Jul. 31, 2023
August 28, 2023 - March 16, 2024
Opening reception September 1, 2023, 5 - 8 p.m.
The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art is pleased to present Tailings, a new installation by Las Vegas artist Jeannie Hua. Rooted in personal research and on-site investigation, Tailings asks viewers to acknowledge and question the historic neglect of Asian Americans who participated in the settlement of the American West.
The artist draws attention to the inequitable treatment of Chinese Americans by focusing on one aspect of the history of Tonopah, Nevada. While investigating the background of the area, she learned that in the past the town’s Chinese American citizens had been buried outside the region’s official cemetery under an unmarked mound of waste matter —tailings —removed from the local mines.
Hua illuminates this contemptuous disregard with a collage of imagery drawn from recycling promotions and technical blueprints. “The bodies are buried like this from the plans that came about from commodification of land and labor,” she explains. “Lives aren’t measured by their inherent worth but their utilitarian purpose.”
The Window Gallery, where the work is exhibited, is located on the exterior wall of the Museum building and sometimes the view into the glass is obscured by reflected sunlight. Hua folds this problematic aspect of the space into her message. “That’s the whole point, these Chinese American bodies are buried under waste, we can’t see them. Instead, we see ourselves, and the reflection of the exterior world—we see our own lives instead of those hidden bodies. Their identities and existence remain eclipsed by our focus on our own lives.”
Tailings will be on view in the Window Gallery at the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art at UNLV from August 28, 2023, with an opening reception on the evening of September 1. Entry to the Museum is free. Masks are recommended.
About the Artist
Jeannie Hua was born in Taiwan and moved to Cincinnati, Ohio at the age of eight. She attended the University of Chicago and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History. After spending a year in Taiwan working as an English teacher and street musician, she attended the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College. After practicing criminal defense in Las Vegas for twenty plus years, she decided to return to her love of art. Since then, she has received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and attended an artist residency at Chateau d'Orquevaux, France. Her award-winning work has appeared in galleries and art institutions across the nation, with exhibitions in New York, Illinois, California, Utah, Tennessee, and other states.
About the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art
The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art believes everyone deserves access to art that challenges our understanding of the present and inspires us to create a future that holds space for us all. Located on the campus of one of the most racially diverse university in the United States, we strive to create a nourishing environment for those who continue to be neglected by contemporary art museums, including BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ groups. As the only art museum in the city of Las Vegas, we commit ourselves to leveling barriers that limit access to the arts, especially for first-time visitors. To facilitate access for low-income guests we provide free entry to all our exhibitions, workshops, lectures, and community activities. Our collection of artworks offers an opportunity for researchers and scholars to develop a more extensive knowledge of contemporary art in Southern Nevada. The Barrick Museum is part of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV).
All of the museum’s galleries are accessible to wheelchair users and other visitors who cannot use stairs. Services such as sign language interpretation can be arranged. Please contact the museum to discuss your needs: firstname.lastname@example.org, 702-895-3381.
The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art is located in the heart of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus. The museum is easily accessed from the west side of campus at the intersection of Harmon Avenue and University Center Drive. Drive east on East Harmon Ave until the road enters the campus and terminates in a parking lot. The Museum will be on your right, next to a desert landscape garden. Directions here.
Visitors may park in metered, staff, and student spots free of charge after 7 pm on weekdays, 1 pm on Fridays, and all day Saturday.
Metered parking spaces for visitors can be found in the parking lot outside the Barrick’s entrance, along East Harmon Ave, and in the lot behind the Lied Library. Other metered green zones are available in the Cottage Grove Avenue Parking Garage
and parking areas throughout campus. Download the “PayByPhone Parking” app from Google Play or the iTunes app store.