|Charlene Teters is the university's new Hugh O. La Bounty Chair of Interdisciplinary Applied Knowledge.|
|“Culture Infused” is on display in the ASI Bronco Exhibit Gallery through Nov. 30.|
As the university's new Hugh O. La Bounty Chair of Interdisciplinary Applied Knowledge, Charlene Teters seeks to enlighten the campus and surrounding community on contemporary issues and challenges facing the Native American people.
Teters is an artist, activist and lecturer who explores and exposes racial and social injustices endured by Native American Indians. As her first activity as chair, Teters is co-presenting “Culture Infused,” an exhibit celebrating the work of a Native American artist, on display in the ASI Bronco Exhibit Gallery (Building 35) from Nov. 8-30.
“I want to bring an invisible community to this campus,” says Teters. “Often, people think about Native Americans as we were envisioned at the turn of the century. If we're not walking around in buckskin and fringe, mimicking the stereotype in dress and art form, we're not seen as real. Native Americans are here, and we are contemporary people, yet we are very much informed and connected to our history.”
Teters was born in Spokane, Wash., and is a Spokane tribal member. Since 1997, she has been a professor at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she has taught painting, drawing, and a course on contemporary issues in Native American Art.
As a founding board member of the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and the Media, Teters challenges the inappropriate use of American Indian images, culture and spiritual life ways by schools, scholars, museums, corporations and media. Her story of challenging America's use of Indians as mascots is the subject of a nationally aired award winning documentary “In Whose Honor?”
Previously, Teters served as dean and then a consultant for the Native American Youth Outreach Program, and as interim dean at the Center for Arts and Cultural Studies at IAIA.
Teters earned a master's of fine art in painting from the University of Illinois and a bachelor's in painting from the College of Santa Fe. In 2000, she received honorary doctorate of fine arts from Mitchell College in New London, Conn.
In November 2003, Teters was nominated as one of the New Mexican's “10 Who Made a Difference” in The Santa Fe New Mexican Newspaper. ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings honored Teters in 1997 as “Person of the Week.”
Teters began her appointment as La Bounty Chair in September. The chair was established in 1997 to bring distinguished scholars and recognized professionals from academe, business, industry, the arts and/or public service. As a one-year appointment with the possibility of renewal for one to two additional years, the chair is expected to contribute to the university's mission “to advance learning and knowledge by linking theory and practice in all disciplines, and to prepare students for lifelong learning, leadership, and careers in a changing multicultural world.” The chair does this by establishing a teaching, scholarship/creative activity and community-based program in her area of expertise.
“Culture Infused” is co-sponsored by the Cal Poly Pomona Native American Student Center and Associated Students Inc. The exhibit features the thesis work of David Dalasohya Jr., a Hopi Indian who was born and raised in Anaheim. His art work is a personal expression of his urban upbringing and his close ties to Hopi relatives. Dalasohya is currently working on his bachelor's of fine arts at the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where Teters previously instructed him.
A reception for the exhibit will be held Tuesday, Nov. 8, 6-8 p.m.
For more information on Teters, visit www.charleneteters.com. For more information on the exhibit, “Cultural Infused,” contact Teters at (909) 869-3513.