Nicholas Galanin Artist Talk

Event Image
a collage of sculptures and installations.

Nicholas Galanin's "I think it Goes Like This" installation will be on view from Oct. 6, 2023-Feb. 18, 2024, at RIT City Art Space.

A corresponding artist talk is being held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, at Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave. Rochester, N.Y. 14607). The event is free for MAG members and the RIT community with your RIT ID. Museum admission is required for the general public. A bus is available to shuttle members of the RIT community from campus to MAG, and back. Transportation is free but registration is required.

Admission to RIT City Art Space is always free — it is open Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays 1-5 p.m.; Fridays 1-9 p.m.

About the installation

For Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest coast such as Galanin (Lingít and Unangax̂), the totem pole is a ceremonial object used to celebrate events, depict stories, and document family lineage. In "I Think It Goes Like This (Gold)", a seemingly Indigenous-made totem pole is covered in gold leaf but lies dismantled on the ground. Contrary to the viewers original understanding of the object, this is not a cultural tool of memory making and community. It is a carving by an Indonesian artist created to sell as a souvenir to tourists in Alaska. Through his intervention of destruction and reassembly to the original carving and application of gold leaf, Galanin creates dialogue about the economy of cultural appropriation while reclaiming the work as Indigenous art.

The work is jointly owned by Art Bridges and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The exhibition of this work and Galanin's visit to Rochester is generously made possible by Art Bridges, in partnership with Memorial Art Gallery, RIT College of Art and Design and RIT's museum studies program.

About the artist

Born in Sitka, Alaska, Nicholas Galanin is a Lingít and Unangax̂ multi-disciplinary artist and musician whose visual work confronts disconnections between native and non-native communities. His work has been shown internationally, including the 2019 Whitney Biennial, Site Santa Fe, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Art Basel Miami, and many more, along with recent outdoor installations at Desert X and Brooklyn Bridge Park. His work resides in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and more.

CAD Galleries
Event Snapshot
When and Where
October 26, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Room/Location: Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave. Rochester, N.Y. 14607)

Open to the Public

Interpreter Requested?


community outreach