Marcus Dunn

'Other Youth'

The SCAD Museum of Art presents "Other Youth," the first solo museum exhibition by Marcus Dunn (M.F.A., painting, 2017). In these new paintings, the artist, a member of the Tuscarora Nation of North Carolina, explores his cultural heritage through the appropriation of historic images. The exhibition continues Dunn’s interrogation of the often overlooked narratives of attendees of government-backed Native American boarding schools of the late 19th and mid-20th centuries. 

Marcus Dunn painting for SCAD Museum of Art exhibition
Marcus Dunn, M.F.A., painting, 2017, "Girl Leaning," acrylic on canvas, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.

As one part of a long history of removing, conforming or killing indigenous people in the U.S., these boarding schools were meant to assimilate Native American children into white society through means of oppression and annihilation of their culture. Students were made to cut their hair, adopt Christian beliefs, wear standard uniforms, adopt "white" names and forbidden to speak in their own languages, among other abuses. Dunn researches these stories through found archival photographs from the Library of Congress and other sources, which he reinterprets in his signature painting style of loose, confident layers of translucent brushwork. Dunn mines histories and breathes life into his subject matter, exploring the complexity of these stories, and honoring the lives affected by these schools. 

About the artist

Portrait of artist Marcus Dunn

Dunn has exhibited his work at the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Gutstein Gallery in Savannah, Georgia. His work consists of large-scale paintings concerning memory and cultural identity. His heritage is of Tuscarora/Pee Dee and non-Native descent. He is currently living and working in Indianapolis, Indiana. Prior to earning an M.F.A. in painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design, he earned a B.F.A. in studio art at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

Install Views

Programs and events


"Other Youth" is curated by Ben Tollefson, assistant curator of SCAD exhibitions.

Museum Admission

The exhibition is free and open to the public.

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