and Tom Jones is currently being showcased in the “Original Warrior” exhibit at the National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago.
Hitchcock is the School of Education’s associate dean for the arts and a professor of printmaking with the School’s Art Department. Jones is a professor of photography with the Art Department.
This exhibit, which was co-curated by Jones, features the work of Native American artists, including Rick Bartow, Miridith Campbell, T.C. Cannon, Melissa Doud, Teri Greeves, Monty Little, Clarence Monegar, Lloyd Kiva New, and Horace Poolaw. Many of the artists are also veterans, and all echo the long tradition many Native American nations have of honoring and welcoming back veterans into their community, commenting on the complex relationships between warrior and community, warrior and war, and warrior and service.
Hitchcock’s work uses imagery from his past to examine assimilation and control. He grew up on his family’s tribal land in the Wichita mountains of Western Oklahoma, which was across from Fort Sill, the U.S. military’s oldest field artillery base. He combines images of these two places, exploring community, land, and culture by depicting U.S. military weaponry and mythological hybrid creatures from the Wichita Mountains together.
Jones, a civilian and apart of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin, uses photography to explore experiences of American Indian communities through identity and geographic place. He reflects upon the relationship between warrior and community, saying the “role and responsibility of the veteran is still central to our traditional ceremonies. I am in awe of these people, their experiences, their sacrifice and their dedication to community.”
The exhibit runs through April 22, 2019 at the National Veterans Art Museum, 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago.