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U of U Tanner Humanities Center Presents Photo and Oral History Exhibit: “Southern Paiutes: A Portrait”

August 25, 2003 — From September 2 through October 20, 2003, the Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah will host an exhibit of photographs by Michael Plyler and oral histories by Logan Hebner, featuring members of the Paiute Indian Tribes of Utah (PITU).

The photos and oral histories can be viewed in the Durham Seminar Room, 115 Carlson Hall, 380 S 1400 E, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 6 p.m. or by appointment.

On September 2nd, from 4 to 5 p.m. the Center will host a panel discussion with a question and answer period, featuring oral historian Logan Hebner, PITU tribal chairwoman Lora Tom, and exhibit photographer Michael Plyler. Faculty from the University of Utah will moderate the panel. A reception and refreshments will follow.

This collaborative exhibition chronicles the lives of 14 Paiute tribe members from Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. The individuals include representatives of the five bands of the Paiute Indian Tribes of Utah (PITU)-Shivwits, Cedar Band, Indian Peaks, Kanosh and Koosharem-as well as the Kaibab Tribe of Arizona and the Moapa Tribe of Nevada.

The exhibition has been funded in part by the Utah Humanities Council and the Utah State Historical Society. The Salt Lake City portion of the exhibit is funded by The Lawrence T. and Janet T. Dee Foundation and the Tanner Humanities Center.

Photographer Michael Plyler: 1993-94 recipient of a Visual Artist Fellowship from
The Utah Arts Council. In 1983 he received a commission from the Guatemalan
Tourist institute, which led to the first international showing of his work at their headquarters.

Plyler has been photographing the Mayan Indians of Guatemala since 1982. His work is held in numerous public and private collections on three continents. These collections include the Heard Museum, the San Diego Museum of Man, Museum of the American Indian, and the Graham Nash Collection. Plyler is also a co-founder and current director of his the Utah Canyons Workshops. In the fall of this year his one-man exhibition, “From Ely to Iberia” will be displayed at the Open Shutter Gallery in Durango, Colorado. This is his second collaboration with writer Logan Hebner.

Logan Hebner began writing about the Southern Paiute in 1989 when the Kaibab Tribe turned down millions of dollars in rejecting a hazardous waste incinerator. The disconnect between the Southern Paiute he came to know and their mainstream stereotypes compelled him to this project. Together with photographer Michael Plyler, he had produced an earlier exhibit called “Working Wonders,” about elders who chose to continue working. They decided that this format, combining biography and portraiture, created a good way to tell their stories. Hebner’s writings and oral histories have appeared in the High Country News, The Best of Writers at Work Anthology, Northern Lights, Boatman’s Quarterly Review, Catalyst, and other publications.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information about the exhibit, or to arrange parking, call Tanner Humanities Center at: 581-7989.