78.) "Love is Love", Kiln-fired Vitreous Enamel on Glass Mosaic on Tile Board, 28"x38", 8/15.
*Santa Fe Indian Art Market, Blue Rain Award: Juried, 94th Annual 2015
*Northern Plains Indian Art Market, 1st Place: Mixed Media: "Love is Love", 2015
“Love is Love" pays homage to Klimt’s “The Kiss”. I have reinterpreted the central theme of this powerful composition in an early Lakota cultural context. The figures are personifications of nature, presented as human beings full of youth, beauty, and love in an idyllic setting. The artwork is about the human search for a devotional center to our lives. The figures are perched on a small piece of prairie precipice, representing the dwindling aboriginal land base. The bead-work and the elk tooth dress are manifestations of the gifts of White Buffalo Calf Woman the Lakota Messiah. She brought the buffalo and gave us creative and spiritual focus to our lives through her teachings. The couple is wrapped in a buffalo robe expressing the importance of the buffalo in all aspects of Lakota culture.
79.) "Kiksuyapi 1890", Kiln-fired Vitreous Enamel on Glass Mosaic on Tile Board, 24"x32", 2/18.
*Heard Indian Market, Cutting Edge Award, 2018
*Northern Plains Indian Art Market, 2nd Place: Mixed Media
Glass in the form of beads have been an important means of Native American expression for centuries but mosaics are some of the longest surviving artifacts from past cultures. I combined my interest in fabrics, painting, tile-work quilting, and bead-work to develop my own techniques in the glass mosaic medium.
This artwork is intended to start a dialogue about religious persecution and to state clearly that the wounded knee massacre will not be forgotten by the relatives of the victims.
My work has a multi-dimensional appearance because it is made of glass. The sky in the work has been cut in a triangle & diamond pattern common in Lakota bead-work and painting. This design serves a practical purpose; to break up a single huge piece of glass, and a metaphysical purpose; to express the idea that whats on earth is in the stars; and whats in the stars is on earth...(on earth as it is in heaven). Interestingly, after I had finished cutting the sky, my Discover magazine arrived. In it was a picture of an engraved piece of ochre from a South African Cave dating back about 100,000 years and is the oldest known art of its kind. It is the exact same design as my sky and this discovery is causing a paradigm shift with regard to the understanding of the timing and location of the development of modern human behavior.
The artwork was inspired by my recent close examination of the black and white images from the Wounded Knee Massacre. I had seen these pictures throughout my life but never realized that the pile of blankets in the photo was actually four women. I carefully rendered everything that was in the photo like the dead horse, the military men who received medals of honor, the trappings of daily life and the "battlefield". The women are rendered in color to show the culture laying in a heap on the ground and to give the viewer of sense of being there. The landscape is made from iridized glass to represent Holy ground.
80.) "Melt, Prayers for the People and the Planet", Kiln-fired Vitreous Enamel on Glass Mosaic on Tile Board, 30"x30", 3/2019.
*Heard Indian Market, Honorable Mention, 2019
*Native Pop, Innovation Award, 2019
I have been disturbed to hear about Alaskan tribes displacement because of the melting of the Glaciers and the changing of weather patterns. They are the canaries in the coal mine of Americans having to relocate because the ground beneath their feet is being washed away. "Melt: Prayers for the People and the Planet" is inspired by a black and white photograph of an Inuit girl with her husky pup in her hood.
To create the artwork, I chose my favorite glasses to develop the ideas I wanted to express around the figure. There is an effect that occurs when I go cross country skiing where the snow is glittering with prismatic sparkles. The ripple clear glass that I used embodies this affect and by adding in the ancient diamond and triangle design; I could symbolically express the metaphysical idea in Lakota religion that what happens here on Earth, literally our own actions, are reflected in the cosmos. (In Christian Beliefs: On Earth as it is in Heaven) The design is present throughout the piece. The snow appears to have been driven over with a four wheel drive representing our lack of respect for our remaining wild lands. The glass used for the melting tundra is a mottle, made with silver, that "grows into random circular patterns as it's made. Each multi-colored sheet of this glass is one-of-a-kind. I intentionally carefully cut it to maintain the pattern that it has as a solid sheet. The pinkish/lavender reminds me of a microbe that one sees in melting snow. I adore the spotted nature of the mottle glass, it reminds me of fabric and quilting. The blue occasionally forms at a certain temperature as the glass is formed and it became the standing water on the tundra in the artwork.
