Stolen Sisters draws attention in Crossman Gallery

Hannah Michalowski, Journalist

The “Stolen Sisters” art exhibit debuted in the Crossman Gallery at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on Thursday, Jan. 30 and featured performances from Red Birds Drum, jingle dancer Sophia Ford, and two UW-Whitewater student dancers performing choreography.

All of the performers acted as a start for the moving effect “Stolen Sisters” has on the community. “Stolen Sisters” focuses on the epidemic of violence towards indigenous women in the United States. Thirty local, national, and indigenous artists of different backgrounds were carefully chosen to showcase their work in painting, photography, and sculpture. Sadness for missing loved ones can be felt all throughout the exhibit. Professors Nieves Galvan and Teresa Faris brought the idea to Whitewater.

“I hope for the students to have the chance to see the work of living indigenous artists and empathize with the individual voices they bring forward,” Faris says.

One main problem showcased in “Stolen Sisters” is the fact native women have no voice in society today, and even more so, right here in Wisconsin. The number of indigenous women being trafficked also rises every day. “Stolen Sisters” gives students the opportunity to experience the problem first-hand through art.

“The problem is very underrated or overlooked. It is important for students to see ‘Stolen Sisters’ because if it was somebody from their culture, especially with the number of women missing, it would be a catastrophe,” Cameron Quemby, a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, says.

The Crossman Gallery, located in Greenhill Center of the Arts, serves as a perfect location for “Stolen Sisters”.

“The choice to use Crossman Gallery at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater as a platform for this project is because Wisconsin is home to eleven registered tribal communities and the adjacent Highway 90 acts as a main corridor for missing persons. With four out of five native women affected by violence in today’s society, it is vital that the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women is given a voice in this region,” Leslie Lamuro, Associate Director of Marketing and Events at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, adds.

“Stolen Sisters” will run Jan. 30 through Feb. 29 in the Crossman Gallery. The gallery is open weekdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday 1-4 p.m. Admission is free.