frank big bear: homage

Last call: In his most autobiographical show to date, Minneapolis artist Frank Big Bear delivers a half-dozen new paintings and a compelling collage that offers a sweeping survey of his life mingled with 50 years of public events. Titled "Homage," the show is a tribute to the "mentors, warriors, artists" who influenced him and Minnesota's American Indian community. The photo collage is a stunner, a grid of 144 notebook-sized sheets that merge images of artists and their work (George Morrison, Chuck Close, Jim Denomie, Hazel Belvo) with AIM figures from the 1970s, references to the 1973 confrontations at Wounded Knee, S.D., and Twin Cities sites including the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. He memorializes Morrison in a brooding 6-foot-tall portrait whose puzzle-like designs echo the sculptor's wood collages, and pays tribute in Pop style to the late Wallace Kennedy, an arts educator whose zeal inspired generations of Minnesota kids, including Big Bear. With brilliant colors, rich symbolism and powerful narratives, "Homage" is a dazzling accomplishment that's closing soon. See it. (Noon-5 p.m., Wednesday-Saturday, free. Bockley Gallery, 2123 W. 21st St., Minneapolis. Ends June 14. 612-377-4669 or

Mary Abbe