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Eminent Artist in Residence Bently Spang Public Programs Scheduled at UW

January 31, 2014
Burnt trees
Bentley Spang’s “On Fire: Photo Study #1” is among the artist’s images that tell the story of a fire that devastated his family’s ranch in Montana. (Bently Spang)

Northern Cheyenne artist Bently Spang will present two public programs in conjunction with his current exhibition, “Bently Spang: On Fire,” at the University of Wyoming Art Museum.

He will give a public art talk at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, in Room 111 of the Visual Arts Building, and a gallery walk-through at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 7, in the UW Art Museum. His exhibition is on view through March 22.

“On Fire” is part of an ongoing series of works that tell the story of the 2012 Ash Creek wildfire, a fire that devastated his family’s ranch located on its ancestral homeland on Montana’s Northern Cheyenne Reservation.

In this work, Spang seeks out the story of the fire from the perspective of the trees he grew up with on his family’s land. He facilitates their voice through a series of video-documented, performative rubbings on paper of the now-charred trees.

Spang received an MFA degree in sculpture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Montana College in Billings. He has taught at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and at Montana State University-Billings. Spang’s work has been exhibited widely in venues such as the Denver Art Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Peabody-Essex Museum and the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum.

Spang is at UW for the spring semester as Eminent Artist in Residence with the American Indian Studies Program. Spang’s “Tekcno Pow Wow,” a mixed-media installation combining techno and hip-hop music, video projection, and Native American and other dance forms, will be presented at the Shepard Symposium on Social Justice April 2.

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For more information about Spang’s museum schedule, call the UW Art Museum at (307) 766-6622 or visit and its blog at, or follow the museum on Facebook at

Through its “museum as classroom” approach, the UW Art Museum places art at the center of learning for all ages. Located in the Centennial Complex at 2111 Willett Drive in Laramie, the museum is open  Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday hours are extended to 9 p.m. February through April and September through November. Admission is free.

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