81.) "Turtle Island War Party (Kheya Wita Ozuye)", Kiln-fired Vitreous Enamel on Glass Mosaic on Tile Board, 24"x32", 2/19.
Created for the "Bring Her Home" exhibit at the All My Relations Gallery in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
In my artwork "Turtle Island War Party", I represent the many missing and murdered Native American women with a graphic figurative pattern with lavender individual faces. I honor the Native American women who won political offices in the November 2018 elections in portraits of them across the bottom of the artwork. From left to right: Peri Pourier--Elected to the South Dakota State Legislature, Ruth Buffalo--Elected to the North Dakota Legislature, Sharice Davids--Elected to the United States Congress for the State of Kansas, Deb Haaland--Elected to the United States Congress for the State of New Mexico, and Red Dawn Foster--Elected to the South Dakota State Senate.
The only way to repair our broken political system and make it meet its primary responsibility, to keep our people safe, is to replace corrupt and selfish people in government with people who wish to faithfully represent the interests of their constituents. These women will give voice to the lost and missing women and their families. Most importantly, they will be in a position to make the changes that will benefit all Americans. It amazes me that some believe that they are protected from the corruption in our government. There have been many holocausts in human history and no one is safe from corruption. If powerful people want what you have they can take it. If we have no rule of law to protect us; the powerful might want your labor, your Medicare, your land for a wall, your 401K, and NOT want to pay for your medical treatment after you have paid into your insurance all of your life. We must stop conducting our lives from a place of fear. All people need and want the same thing--a sense of security and safety in their communities and the ability to support themselves and their families. Hating, blaming or fearing any other entire group of people for shortcomings in ones own life is a waste of precious time. Evil people in power have been stoking hatred, fear, and the idea that we need to get rid of our government for decades. The government is us...or its supposed to be. We must work together to address corruption and solve the problems we all face in the future.
82.) "Ode to Maynard Dixon", Glass Mosaic on Tile Board, 20"x24", 1/17.
*Northern Plains Indian Art Market, 2nd Place: Mixed Media, 2017
83.) "Mahpiya Luta Wapazopi! (Red Cloud Art Show!)", Kiln-fired Vitreous Enamel on Glass Mosaic on Tile Board, 11"x14", 5/18.
*1st Place Mixed Media, Red Cloud Art Show, Pine Ridge, South Dakota, 2018.
My Artwork is about the people that treaties should have affected but really didn't. Red Cloud went to Washington DC to meet with president Ulysses S. Grant two years AFTER signing the Laramie treaty of 1868 and said:
"We do not want riches, but we want to train our children right. Riches will do us no good. We could not take them with us to the other world. We do not want riches. We want peace and love.They made us many promises, more than I can remember. But they kept but one. They promised to take our land and they took it." (Excerpt written on back of artwork)
The Red Cloud School (Holy Rosary Mission, 1888) has great importance in my life. My 6th great grandfather and Chief Red Clouds mother were siblings. My great grandmother, as a young child, was at the Mission and remembered when they brought the injured from the Wounded Knee Massacre. My grandparents were married there. My family came to the graveyard above the Mission to visit the graves of our relatives even though my family moved off the reservation. After I decided to commit to being an artist in 2002, it was the Red Cloud School that gave me my most important commission, "Return of White Buffalo Calf Woman"(2009) at the high school.
Brother Simon, the black and white picture in my artwork, started the Red Cloud Art Show and created the Heritage Center. By taking these actions, this man has affected many Lakota people. My art and the art show brought me back to Pine Ridge, introduced me to other Lakota artists and has helped to give direction to my life.
Red Cloud is shown as an old man in my artwork. The treaty in his hand says the Black Hills on it and speaks to the fact that the Black Hills are not for sale.
We consider the Treaties and the effects of them: these documents that people have signed and sworn to uphold. The Constitution and the Treaties that the United States have entered into are the Supreme Law of the Land. Unfortunately they are just paper and if the people with whom an agreement was made have no moral integrity and the people concerned do not defend them they have no real meaning.
The laws that we as a country choose to live by are the main difference between our society and most others on the planet. We are now witnessing a further degradation of our laws. People who signed contracts and worked their entire lives for a retirement package are now being stripped of what they earned because the wealthy business owners or politicians don't want to follow through with the contracts. I hope that this exhibit causes people to think about why it's important to protect and defend the Rule of Law. "Equal Justice Under Law" should be afforded to all Americans regardless of their financial status. Voting has consequences. Elect leaders with integrity.