- By Tamara Ikenberg
It’s a fine week for art and fashion in Indian Country, with another major Native art market making its way online, creative explorations of post-pandemic identity and Indigenous humor, an encounter with a bold Chippewa and Cree fashionista, and an authentic Woodland experience bursting with Ojibwe art and culture.
Curate your own cultural whirlwind of a week with the assistance of Native News Online’s event guide.
Rebekah Jarvey on Nomadic Network
WHEN: Tuesday, June 22, 4 p.m. PST
WHERE: Register here
Rebekah Jarvey, the Rocky Boy Reservation’s resident fashionista, lives and makes by the mantra “Being Indigenous Is So Beautiful.”
The Chippewa and Cree beader, sewer and teacher with a flair for mixing Indigenous and urban style, brought that belief to the wider world and became a pandemic-era style superstar in the process, when her flashy Night and Day COVID mask went viral last summer and attracted the attention of publications across the country.
The mask, made with vintage Louis Vuitton leather in contrasting colors, and adorned with bold, bright ropes, beads and dangling shells, became an icon of fashion-forward Indigenous innovation.
On Tuesday, Jarvey, who is currently busy teaching ribbon skirt classes and helming her Airbnb Experience: Indigenous Fashion With Expert Artisan, will take to the Nomadic Network online travel community.
“Nomadic Network is a travel-loving community. They enjoy trying different experiences, that’s their main thing,” Jarvey told Native News Online. “Some of them might have heard of Indian reservations before, but never had the opportunity to go to one. So I’m bringing them reservation life; the fashion and the tradition and the culture.”
She will also delve into her Native Woke campaign, which she’s funding with an Artist in Business Leadership Fellowship from First Peoples’ Fund, and present her latest collection, including items decked in “Ribbon Drip,” Jarvey’s modern complement to the traditional ribbon skirt and shirt.
“I like to push the envelope,” Jarvey said. “I’m just glad that people like my ideas and my style. I’m just really so grateful for it. For me, it’s not really about making money. It’s all about bringing good fashion and making the best fashion that I can.”
Native American Woodland Arts and Culture Workshop
WHEN: Sunday, June 20 Wednesday, June 23
WHERE: https://dillmans.com/dcaf/2021/woodland-art-workshop.html Tickets: All-Inclusive Workshop: $295 per student, cultural presentations $30 each, Native American arts classes $50. Call 715-588-3143 for more information.
You probably are familiar with the Plains and Southwest Indians.
But do you know Woodland?
The Woodland Indians occupy the Great Lakes region, including Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ontario, and are known for their distinctive floral designs representing their region, and the origination of the Jingle dress.
Starting this Sunday, the Woodland-curious can embark on the ultimate authentic Woodland experience during an immersive cultural crash-course at Dillman’s Bay Resort in Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin.
Students can sign up for the entire workshop, which includes traditional Woodland meals and a stay at the resort, or pick and choose individual classes. There will be nine sessions and two presentations.
Students will learn the history of the Woodland people, get a taste of life on the Lac du Flambeau Native American Indian Reservation, and discover how traditional Ojibwe art plays a part in daily life.
With the guidance of experienced and celebrated Woodland artists and culture bearers.
participants will create pieces to bring home as self-made souvenirs, including traditional beaded earrings, winter bark medallions, dream catchers, and written poetry.
Ojibwe artist, dancer and educator Michelle Reed will lead a presentation on regalia and dance, and also conduct the dreamcatcher-making classes.
Reed said she and her mother have already created hoops out of red willow harvested by a medicine woman, to provide the students with a solid foundation for their dreamcatchers, which are intended to save good dreams and filter out the nightmares.
Reed will also supply students with sinew, partridge and goose feathers and glass beads.
“I’m going to be teaching is a traditional dream catcher made with red willow, which is considered medicinal, and that’s why it’s used. Dreamcatchers are important. They’re not just an object we make” Reed told Native News Online. “They have been commercialized a lot, and I think it’s important to take the time to teach the real meaning behind them. In my class, we’ll talk about the significance of dreams and how important it is to remember your dreams.”
@Creation: Native American Arts Festival Special Exhibition
WHEN: Now through July 23
WHERE: Idyllwild Arts Campus Parks Exhibition Center, Idyllwild, Calif.: www.idyllwildartsgallery.org/creation
Examine last year’s life-altering events and their affects on technology, society and identity through the eyes of seven leading Indigenous artists.
