The Art of Jack Malotte

Jack Malotte, Untitled, 1995. Private Collection

The Western Folklife Center is honored to host The Art of Jack Malotte, a major retrospective exhibition showcasing the breadth of Malotte’s career, organized by the Nevada Museum of Art, opening July 11 in Western Folklife Center’s E. L. Wiegand Gallery, 501 Railroad Street, Elko.

An enrolled member of the South Fork Band of the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone, Jack Malotte makes artworks that celebrate the Great Basin with a unique focus on contemporary political issues faced by Native people seeking to protect and preserve access to their lands.

Watch a short video of Jack discussing his work at the Nevada Museum of Art’s 2019 exhibition in Reno.

For many years Malotte produced graphics and illustrations for the Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples, Inc., the Western Shoshone Sacred Lands Association, and the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice. This work will be on view alongside drawings, sketches, and prints from early in his career.

Jack Malotte, The Cowboy Guy, 1981.

Malotte, who is Western Shoshone and Washoe, infuses wry humor into his work, even as he delves into subject matter that is sometimes serious and sobering. His most recent work reconsiders historical narratives and myths of the American West, refers to Western Shoshone and Washoe traditions and legends, and highlights longtime political, environmental, and legal struggles of Native communities.

Jack Malotte, Shot in the Heart, 2015. Collection of the Nevada Museum of Art.

Born in Schurz, Nevada, Malotte lived in Lee, Nevada as a young boy, and eventually moved to Reno where he attended local schools including Wooster High School. At the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California (1971-74), he was influenced by the work of Arthur Okamura, Jack Mendenhall, and Chuck Close. Malotte also worked as a U.S. Forest Service Firefighter. Malotte currently resides in Duckwater, a rural community located in central Nevada.

Curated by Ann Wolfe, The Art of Jack Malotte exhibition is on loan from the Nevada Museum of Art and is funded byThe Satre Family Fund at the Community Foundation of Western Nevada; Nevada Arts Council, Sandy Rafeallil/Bill Pearce Motors, Kathie Bartlett, National Endowment for the Arts, Anonymous, KUNR Reno Public Radio, and Sierra Nevada Media Group.

All images courtesy of the Nevada Museum of Art.

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