SYNOPSIS: In this episode of the Gnu Stories Podcast, Head of School Rodney Glasgow is joined by Anna Tsouhlarakis, an artist of Navajo, Creek, and Greek descent who works primarily with sculpture, installation, video, and performance art. Anna works at the University of Colorado Boulder as an Assistant Professor, and has joined SSFS as a virtual artist in resident for the month of November to discuss her work with students and faculty in honor of Indigenous People's Month. This podcast features questions from Rodney as well as from Middle & Upper School students.
Quotes from the Podcast
About Anna's experience as an Artist in Resident at SSFS:
“It's been an amazing experience to meet even if it's over zoom to meet students and to hear their questions and to speak with teachers and different people throughout your school community. It's what I love hearing are the questions that students ask. Sometimes they make you reflect on your own experiences in new ways.
And it's always fun to hear those new perspectives, because it lets you think about things that you really haven't kind of hashed out. Maybe you're you, you thought you did, and they're giving you a new perspective on it. And that's what's so exciting. And that's what I love about K through 12 schools is that.
Even a first or second grader can ask the most poignant question that seems to them just a simple question, but then you realize it actually makes you reconsider your whole experience. And I feel like I've had that in the school and the class meetings I've had so far, so that's been great."
About Anna's Art Exhibition "To Bind or to Burn"
"Specifically, the title, to bind or to burn speaks to some sculptures that I made in the piece and some drawings. The sculptures are pieces of wood and plaster casts, and pieces of Ikea furniture, remnants that are bound together. And there's porcupine quills on them. And what I was trying to do was to create an illustration, like a sculptural visualization of what decolonization looks like. It's been kind of a catchword for a lot of institutions, schools, and organizations. And so when I was thinking about ideas of decolonization, if I made an artwork, what would that look like? And then what I came to realize was that is the goal of decolonization or is it indigenization? Are we trying to integrate indigenous ideas and beliefs into the structure of this thing, this institution? How are we and should we be dismantling it or should we be evolving it?"
Photographs of Anna's Work: