Happy Halloween and Happy Fall! It is finally my favorite time of year. I enjoy the cooler weather and changing of the leaves. Also, it is the start of my mother’s tribe, Navajo/Diné, new year. October is when we can begin our winter ceremonies, and we started this year with a Solar Eclipse on Saturday, October 14th. As Navajo/Diné people we view the Solar Eclipse as a sacred event of renewal. As part of our cultural teachings we are not to view the eclipse (and try to avoid seeing photos of the eclipse). We also are not supposed to eat, drink, use the restroom, and we are to sit quietly for the duration of the entire Solar Eclipse. This is a part of my tradition, and I did do just that during the eclipse. Then at the end of the eclipse we have some other ceremonial duties we attend to that wraps up our prayers of good things to come. I do not look down on others that view the eclipse, and I think it would be neat to see the eclipse with my own eyes, but because of my traditions I cannot, and I want to honor these ways of my Diné people. I trust all my Navajo relatives have a good start to our new year!
There has been a lot of good things that have come across my plate regarding my artwork. In September I finally was able to reveal one of my several commission projects. I was commissioned back in June by the Sierra Club Magazine to create two digital art works for an article by Kalen Goodluck that Celebrates the Land Back Movement. I enjoyed creating the two pieces, and then their wonderful art director inquired about me creating the cover of the Sierra Magazine. I said yes so, I now have one of my art pieces on the cover of a well known magazine. Here a link to view the cover!
Thank you, Sierra Magazine, for this wonderful opportunity to share my artwork, as well as represent my Native people. It was a great challenge. There are a few other commissions I am working on, and I can’t wait to share those for the other projects so keep an eye out.
Shortly after this announcement, I attend the Oklahoma State University College of Arts and Science, Hall of Fame reception where I was awarded the CAS Rising Start Alumni Award! They only award 3 Rising Stars each year, and this award is for Alumni that have excelled beyond CAS’s expectations in their career within 10 years. I was so excited to receive such an award and am still honored to have been selected. It is nice to have this recognition and to have many of my close family, friends, and mentors there made it better. Also, I got to meet an Oklahoma news star, Kelly Ogle, as he was the MC at the event, and got several pics with him, as well as with Pistol Pete. As a gift me and my hubby got to go to the OSU game that next day and experience the club level box seats. That is now the only way I can go watch a game. Thank you to OSU CAS for this honor!
At the end of September, the exhibition, ‘this universe is you’, opened at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Gaylord-Pickens Museum in OKC, where I have several original artworks on display along with 4 other native women artists. The opening reception was October 5th, and it was wonderful reception with many wonderful friends and relatives. An awesome surprise was getting to meet Lily Gladstone, who is the lead actress in the new movie Killers of the Flower Moon about the Osage people and the oil that was found on their land. I received a pic with Lily in front of one of my artworks. It was a great evening with fun surprises, and I am thankful to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame for allowing me to exhibit my work!
Last Monday was Indigenous Peoples Day and I was invited by the Oklahoma Arts Council to attend the events up at the Oklahoma State Capital. Many of my artists friends were recognized for their contributions to the new artwork in the building. It’s great to see the State Capital be full of Native artwork by artists that are still creating today. Congrats to all of them! It makes me feel good. My dad was immortalized in one of the artworks by Lucas Simmons (Cherokee), as my dad was one of the references he used in one of his artworks. It was neat to see my dad in Lucas’s piece. Also, I did contribute in a small way with a video I am in that is at the entrance of the State Capital with me saying hello in Sac & Fox. It was neat to rep my Sauk people! Thank you to the Oklahoma Arts Council for a wonderful event.
I have been taking a break a bit from the studio the last couple of weeks. Been super busy with all these events, and it sure tires me out, but I enjoy talking with others about my career, native culture, and the arts. I trust to get in the studio this week and get my creative juices flowing. I am working on a unique project that will be at Artspace Untitled in OKC (more info to come…). I need to get some pieces ready for the holiday season! Since it is October, I am hoping I can create one art pieces for the Inktober trend, but we will see. I have an event I will helping with in Norman, at the Public Library regarding Native culture and art, with several other Native artists. November is Native American Heritage month so many places are bringing several artists to speak about art. I may also attend an event at the museum that is exhibiting my artwork which will be on one of the Saturdays in November.
As they say it’s good to be a busy artist, and I know that to be true. I am happy I can share my knowledge through my art making but just in general when I can help. I am still enjoying my daily work down at the University of Oklahoma and enjoy seeing the students and all the artwork they are creating. Thanks for reading and trust you have a good fall as we transition into winter. I will blog again in December!