Gail Tremblay

Gail Tremblay

2022 Awardee

December 15, 1945 - May 3, 2023

Gail Tremblay was an artist, writer, and cultural critic for over forty years. She shared her vision through her multi-media visual works, art installations, and her writings on Native American Art to call our attention to stories and legacies that were lesser told. She was a master American basket weaver who worked with cinematic film instead of natural, harvested media. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally in over 100 group and solo exhibits and featured in numerous anthologies and exhibitions, including the canonical group show The Submuloc Show/Columbus Wohs: A Visual Commentary on the Columbus Quincentennial from the Perspective of America's First People (1992-94). Her artwork is included in many notable public collections, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Brooklyn Museum, New York; Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian, Washington, DC; and the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts. 

As a professor emerita at The Evergreen State College, she mentored students in the fields of visual arts and Native American and cultural studies. She served the artistic community as a member from 1989-2001 and in 1999-2000 as the president of the National Board of the Women’s Caucus for Art. She received a national “Mid-Career Art Award” from that organization in 1993. She has also received a Governor’s Art Award in the state of Washington for her Contemporary Art in 2001. Her artwork, poetry, and writings stand on their own as treasured contributions to the American and Native American experience.

Example Work

“Stone Giants Sleeping Under the Bear Star" 2010

acrylic and micaceous acrylic paint on canvas
36” x 72”

“It was Never about Playing Cowboys and Indians” 2012

recycled 16mm film from "Play and Cultural Continuity: Montana Indian Children" (1975), red, white and blue film leader, and metallic braid, woven in porcupine and ribbon stitch
24.25" x 14" x 14"

“If the Ice Melts and the Grass Grows on Small Islands in the Sea, Will Images of the Inuit World Become Fragments Lost in History” 2018

16mm film from "At the Winter Sea Ice Camp, Part 2" (1967) 16mm green, blue and white film leader, 8mm white film leader; silver and gold braid
24" x 13½" x 13½"

"When There Is No Category for a Film in a Native American Language on Oscar Night, Clearly It Is in a League of Its Own” 2021

35mm film from the film "Windwalker" (1980) 35mm and 16mm white film leader, gold metallic braid, on a plexiglass tube core
24 ¼" x 15" x 15"

Detail: "When There Is No Category for a Film in a Native American Language on Oscar Night, Clearly It Is in a League of Its Own” 2021

35mm film from the film "Windwalker" (1980) 35mm and 16mm white film leader, gold metallic braid, on a plexiglass tube core

Detail: "When There Is No Category for a Film in a Native American Language on Oscar Night, Clearly It Is in a League of Its Own” 2021

35mm film from the film "Windwalker" (1980) 35mm and 16mm white film leader, gold metallic braid, on a plexiglass tube core

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