Artists You Should Know: Fritz Scholder
Via Zoom; for ages 18+
Sunday, April 18, 2021
1 – 3:15 PM
This month, we're exploring the life, legacy, and work of Fritz Scholder, a Luiseño artist who influenced a generation of Native American artists. Scholder had his first solo show at Crocker, and the Museum now has several of his works in its collection. Following a visual presentation of his work, participants will explore emotion and self-expression through color using chalk pastels on paper.
Even at a young age, Scholder showed artistic promise, and his high school teacher, noted Sioux artist Oscar Howe, encouraged his pursuits. When his father became a Bureau of Indian Affairs administrator in Sacramento, Scholder continued his studies at Sacramento State, and early in his career, established a cooperative gallery with fellow Sacramento artists Gregory Kondos, Peter VandenBerge, and Wayne Thiebaud, the latter of whom he credits for his love of color.
Shortly after Scholder began teaching in the mid to late 1960s, he started his famed Indian Series, which explored issues such as alcoholism, unemployment, and poverty and changed perceptions of Native American art. Though one-quarter Luiseño — a California Mission tribe — Scholder was reluctant to self-define as Native American, though his work has become associated with the fight for Native American rights. “I am terribly proud of my Indian heritage,” he once said. “But there is such a tremendous tendency to over label or oversimplify.”
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Instructor Stan Padilla (California Yaqui) is a multidisciplinary artist, colorist, paintmaker, storyteller, and information historian who uses his art as a means of addressing social justice issues. He is also a Native educator and currently works for the United Auburn Indian Community Tribal School as an artistic/cultural mentor and a cultural activist. He is one of the principal mural painters of the Royal Chicano Air Force and maintains an active art studio and nature sanctuary in rural Placer County. His artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally since 1967.
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Image: Fritz Scholder (Luiseño, 1937–2005), The Last Pueblo (detail), 1973. Acrylic on canvas, 29 1/2 x 39 1/2 in. Crocker Art Museum, gift of Loren G. Lipson, M.D., 2013.79.1.