Dwayne Manuel (b.1984) blends contemporary aerosol aesthetics with imagery connected to his O’odham culture and heritage. The O’odham people are indigenous to the Sonoran Desert, which they have called home for thousands of years. Today, the O’odham are broken into four federally recognized tribes: Tohono O’odham Nation, Gila River Indian Community, Ak-Chin Indian Community and Salt River-Pima Maricopa Indian Community.
In this installation, Manuel honors three mountains sacred to O’odham himdak (culture/way of life): Baboquivari, Catalina, and Quinlan; each are mentioned in oral stories and are pillars of O’odham history. In LANDSLICE, these land forms are depicted with bright purple and golden hues, referencing the tribal colors of the Tohono O’odham Nation.
The Baboquivari and Quinlan mountain ranges are kept in close access to traditional and tribal rule, but the Catalinas are now occupied by non-Native societies. Recently, there have been many conversations centered on tribal sovereignty and Indigenous lands rights. Examples of these sacred sites in the United States include Standing Rock in North Dakota, Mauna Kea in Hawaii, Sonoran Desert near Tucson, Arizona, and South Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona.
The artist is currently working on creating the installation. The estimated completion is late September.
About the Artist:
Dwayne Manuel (On’k Akimel Oʼodham / Salt River-Maricopa Indian community) received his master of fine art from the University of Arizona in 2014 and is best known for his highly detailed drawings and graffiti murals, where he uses the tag Dwayno Insano. Manuel teaches art at the Tohono O’odham Community College.
This exhibition is organized by the Tucson Museum of Art and curated by Dr. Marianna Pegno, Curator of Community Engagement.