Bold paintings and historical artifacts tell the story of thriving Comanche culture in new exhibition

Comanche Motion: The Art of Eric Tippeconnic opens April 14 at the Bullock Museum

APRIL 5, 2018 (AUSTIN, TX) — The exhibition Comanche Motion: The Art of Eric Tippeconnic, opening April 14, 2018 at the Bullock Texas State History Museum, tells the story of a Comanche culture vibrantly alive in the modern world through 34 original paintings by artist and historian Eric Tippeconnic. The artwork is juxtaposed with Comanche artifacts and multimedia interactives to provide historical context and underscore Tippeconnic's inspiration for the paintings.

"The Bullock Museum was especially attractive to me for this exhibition because the history of Texas cannot be fully told without the history of Indigenous people," Tippeconnic said. "Comanches played a vital role in that history."

Tippeconnic created 10 new paintings for the exhibition, including the namesake artwork "Comanche Motion." Through the vivid colors, movement and symbolism on his canvases, Tippeconnic showcases the rich history of the Comanche people from the perspective of Comanches themselves while exploring themes that are common to all of us.

"The most important message is to convey that we're all human beings sharing this planet," Tippeconnic said. "[This exhibition] is a wonderful way to reflect on our shared interests and humanity."

Artifacts featured in the exhibition, including a headdress and Fancy Dance regalia, compliment the imagery in Tippeconnic's art. Visitors engage with the symbolism and meaning in each painting through hands-on interactives for all ages, including a symbol scavenger hunt, a pattern-making activity, and touchable canvases and artist tools. A behind-the-scenes video provides insight into Tippeconnic's daily life, and a soundtrack of songs he listens to while painting immerses visitors in his artistic process.

"We're honored by this partnership highlighting Eric's work and Comanche heritage, which is so integral to sharing the story of Texas with our visitors. It helps us understand both our collective past as well as our present," Bullock Museum Interim Director Margaret Koch said.

In addition to his work as a visual artist, Tippeconnic is a professor of history at California State University, Fullerton. Born to a Comanche father from Cache, Oklahoma, and a Danish mother raised during Nazi Germany's occupation of Denmark, he spent much of his early life living on Indigenous reservations in California, Arizona and New Mexico. Tippeconnic credits his multicultural heritage with sparking his interest in art and history and strives to represent both cultures through his artistic vision. His great-grandfather Tippeconnie fought in the Red River War, the campaign launched by the U.S. Army in 1874 to remove native tribes from their ancestral lands in the Southern Plains region of the Texas Panhandle. His grandfather, John Tippeconnic, became the first Comanche to graduate from college, as well as the first to achieve an advanced degree.

Comanche Motion: The Art of Eric Tippeconnic will be on display at the Bullock Museum until Wednesday, January 2, 2019. For more information, visit TheStoryofTexas.com or call (512)936-8746.

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The Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin includes three floors of exhibitions, an IMAX® theater, a special-effects theater, café, and Museum Store. The Museum collaborates with more than 700 museums, libraries, archives and individuals to display original historical artifacts and produce exhibitions that illuminate and celebrate Texas history and culture. Named for the state's 38th Lieutenant Governor, Bob Bullock, the iconic building is at 1800 N. Congress Avenue. For more, visit TheStoryofTexas.com or call (512) 936-8746.

Comanche Motion

This press release is part of the Comanche Motion: The Art of Eric Tippeconnic Media Kit

Comanche Motion: The Art of Eric Tippeconnic tells the story of a thriving Comanche culture rooted in the past but evolving toward the future. Co-curated by Comanche artist and historian Eric Tippeconnic, the exhibition blends the past with the present to honor the Comanche people. View Media Kit