Steve LaRance (Hopi-Assiniboine)
During this unprecedented time in our lives we turn to our tradition and cultural practices to sustain us. This includes returning to dance, song
and artistic endeavors to strengthen our ties to the land and people. This also includes working the land by planting and raising our crops that
have been our source of nourishment for centuries. Most of my day is spent in the studio. creating works of art that carry the designs and motifs of
our ancestors that have come before us. I also find peace and harmony when I spend a few hours a day in the fields caring for the crops that we have
planted this spring. The combination of Art and Farming helps maintain and protect our Cultural Community.
Natalya Nez (Navajo)
My artwork depicts an abstract view of Churchrock, a well-known local landscape in my area, at night. I feel this applies to the “Culture Continues” theme because landscapes are considered sacred and although the current pandemic has us confined to our homes and has limited our social contact with others. I feel the landscape has retained its power in that despite what humanity has done or faced… the landscape continues to be formidable and at every hour, beautiful. When I think of this, I think of how my culture’s teachings of honoring and respecting not only our native lands but the earth gives me peace in times of uncertainty. It’s such a beautiful thought to think that my culture and the land that has raised me surpasses the hardship of today and the unknown future of tomorrow. I am so thankful for that.
Joeseph Arnoux (Piikani, Blackfeet, Spokane)
In the theme ‘Culture Continues’, I have depicted a buffalo skull in various saturated tones and hues, through horizontal linear lines and scale. Above the skull like a halo, representing a symbolic ideology of an inverted tipi and the reconciliation of Maslow’s hierarchy and the Blackfoot traditional lifestyle. The work encompasses our soveriegn right to speak our story and not let appropriating dominate our fate.
Duhon James (Navajo)
The background behind the print, is a couple who are preparing for what comes ahead and they are sitting beside each other or across. In this process, they are praying to have good things in life and to have a good marriage, no matter what obstacles are to come, they are preparing themselves to overcome those together. So, when she found out she was 9 weeks pregnant, they were happy and excited, but things took a turn, and had a miscarriage. This print is about us because when I was creating this block, I couldn’t concentrate, and I had a feeling something good was happening. During those weeks, we were happy, but things didn’t work out, but I kept the process going, didn’t give up. This happened between February and March 2020 and that is when COVID-19 occurred. We do what we can by praying, burning cedar, and protecting ourselves from situations.
“Over Night Prayer of Living Together” Linoleum block 18″x24″, White Stonehenge Paper 22″x30″, 2020, Numbered and Signed. Only 5 prints.
Michael Billie (Navajo)
Michael Billie I am a Navajo encaustic artist living and teaching in Farmington, NM. Native culture and native art has always evolved with the times. My work is contemporary with references to what’s important in native culture. The dragonflies represent how long native culture has been around and evolved over time on Mother Earth.
Charlee Brewer (Ogala Sioux Tribe)
This scene depicts the creation story of Matȟo Thipila (Devil’s Tower), when two children were being hunted by an enormous bear and were sent help from Creator to escape it. The hill they were on suddenly grew tall enough so that even though the bear tried its hardest it couldn’t reach the boys now, leaving claw marks on the sides that can be seen today.
I wanted to memorialize my tribe’s creation story of Matho Thipila because of the way scientists try to explain away the sacred sites my ancestors used. In this way I am protecting and defending my tribe’s beliefs.
Ehren Kee Natay (Navajo)
Using digital photography and image editing, I create visual communication with my grandfather that passed before I was born. My grandfather was Ed Lee Natay, the first Native American to professionally record traditional Native American music for commercial release. When I listen to his album of songs, I am transported through time and I feel as though I am beside him in the year 1951. My photo manipulations play reference to the 1950’s sci fi noir akin to Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, or Captain Kirk as I am depicted as a futuristic space traveler.
Jeremy Dennis (Shinnecock)
This is a fine art photo image from a project titled ‘Shinnecock Portrait Project’ which aims to preserve our culture on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation in Southampton, NY, through portraiture, oral stories, and an online archive. I set up a website http://www.shinnecockportraits.com/ that hosts the portraits and interviews done by me. I have chosen an image of Chenae Bullock (Shinnecock) shot at our Cuffee’s Beach on the reservation. She is adorned by our unique and sacred Wampum beadwork unique to the Atlantic coast in the North East.
Margaret Santhanman (Choctaw/Chickasaw)
The first mask in the photo below is twined cotton with turkey feathers, reminiscent of the plant fiber skirts and feather capes that were made up until the early 1700s.
The second mask (bottom left) is made from cotton calico, wool, and glass beads. I was thinking about the beaded, appliquéd Choctaw bandolier bags of the 1800s when I made this mask.
The third mask is cotton and features diamond appliqués and a flounce as seen in modern day Choctaw women’s regalia.
Marla Alison (Laguna Pueblo)
Marla Allison is a member of Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico. Marla lives and makes art from her home studio where she finds comfort and inspiration by connecting with family, tradition, and being close to her community. Marla is a contemporary Native artist whose primary medium is painting.
Jordan Ann Craig (Northern Cheyenne / Norwegian)
Stop Flirting With Me is a painting about my sister Bailey, inspired by her fierce and playful personality. The design of the painting is based off of a beaded Cheyenne bag, which was abstracted and painted large so the viewer can experience the flirtatious colors and bold geometries.
Annabel Wong (Salt River Pima)
David Naranjo (Santa Clara Pueblo)
From Santa Clara Pueblo, David Naranjo is a contemporary Puebloan artist who works in multiple mediums to depict cultural symbolism through pottery designs and geometric linear work. The artist says of his work: “My inspiration has come from learning the Tewa language. While learning the language, I obtained a deeper understanding and connection to our cultural practices and found that a lot can be said with few words because you speak from your heart.”