Rory Wakemup, 2019 Featured Artist
St. Paul-based artist Rory Wakemup exhibited at the Rochester Art Center’s “Andy Warhol, MN GOES POP” in 2017 where ArtWorks Festival volunteers were impressed with his sculptures mixing iconography from his Anishinabe heritage and iconography from the Star Wars universe. Wakemup was selected to be the 2019 Featured Artist by a committee of ArtWorks Festival volunteers from a pool of fourteen nominated artists.
Wakemup earned a Master of Fine Arts in Glass/Sculpture from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jewelry, Photography, Printmaking and Sculpture from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Sante Fe, New Mexico.
He won the University of Wisconsin-Madison Chazen Museum Prize in 2015 for his exhibition, “Kill the Idiot, Save the Fan,” a reference to the 19th century phrase “Kill the Indian, Save the Man” which summarized the purpose of U.S. government boarding schools for native children. Wakemup won grant funding from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Forecast Public Art, Hennepin Theatre Trust and SpringBoard for the Arts.
Wakemup’s work will be exhibited at the Austin ArtWorks Center 2nd Floor Gallery during the Austin ArtWorks Festival and the artists will be present to greet visitors.