Forge Project Launches with Indigenous Fellowship Program
August 9, 2021
(Hudson Valley, NY - August 12, 2021) –– Forge Project, a new initiative based in Upstate New York on unceded, traditional, and ancestral lands of the Muh-he-con-ne-ok, is proud to announce its launch with a new program, the Forge Project Fellowship, to support established and emerging Indigenous leaders in the land justice, education, and cultural fields with financial support and a residency at Forge Project.
Forge Project was founded by Becky Gochman with co-founder Zach Feuer, and is led by Executive Director Candice Hopkins (Carcross / Tagish First Nation) and Director of Education Heather Bruegl (Oneida / Stockbridge-Munsee). Hopkins, an acclaimed curator and writer, is also Senior Curator of the Toronto Biennial of Art, a role she will continue to hold through the 2022 edition. Bruegl has also served as the Director of Cultural Affairs for the Stockbridge Munsee Community, and speaks on Indigenous history, public policy, and activism. Full biographies of staff and fellows are below.
Along with the fellowship program, Forge Project also encompasses a collaboration with Sky High Farms to combat food insecurity in the region; a lending collection of artworks from Indigenous and Hudson Valley artists, which is on rotating view at Forge Project by appointment; and an alliance with the Gochman Family Foundation, which provides direct monetary support to community organizations in the region.
“We’re thrilled to launch Forge with these incredible fellows, and excited to see how the program continues to grow in the years to come,” said Forge Project Executive Director Candice Hopkins. “The Forge Project Fellowship is only the first of several resources and initiatives being developed in support of Indigenous communities, our partners, and our neighbors in the region, and we look forward to sharing more as Forge Project continues to develop and grow.”
In addition to $25,000 in direct financial support, fellows will make use of the Forge Project property in the Hudson Valley to devote time to their practice. This annual fellowship launches with a cohort of four, selected by Director of Education Heather Bruegl. The inaugural Forge Project Fellows are Chris T Cornelius (Oneida), Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk Nation / Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians), Jasmine Neosh (Menominee), and Brock Schreiber (Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans).
“It is extremely exciting to be able to put together this Fellowship program and house it in the Mahicannituck River Valley on the land of the Mu-he-con-ne-ok. Being able to bring together Indigenous leaders is an honor,” said Director of Education Heather Bruegl. “Indigenous people are shaking up the world and making our voices heard now more than ever. Being able to be a small part of that is what makes this job amazing. And to do it on the land of my Ancestors is beyond humbling. It makes it possible for their voices to be heard again.”
Chris T Cornelius (Oneida), is an architect, professor and founding principal of studio:indigenous, and designs spaces for Indigenous clients through the translation of Indigenous culture into architecture. His academic practice centers around the history of Indigenous design, visual thinking, and mapping.
Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk Nation/Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians), is a visual artist and filmmaker working across video, photo, and text-based works. His interdisciplinary body of work examines the relationships between the history of place, indigeneity, and colonialism. His latest works engage with the complexity of language and geography.
Jasmine Neosh (Menominee), is a writer, student researcher, and advocate for environmental justice, Indigenous sovereignty, climate change education and culturally-informed, place-based sustainability. She is currently working on a field guide to restore knowledge loss surrounding food systems and native plants.
Brock Schreiber (Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans), is a student and teacher of Mã’eekuneeweexthowãakun, as well as an author and Tribal Council Member. He is dedicated
to reviving and restoring knowledge of the language through classes and potluck dinners, and is currently working to establish the next generation of teachers. He is the author of several children’s books, including three in the Mohican language. A Mohican language instructor, he is working to build speakers in the community.
“It’s an honor to host these brilliant artists, activists, and leaders at Forge, and to support their powerful work,” said Forge Project Co-founder Becky Gochman. “We can’t wait to welcome this accomplished group, and to see what might come of their time here.”
Forge Project is based at the Forge House, which consists of two structures designed by Ai Weiwei in collaboration with HHF Architects—the only residence the artist has designed in the US. The house will host a range of Forge Project programs and initiatives, acting as a forum for events and exhibitions, and as a workspace and home for Forge Project fellows.
For more information on the fellows and Forge Project, visit forgeproject.com
About Forge Project
Launched in 2021, Forge Project is an initiative to support leaders in culture, education, food security, and land justice. Forge exists as a platform for people and organizations whose crucial work serves the social and cultural landscape of our shared communities through a fellowship program, a teaching farm developed in partnership with Sky High Farm, community support, and a lending art collection.