The @Creation exhibit, part of this year’s Idyllwild Arts’ Annual Native American ArtFestival, is an invitational show curated by trailblazing scholar, writer, consultant and museum professional Nina Sanders.
“All of us came together here to have a conversation about our experiences amidst the pandemic and all of the different ways that shaped our experience and perspective on the world,” Sander said in a video introduction to the exhibit. “@Creation is essentially a narrative about how each of these different artists created, were compelled to create, the concepts behind the creation and the physical manifestations behind that creation.”
The featured artists are Jordan Ann Craig (Northern Cheyenne), Sarah Biscarra Dilley (Yak Tityu Tityu Yak Tilhini), Drew Michael (Yup’ik and Inupiaq) Eliza Naranjo Morse (Santa Clara Pueblo), Ben Pease (Apsáalooke), Kevin Pourier (Oglala Lakota) and Luanne Redeye (Seneca).
Virtual curator and artist talks will take place every Wednesday at 7 p.m. through July 23.
@Creation marks yet another groundbreaking achievement for Sanders. She has served as curator and archivist for the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, collaborated with Northern Cheyenne fashion designer Bethany Yellowtail of B. Yellowtail Collective, and written for Native American Art Magazine, and Smithsonian Magazine.
Last year, she became the first Native American to curate a large-scale exhibition for Chicago’s Field Museum: Apsáalooke Women and Warriors, Contemporary and Historic Native American Art. She is currently working with Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) as the guest editor of both the official 2021 Santa Fe Indian Market magazine and the live and virtual artist booth guides.
Virtual Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival
WHEN: Now through Monday, June 28
From the fiercely beautiful leather plague masks of Oglala Lakota artist Osceola Red Shirt, to the ash baskets of Penobscot weaver Sarah Sockbeson, this year’s online version of the Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival has something for virtually everybody.
Collectors can shop for statement-making and simply beautiful work from more than 100 artists, at the Virtual Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival.
In between shopping and browsing the artist’s websites, which are accessible via the artist directory on the festival’s main page, market-goers can indulge in an array of ongoing virtual entertainment.
Performances by Bizhiki Culture and Dance Company, live storytelling with musical accompaniment, and live artist demonstrations from featured participants including Oneida watercolorist Dawn Dark Mountain, and Chippewa and Comanche fine art flute and jewelry maker Tim Blueflint Ramel.
Ramel won this year’s Best of Division Award for jewelry, and Helen Cox Kersting Award, which exemplifies the highest quality of execution and innovation within a traditional medium, for “Ways of Tunghak,” his collaboration with Ingalik-Athabascan artist Glenda McKay.
The sterling silver and walrus ivory bolo and cuff the pair created depict a hunter dancing the mask of Tunghak, the Keeper of the Game in Alaska Native culture.
To see the rest of the Festival’s award-winning artists and work, click here.
Laughter and Resilience: Humor in Native American Art
WHEN: Now through Aug. 8
WHERE: Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, Indiana: Eiteljorg.org/events
The talent Indigenous artists have to alchemize adversity into sassy, strong medicine for the mind, eye and soul is on display in the show Laughter and Resilience: Humor in Native American Art.
“After the difficult past year many people endured, this thought-provoking exhibition will be a refreshing experience, exploring how the ability to laugh even under challenging circumstances can be a form of resilience,” Eiteljorg Museum President and CEO John Vanausdall said in a statement.
In the traveling exhibition, organized by the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe, that satirical spirit plays out through paintings, cartoons, pottery, jewelry and more forms by Indigenous artists from all over the country.
Cultural Trickster icons like Coyote, Raven and Rabbit, as well as allegorical and ironic takes on pop culture, figure prominently in the whimsical works.
Featured artists include Kathleen Wall (Jemez Pueblo), Frank Buffalo Hyde (Onondaga/Nez Perce), Ricardo Caté (Santo Domingo Pueblo), 2005 Eiteljorg Fellow Harry Fonseca (Nisenan/Maidu/Portuguese/Hawaiian), 2021 Eiteljorg Fellow Steven Yazzie (Diné).
Exhibition-goers can dig deeper into the exhibit with a series of virtual and in-person public programs including virtual talks with the artists, a virtual comic book workshop and dance and comedy performances.
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