Photo gallery UW and tribal leaders honor newly installed Truman Lowe sculpture
University of Wisconsin–Madison and Ho-Chunk tribal leaders gathered on campus on Sept. 15 to honor a newly acquired sculpture by Indigenous artist Truman Lowe, a long-time UW–Madison professor. “Effigy: Bird Form” is meant to evoke the effigy mounds that have been lost. The sculpture is located on the eastern edge of Observatory Hill just north of Van Hise Hall. Lowe died in 2019 but members of his family attended the ceremony.
“Hundreds of people will pass by here each day, and they will see this sculpture that is both a powerful symbol and an invitation to learn more about the indigenous history of this land,” said Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin. “It is also, of course, a way to remember a gifted faculty member who spent more than 30 years in our art department.”
At right, Carla Vigue, UW–Madison director of tribal relations, adjusts the podium microphone for Sarah Lemieux, area representative of the Ho-Chunk Nation.
"Effigy: Bird Form" was created in 1997 for a White House exhibit featuring Native sculptures, and has now been acquired by UW–Madison. "I wanted to make an image that would be… like a bone structure, that would give an outline but also a sense of invisibility of the entire form (of effigy mounds)," Lowe said. "In a sense, this work is for all those mounds that have disappeared."
"As you may know, we’re celebrating UW–Madison’s 175th anniversary this year, and we’re taking the opportunity to acknowledge that the Ho-Chunk people’s connection to this place — their ancestral homeland — stretches back over thousands of years," said UW–Madison Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin.
At center, Tonia Lowe, daughter of Truman Lowe, joins the audience in applauding remarks by UW–Madison Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin.
Vigue, at right, welcomes Tonia Lowe, daughter of Truman Lowe, to the podium.
Members of the Wisconsin Dells Singers play a tribal song while in a drum circle.
Carla Vigue, UW–Madison Director of Tribal Relations, listens to a guest speaker.
From left to right, Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin; Patricia Marroquin Norby, a UW alumna and associate curator of Native American Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and Tonia Lowe, daughter of the artist Truman Lowe, are pictured following the dedication ceremony.
Truman Lowe, professor of art at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is pictured in his woodworking studio in 1992. “Truman Lowe is one of the most important Indigenous artists of our time. As a leader, he created a platform for Indigenous communities in the 21st century," says John Hitchcock, UW–Madison art professor and Indigenous artist.