Okla Homma to Manahatta: Raven Halfmoon @ Ross + Kramer Gallery, NYC
Ross + Kramer is pleased to announce the New York debut solo exhibition of Raven Halfmoon, entitled Okla Homma to Manahatta. Halfmoon is a citizen of the Caddo Nation, a tribe based in Oklahoma. During her undergraduate studies at the University of Arkansas, she was drawn to working in ceramics both for its connection to her Caddo ancestral roots, and its monumental potential. In Halfmoon’s own words, “I create work that is large and powerful. I build sculptures that demand to be heard and experienced. My artwork exists to break the mold of the romanticized Native American stereotype and to simply say: We are still here and we are powerful.” Her large scale ceramics accomplish just that.
Two towering works, ONE’-TEH (which translates to “all of it” in Caddo) and Hey’-en, Ina, Ika (“daughter, mother, grandmother” in Caddo) present cascading faces of women--Halfmoon, herself and her ancestors that came before her, stacked in a generational continuum. In another work, female equestrian statues feature nearly life-scale Appaloosa horses with their Dalmation-spotted hind quarters. Smaller sculptures feature stoic glazed and scored faces gazing outward. All of Halfmoon’s works are united in a tactile solidity, reminding viewers that one of the core properties of the ceramic medium is that it will outlive us all.
Despite the sense that these works reach through time, connected both to history and whatever comes next, Halfmoon’s use of glaze ground them specifically in the here and now. Tagging works graffiti-style with her own name and other phrases, Halfmoon reminds us of the multifaceted nature of identity. She is both Caddo and an American Millennial, exposed to the same pop-culture, with the same extremely contemporary and urgent concerns as anyone else living in the United States in 2021. As she explains, “Each piece is a reflection of my understanding and interpretation of Caddo culture and the fight to maintain a place for it in today’s world.”
Raven Halfmoon (Caddo Nation) is from Norman, Oklahoma. She attended the University of Arkansas where she earned a double Bachelors Degree in ceramics/painting and cultural anthropology. Her work has been featured in multiple exhibitions throughout the U.S. as well as internationally. Raven is currently based in Helena, MT where she is an artist in residence at the Archie Bray Foundation for Ceramic Arts.