Located in Upstate New York, on unceded, traditional, and ancestral lands of the Muh-he-con-ne-ok, it operates out of a building designed by artist and activist Ai Weiwei. The resources of Forge support organizations in the Hudson Valley, and Indigenous peoples who were displaced by settler colonialism.
About Chris T Cornelius
Chris Cornelius is a citizen of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is the founding principal of studio:indigenous, a design practice serving Indigenous clients.
Cornelius was a collaborating designer with Antoine Predock on the Indian Community School of Milwaukee. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. Including the inaugural Miller Prize from Exhibit Columbus, a 2018 Architect’s Newspaper Best of Design Award, and an Artist residency from the National Museum of the American Indian. Cornelius has been exhibited widely including the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. He is the Spring 2021, Louis I. Kahn Visiting Assistant Professor at Yale University.
About Sky Hopinka
Sky Hopinka is from the Ho-Chunk Nation and Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians and was born and raised in Ferndale, Washington. He has spent a number of years in Palm Springs and Riverside, CA, Portland, OR, and Milwaukee, WI. In Portland he studied and taught chinuk
wawa, a language indigenous to the Lower Columbia River Basin. His video, photo, and text work centers around personal positions of Indigenous homeland and landscape, designs of language as containers of culture expressed through personal, documentary, and non-fictional forms of media. He received his BA from Portland State University in Liberal Arts and his MFA in Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and teaches at Bard College.
Hopinka’s films and videos have screened at various festivals including ImagineNATIVE Media + Arts Festival, Images, Wavelengths, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Sundance, and Projections. His work was a part of the 2016 Wisconsin Triennial and the 2017 Whitney Biennial and the 2018 FRONT Triennial. He was a guest curator at the 2019 Whitney Biennial and was a part of Cosmopolis #2 at the Centre Pompidou. He was awarded jury prizes at the Onion City Film Festival, the More with Less Award at the 2016 Images Festival, the Tom Berman Award for Most Promising Filmmaker at the 54th Ann Arbor Film Festival, the New Cinema Award at the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival and the Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowship for Individual Artists in the Emerging artist category for 2018. Hopinka was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University in 2018-2019 and Sundance Art of Nonfiction Fellow for 2019, and a 2020 Guggenheim Fellow.
About Jasmine Neosh
Jasmine Neosh is Menominee and a student in the Public Administration program at the College of Menominee Nation, where she also obtained an Associate degree in Natural Resources in 2019. Neosh is a writer, student researcher, and advocate for environmental justice, Indigenous sovereignty, climate change education and culturally-informed, place-based sustainability. For two years she was a student blogger for Tribal College Journal. Her blog, Rezilience, focused on stories of sustainability in Indian Country.
About Brock Schreiber
Brock Schreiber is a member of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans. Schreiber is a student and teacher of Mã’eekuneeweexthowãakun. He writes books for children to inspire their imaginations. When he is not trekking in the wilderness with his family, he’s fulfilling his responsibilities as a Tribal Council Member. Schreiber grew up on the Stockbridge-Munsee Reservation in rural Wisconsin, where he and his wife are now raising their beautiful children.
About Candice Hopkins
Candice Hopkins is a citizen of Carcross/Tagish First Nation and lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her writing and curatorial practice explores the intersections of history, contemporary art and indigeneity. She works as senior curator for the 2019 and 2022 editions of the Toronto Biennial of Art and was part of the curatorial team for the Canadian Pavilion of the 58th Venice Biennale, featuring the work of the media art collective Isuma. She is co-curator of notable exhibitions including Art for New Understanding: Native Voices 1950s to Now; the 2018 SITE Santa Fe biennial, Casa Tomada; documenta 14 in Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany; Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Canada and Close Encounters:
The Next 500 Years in Winnipeg, MB. Her essays include “The Gilded Gaze: Wealth and Economies on the Colonial Frontier,” for the documenta 14 Reader, “Outlawed Social Life” for South as a State of Mind, and “The Appropriation Debates” (or The Gallows of History), for MIT Press.
About Heather Bruegl
Heather Bruegl is a Stockbridge-Munsee descendent and member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. Prior to joining Forge Project, she was Director of Cultural Affairs for the Stockbridge-Munsee Community. Bruegl is a graduate of Madonna University in Michigan and holds a BA and MA in U.S. History. A self-described “accidental activist,” Bruegl speaks to different groups about intergenerational racism and trauma and helps to bring awareness to the environment, the fight for clean water, and other issues in the Native Community.
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