Thanks to a generous gift from Seymour and Carol Cole Levin
, the Weatherspoon is honored to add to its collection two artworks by Gina Adams
, both of which are currently featured in To the Hoop: Basketball and Contemporary Art
. Acknowledging both her Native and colonial ancestry, Adams mines histories of cultural preservation and forced assimilation. In that context, basketball holds mixed connotations for her. She acknowledges that many Native Americans see the game as a path to both higher education and acceptance into popular culture. But, she also notes that basketball’s history in Native communities goes back to early twentieth-century boarding schools that forced indigenous students to assimilate to White culture. Covered with her own hybrid vocabulary of designs inspired by those found in Native arts, Adams’s ceramic basketball and enlarged archival photograph bear witness to these conflicting associations.
Gina Adams, Honoring Modern Unidentified 27, Spirit That Remains
, 2015. Oil and encaustic on ceramic, 9 in. diameter. Weatherspoon Art Museum. Purchased with funds from the Carol and Seymour Levin Acquisition Endowment, 2020.5.1. © Gina Adams, photo by Aaron Paden, courtesy of the artist and Accola Griefen Fine Art, Brooklyn
Gina Adams, Girls Native American Indian Basketball Team I
, 2016 (detail). Photograph, oil, and encaustic, 30 x 30 in. Weatherspoon Art Museum. Purchased with funds from the Carol and Seymour Levin Acquisition Endowment, 2020.5.2. © Gina Adams, photo by Aaron Paden, courtesy of the artist and Accola Griefen Fine Art, Brooklyn