Andrea Carlson Pays Homage to George Morrison and Returning Home

Photo by Jenn Ackerman and Tim Gruber for the National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. recently published an essay by Andrea Carlson titled “Called Back: On George Morrison, Land Acknowledgement, and Returning Home.” Carlson, who met Morrison as a teenage artist in 1996, contemplates their connections to Chippewa City and Grand Marais, MN, and relocating to the homelands of her grandmother. Carlson also posits what it would mean if land acknowledgements – practices that have grown increasingly common and are often criticized as performative – took more concrete forms and were expressly for Native people and descendants: “Would they stop being mere acknowledgements and become self-affirmations carried out in actions? Would it look like returning home or returning the land to collective tribal ownership?” Carlson’s writing pays homage both to Morrison himself and the land and family that have called her home.

Carlson’s essay is part of the National Gallery’s series West to East, which examines how artists respond to place and community.