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Tess McCoy

Published August 17, 2020


Research Area: Contemporary Native American Art
Advisor: Dr. Kristin Dowell
Dissertation Title: “Indigenous Installation Art as Story: Material, Method, and Memory in the Practices of Sonya Kelliher-Combs, Maureen Gruben, and Hannah Claus.

Tess McCoy is a doctoral candidate at Florida State University studying Indigenous art of the late 20th and 21st centuries. Her research interests include Arctic-North Native art, questions of identity, materiality, relationality, and visual storied objects. Her dissertation engages three Indigenous women’s art practices through ideas of non-narrative storytelling practices, experiential engagement, and connections between materials and meaning.

Tess has received various grants and awards, including the American Philosophical Society’s Phillips Fund for Native American Research and the Mason Dissertation Research Award, which have allowed her to travel throughout Alaska and Canada to visit archives and conduct interviews with Indigenous artists.

She received her BA in Art History with a minor in Anthropology from the University of North Texas in 2018 and her MA in Art of the Americas with a concentration in Contemporary Native American Art in 2020 from the University of New Mexico. Tess has presented at the Inuit Studies Conference (2022), Rutgers Art History Graduate Student Symposium (2022), New Perspectives in Native American Art Symposium (2020), Southeastern College Art Conference (2019, 2020), as well as symposia at the University of North Texas and the University of New Mexico.