knoxville news
knoxville news entertainment rss linkedin twitter facebook contact smoky mountains knoxville legal notices travel knoxville sports business knoxville daily sun lifestyle food knoxville daily sun advertising about knoxville daily sun

McClung Museum presents exhibition of Native American artist Will Wilson
Published August 18, 2023

KNOXVILLE – The McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, brings the acclaimed exhibition, In Conversation: Will Wilson, to the local community. With over $35,500 in grant support, the museum will feature the powerful works of Diné (Navajo) photographer Will Wilson in a moving exhibition exploring the importance of self-representation.

mcclung museum will wilson exhibition
Will Wilson (b. 1969), Will Wilson, Citizen of the Navajo Nation, Trans-customary Diné Artist, 2013, printed 2018, archival pigment print from wet plate collodion scan, 22 x 17 in. Art Bridges. Photography by Brad Flowers
Will Wilson Nakotah LaRance
Will Wilson (b. 1969), Nakotah LaRance, Citizen of the Hopi Nation, 6-Time World Champion Hoop Dancer, Member, Dancing Earth, Indigenous Contemporary Dance Creations, 2012, printed 2018, archival pigment print from wet plate collodion scan, 22 x 17 in. Art Bridges. Photography by Brad Flowers
will wilson Raven Knight
Will Wilson (b. 1969), Raven Knight, Citizen of the Jicarilla Apache Nation, Dancer, Dancing Earth, Indigenous Contemporary Dance Creations, 2012, printed 2018, archival pigment print from wet plate collodion scan, 22 x 17 in. Art Bridges. Photography by Brad Flowers

In Conversation: Will Wilson opens at the McClung Museum on August 18 and will include a range of engaging programming for both the university and the Knoxville community. The exhibition was made possible through Art Bridges, a foundation created by philanthropist Alice Walton that is focused on expanding access to American art.

“This exhibition gives the McClung Museum another opportunity to amplify Indigenous voices and perspectives and foster meaningful dialogue within our communities,” said Executive Director Claudio Gómez. “We are grateful for the generous support of the Art Bridges Foundation which has made it possible for us to present Will Wilson's exhibition in Knoxville.”

Showcasing 17 portraits from Wilson’s Critical Indigenous Photographic Exchange project, the exhibition is dedicated to capturing a contemporary perspective of Native North America. In Conversation: Will Wilson challenges viewers to think critically about how Native peoples have been portrayed in photography over time.

Through portraiture, Wilson responds directly to the works of early 20th-century photographer Edward Sheriff Curtis (1869–1952). Curtis’ photographs simplified and romanticized Native American life, whereas Wilson has created rich, complex portraits from Indigenous perspectives. Visitors to the exhibition will witness some of Wilson's portraits come to life through an augmented reality app, providing an interactive experience known as "Talking Tintypes."

The funding provided by the Art Bridges Foundation offers vital support for the exhibition and its related programming. Art Bridges Foundation works with museums of all sizes to create and support arts programs that educate, inspire and deepen engagement with local audiences. The diverse range of programming will include an interactive workshop where members of the Knoxville community and UT students collaborate to create self-portraits, an after-school program tailored for young learners, a vibrant community day celebration, and a guest lecture by the featured artist Will Wilson.

In Conversation: Will Wilson is organized by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and curated by Mindy Besaw, Curator of American Art/Director of Fellowships & Research from Crystal Bridges, and Ashley Holland, Associate Curator from Art Bridges. In Conversation: Will Wilson will be on view at the McClung Museum until December 2, 2023.

To learn more about the upcoming exhibition or plan you visit to the museum, please visit

About Art Bridges
Art Bridges is the vision of philanthropist and arts patron Alice Walton. The mission of Art Bridges is to expand access to American art in all regions across the United States. Since 2017, Art Bridges has been creating and supporting programs that bring outstanding works of American art out of storage and into communities. Art Bridges partners with a growing network of over 220 museums of all sizes and locations to provide financial and strategic support for exhibition development, loans from the Art Bridges Collection, and programs designed to educate, inspire, and deepen engagement with local audiences. The Art Bridges Collection represents an expanding vision of American art from the 19th century to present day and encompasses multiple media and voices. For more information, please visit

The McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture is located at 1327 Circle Park Drive. Museum admission is free, and visiting hours are 9 am–5 pm Tuesday–Saturday and 12–4 pm on Sundays. Visitors can register at and review the visitor guidelines, parking information, and check-in process.


knoxville daily sun Knoxville Daily Sun
2023 Image Builders
User Agreement | Privacy Policy

facebook share twitter share