Two Worlds: Red and White


I’ve been meaning to add this to the website, but haven’t gotten to it yet.  In the meantime, I’ll put a few pictures up here instead.  As I referenced a few posts ago, I finally got to work on my NMAI Emerging Artist Program piece and ended up combining two frames from an unfinished project in 2007 with photography that I took while in Washington, D.C. as part of the program.  There are two pieces, the frames are made from alder and are strung with artificial sinew.  The photographs were printed as transparencies and then cut up and attached to the sinew grid with wire.  Enjoy!


two worlds -red


two worlds -white


two worlds -2


Window Display…


Had a busy week dealing with family things, but I did run across a facebook post by artist Sonny Assu about a window display in Vancouver that native people were finding offensive.  It was at the ‘F As In Frank’ vintage clothing store and had been put up in relation to the upcoming Winter Olympics.  Mr. Assu said that the management had agreed to take the display down, so it likely isn’t up anymore.  Below is a photo of the window posted on facebook and you can see that they were using stereotypical Western ideas of Native Americans such as the plains feather headdresses.  I don’t think the window was as bad as it could have been, but I do like that the local community got involved and that the store agreed to remove the display.  It might not be anything huge, but these subtle stereotypical messages do influence how people view and think of indigenous people.   


frank store

Presidential Art


I ran across an Associated Press article in the Washington Post today about how President Obama is “making the Oval Office his own.”  It is interesting to think about how such small and subtle things as the types of artwork a President chooses to display sends such a broad message.  What initially caught my eye was that some of the china plates in the Oval Office were being replaced with contemporary Native pottery.  A message from Inez Russel on a facebook link from NMAI listed the artists as: Lucy M. Lewis (Acoma Pueblo), Steve S. (Iroquois), Jeri Redcorn (Caddo), and Maria Martinez (San Ildefonso Pueblo).  I tried to find some images of the pottery in question, but didn’t have any luck in a quick online search.  I did, however, find an interesting article that briefly summarized some of the 47 works of art on loan that the Obama’s have selected for the White House.  And Vanity Fair had a blurb from December 2008 on what some interior designers would do to update the Oval Office for Obama. 



Image is of Obama entering the Oval Office on his first day as President.

(From the White House Museum website.)

New Year Update


I just found out this morning that I received another scholarship through UCLA’s Tribal Learning Community & Educational Exchange Program.  Over the winter quarter I’ll be taking a course called, “Economic Development and Nation Building in Native America.”  I really enjoyed the “Federal Indian Law & Policy” course I took last quarter, so hopefully this one will be just as much fun.  I’m sure it will also help inform my BFA Thesis project too. 


The other thing I’ve got going on is my art project for the NMAI Emerging Artist Program.  I recently posted a picture of a piece using money and dentalium that I was working on, but since then, I’ve moved off in a new direction.  I have these two alder frames I built in a class back in fall of 2007 for an art project.  I had intended the project to speak to my dual white and native ancestry, but hadn’t completed it because I wasn’t feeling certain about what the final form should be.  When I was going back through some of my photographs from my NMAI trip, I had a new strike of inspiration.  I’ve pulled the frames back out and am currently working on them again.  Hopefully I’ll have them completed by the end of the week…  To offer a preview, the image below is a close-up shot of one of the frames from back in 2007.