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Elizabeth LaPensée at Hedreen Gallery


  • Hedreen Gallery 901 12th Avenue South Seattle, WA, 98104 United States (map)

Free and Open to the Public

This winter, Hedreen Gallery hosts an interactive gaming hub in which artist Elizabeth LaPensée (Anishinaabe, Métis, settler-Irish) rewires the architecture of contemporary gaming imaginations in ways that center, iterate and mainstream Indigenous ways of knowing. Join us during our regular gallery hours (Wed-Sat 1-6pm) or for one of our special exhibition programs:

opening celebration - Saturday Dec 1, 2018 2-5pm
artist lecture & reception - January 9th, 2019 6-9pm

heart of the game highlights the work of Elizabeth LaPensée, a prolific artist, writer, designer and scholar who foregrounds Indigenous self-determination and Indigenous sovereignty through game design, game development and game play. Featuring a variety of games in both digital and non-digital platforms, this exhibition celebrates LaPensée's many innovative roles and interventions in game design, including: producing and designing original game architecture, writing backdrops for game-play, organizing teams of Indigenous writers for collaborative game development, producing original artwork and more. In addition to learning about the design and context of a wide range of LaPensée’s games, gallery visitors will have the opportunity to play the side-scroller game Thunderbird Strike, i-pad Singing game Honour Water, table-top role-playing game Dialect and several test levels from When Rivers Were Trails, an Indigenous take on Oregon Trail, which will be released in early 2019.

heart of the game is a satellite exhibition in collaboration with yəhaw̓, an open call exhibition featuring over 200 Indigenous creatives opening at Seattle Office of Arts and Culture’s King Street Station Gallery in 2019. For full information and events listings: www.yehawshow.com

Elizabeth LaPensée, Ph.D., is an award-winning designer, writer, artist, and researcher who creates and studies Indigenous-led media such as games and comics. She is Anishinaabe from Baawaating with relations at Bay Mills Indian Community, Métis named for Elizabeth Morris, and settler-Irish. She is an Assistant Professor of Media & Information and Writing, Rhetoric & American Cultures at Michigan State University. She is a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow.

Most recently, she designed and created art for Thunderbird Strike (2017), a lightning-searing side-scroller game which won Best Digital Media at imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. She also designed and created art for Honour Water (2016), an Anishinaabe singing game for healing the water. Her work also includes analog games, such as The Gift of Food (2014), a board game about Northwest Native traditional foods.

She is co-editor of the comic collections Deer Woman: An Anthology (2017) and Sovereign Traces Volume 1: Not (Just) (An)Other (2018) and editor of Sovereign Traces Volume 2: Relational Constellation (2019).