Through digital photography and various cinematic tools, artist Jeremy Dennis — a tribal member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation in Southampton, NY — examines indigenous identity, cultural assimilation, and the ancestral traditional practices of the Shinnecock People. His unique experience of living on a sovereign Indian reservation, combined with extensive research of archaeological and anthropological records, oral stories, and newspaper archives, allows him to trace issues that plague his, and other indigenous communities, back to their source. Jeremy’s photographs of staged scenes are not without humor, but tackle serious and urgent issues, aimed to recount and honor the Shinnecock’s 10,000-plus years’ presence in Long Island, NY, and to document their resilience, and struggle to maintain autonomy.
He says: “Digital photography lets me create cinematic images. Nowhere have indigenous people been more poorly misrepresented than in American movies. My images question and disrupt the post-colonial narrative that dominates in film and media and results in damaging stereotypes, such as the “noble savage” depictions in Disney’s Pocahontas. As racial divisions and tensions reach a nationwide fever pitch, it’s more important to me than ever to offer a complex and compelling representation of indigenous people.” Despite four hundred years of colonization, we remain anchored to our land by our ancient stories. The indigenous mythology that influences my photography grants me access to the minds of my ancestors, including the value they placed on our sacred lands. By outfitting and arranging models to depict those myths, I strive to continue my ancestors’ tradition of storytelling and showcase the sanctity of our land, elevating its worth beyond a prize for the highest bidder.”
Jeremy Dennis earned his BA in Studio Art from Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, and MFA from Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA. His recent solo exhibitions include Shinnecock Sites and Portraits: Photographs by Jeremy Dennis, Hope Horn Gallery, Scranton, PA; Indigenous Lands, Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton, NY; Moving Through Land, Gallery North, Setauket, NY; Having Never Left, Keyes Fine Art, Sag Harbor, NY; On This Site: The Shinnecock Sites, Hampton Library in Bridgehampton, Bridgehampton, NY; Jeremy Dennis – On View, Bartow Pell Mansion Museum, Bronx, NY; The Photographic Works of Jeremy Dennis, Amagansett Public Library, Amagansett, NY. Recent group exhibitions include Cycles of Nature, Hudson River Museum, Hudson, NY; Future Return, Penn State University, Pennsylvania, PA; Speaking With Light, Amon Carter Museum of Art, Fort Worth, TX. His awards include many Artist Residency Fellowships: Smoke Sygnals Indigenous Residency, Modern House Trust, Wellfleet, MA; Light Work, Syracuse, NY; Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, Otis, OR; Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY; Byrdcliffe Art Colony, Woodstock, NY; Center for Photography at Woodstock, Woodstock, NY; Saltonstall, Ithaca, NY; and the Vermont Studio Center hosted by the Harpo Foundation, Johnson, VT. His awards also include grants from the Pollock Krasner Foundation; Getty Images Creative Bursar Award; and the Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators from the online art journal Hyperallergic. His work is in the collections of the Heckscher Museum of Art; Hudson River Museum; Amon Carter Museum of American Art; Parish Art Museum; New York State Museum; and Center for Photography at Woodstock. Dennis is the leader of Ma’s House and BIPOC Art Studio Inc., a communal art space and residency program he founded in 2020 on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation, where he was raised and currently lives.
You can learn more about his work at his website: http://www.jeremynative.com,
as well as these other online links:
WNET – All Arts: Jeremy Dennis on Building Ma’s House & BIPOC Art Studio
Tupelo Quarterly: ON USING CINEMA’S TOOLS TO REDIRECT CURIOSITY
Interview with Heather Sellers: Seven Questions for Jeremy Dennis, Photographer
Keyes Art: JEREMY DENNIS.
This exhibition is funded in part by the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York State Legislature; the Town and Village of Lake George; Price Chopper’s Golub Foundation; 518 Profiles; The Alfred Z Solomon Charitable Trust; and LGAP members.
The Courthouse Gallery is located at the side entrance of the Old County Courthouse, corner of Canada and Lower Amherst Streets in Lake George, NY. During scheduled exhibitions dates our in-person office and gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday 12 – 5 pm, Saturday 12 – 4 pm.
If you need to reach us between active exhibition dates we are available through phone and/or email:
June Watrs, Director of Exhibtions, [email protected]
Tanya Tobias-Tomis, Executive Director, 518.832.0183, t[email protected]
This exhibition is funded in part by the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York State Legislature; the Town and Village of Lake George; Price Chopper’s Golub Foundation; 518 Profiles; The Alfred Z Solomon Charitable Trust and LGAP members. Please Join us today!