2015 TAM Symposium of Western American Art

SymposiumHeader2Voices, Views & Visions:

New Perspectives on the Arts of the West

This symposium was held in April 2015 and provided an interdisciplinary forum to present a broad context for understanding the Haub Family Collection of Western American Art. This annual symposium aims to address the evolving definition of the American West and its legacy in American arts through questions such as: What is the West? Who is the West? Where is the West? Featuring diverse voices from regional and national speakers, the presentations will contribute to larger dialogues in art history, Native American and American culture studies, national and regional history, and contemporary issues.

Guest Speaker Videos

All videos are in high definition. If you experience choppy video, clicking the “HD” button will turn off HD playback, improving performance.

Mindy N. Besaw

Curator, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Mindy N. Besaw is curator at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. Prior to Crystal Bridges, Besaw served as curator of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Whitney Western Art Museum in Cody, Wyoming, where she spearheaded the renovation and new installation of the Whitney for its 50th anniversary in 2009. Besaw has written and lectured on a variety of artists, covering 19th-to 21st-century America. She is the co-curator of Painted Journeys: The Art of John Mix Stanley, the first examination of Stanley as an important 19th-century American artist (opening in Cody in the summer of 2015, eventually traveling to the Tacoma Art Museum in the winter of 2016).

Besaw earned her master’s degree in art history at the University of Denver where she focused on museum studies, and her bachelor’s degree in art history at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Besaw is currently working to complete a PhD in American Art History from the University of Kansas.

Douglas C. Sackman

Professor of Environmental, Western, and Pacific Northwestern History, University of Puget Sound

A professor of history at the University of Puget Sound, Douglas Sackman explores environmental, Native American, and Western and Pacific Northwestern history in his teaching and research. He is the author of Wild Men: Ishi and Kroeber in the Wilderness of Modern America  (Oxford 2010),  Orange Empire: California and the Fruits of Eden  (U. California, 2005), and the editor of  A Companion to American Environmental History  (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). Doug earned hisPhD in history at the University of California, Irvine, and his BA in political science at Reed College in Portland, Oregon.

Hal Cannon

Independent radio producer, musician, and Founding Director of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering

Hal Cannon is a composer/songwriter, folklorist and radio producer. As the founding Director of the Western Folklife Center and the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, he has published dozens of books and recordings on the folk arts of the West. He performs his music as a solo performer singing and playing songs inspired by the banjo. He also plays various stringed instruments and is a vocalist for the ensembles 3hattrio and Red Rock Rondo. He has received three Wrangler Awards from the Cowboy Hall of Fame, the Will Rogers Lifetime Achievement Award, the American Folklore Society’s Botkin Award, and the Utah Governor’s Awards in both the arts and humanities.   He has co-produced over one-hundred features for NPR and PBS with Taki Telonidis and the Western Folklife Center and is currently a regular documentary producer for Australia’s Radio National.

Migizi  Pensoneau  (Ponca/Ojibwe)  

Screenwriter, 1491s (sketch comedy troupe)

Migizi Pensoneau (Ponca/Ojibwe) was born and raised in Minnesota, and attended Wesleyan University. Migizi has worked for several Hollywood studios and independent production companies as a contract writer and a producer for film and television. He is the recipient of awards, fellowships and grants from ABC/Disney, The Institute of American Indian Arts, the Sundance Institute, and the Lannan Foundation, among others. Migizi has published several pieces on American Indians and popular culture. He is currently pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM, and is an adjunct lecturer  at Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, MT. He is a founding member of the 1491s.