To view artist John Hitchcock’s work — prints of buffalo skulls, horses and deer, Native words crafted in neon light, paintings inspired by Indigenous beads — is to glimpse where he grew up, on Comanche tribal lands in the American Southwest.
Hitchcock is a professor of printmaking in the Art Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has lived in the Midwest for more than two decades, but he doesn’t think of it as “home.”
“It’s hard to let go of where your people are from,” Hitchcock said. “This is Ho-Chunk territory, we’re all visitors here.”
“For me, to go back home — I’m looking at space in Oklahoma that was Indian territory, next to the oldest field artillery training base in the United States,” Hitchcock said. “And looking at that versus this beautiful mountain range. I travel back there all the time, and look at that as inspiration.”
Hitchcock sends work around the country for various exhibitions. Locally, Hitchcock’s art is on view at the Madison Municipal Building (look for three hung fabric works near a stairwell).