Notes from an Exoduster’s Archive

Deanna Bowen


Bowen will present new and old archive derived artworks that genealogically and geographically trace her maternal grandparents migrations from Alabama via Clearview, OK and Kentucky via Nicodemus, KS in the early 1900s. These works contextualize the family’s movement and growth within numerous American and Canadian historical/cultural/social contexts while also pointedly noting the consistent presence of white terrorism throughout.


Deanna Bowen (b. 1969, Oakland; lives in Toronto) is a descendant of the Alabama and Kentucky born Black Prairie pioneers of Amber Valley and Campsie, Alberta. Bowen’s family history has been the central pivot of her auto-ethnographic interdisciplinary works since the early 1990s. Her broader artistic/educational practice examines history, historical writing and the ways in which artistic and technological advancements impact individual and collective authorship. She has received several awards in support of her artistic practice including a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2014 William H. Johnson Prize. Her work has been exhibited internationally in numerous film festivals and museums, including the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, the Images Festival, Flux Projects, the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, and the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, Halifax.