Media, music, beadwork, jewelry, fashions, serigraphs, quilts, clay, wood, were among the media forms recognized and utilized by great Native artists in 2016. These artists listed by ICTMN are among the best in these fields and they have the awards and honors to show for it.
Teri Greeves (Kiowa/Comanche)
Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Greeves is a jeweler, bead-artist and visual artist, has won several awards at the Santa Fe Indian Market and the Heard Museum among others. Greeves mixes traditional style Plains arts with a pop art aesthetic as seen in her beaded boots and sneakers. She and her sister, Keri Ataumbi, were honored as Living Treasures at the Museum of Indian Art and Culture in Santa Fe. Their mother, Jeri Ah-be-hill, was honored at MIAC last year.
Greeves was selected as a USA (United States Artists) Distinguished Fellow in the traditional arts category, and released this statement. “I am honored to receive this amazing recognition from United States Artists. The Fellowship represents the gift of time… to experiment, to learn new skills, research, and create... As for what I will be making, there is so much shifting in this world right now, the life of this planet is at a crossroads and as a Native artist, as a Kiowa woman, as a mother, I know that my feelings and prayers for this world will be at the heart of any new work.”
Steven Paul Judd (Kiowa/Choctaw)
Judd is from Oklahoma and is a visual artist who mashes up Native experiences and American pop culture in sly and humorous ways. Judd was awarded a USA Hatch Fellow for Media, for his work as a filmmaker, director, screenwriter, and writer of fiction. He’s known as a director for his Native films, American Indian Graffiti: This Thing Life, Search for the World's Best Indian Taco and Ronnie BoDean. He designed artwork for the electric pow-wow group, “A Tribe Called Red” and his mural "War Paint" can be seen at historic Indian Alley in downtown Los Angeles.
Judd was busy when Indian Country caught up to him at home in Oklahoma, he rattled of his schedule, “I just released my book, I’m in post on a short film and a feature film… just had a big shirt release… now with the fellowship money I plan to do bigger "instillation" projects.” Asking what he means by instillation over installation, Judd said, “We gonna instill knowledge to non-natives and some cultural pride in the natives.”
Raven Chacon (Dine’)
Chacon was selected as a USA Distinguished Fellow in the music category. Chacon is an award-winning musician, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a composer of chamber music, a performer of experimental noise music, and an installation artist.
As an educator, Chacon has served as composer-in-residence for the Native American Composer Apprentice Project (NACAP) since 2004, teaching string quartet composition to hundreds of American Indian high school students living on reservations in the Southwest. This project was awarded the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in 2011.
Patricia Michaels (Taos Pueblo)
Michaels made waves as a Native fashion designer when she almost won Season 11 of Project Runway, a reality TV show on A&E. She has since gone on to build her PM Waterlily design line and this year showed from Palm Springs to New York City’s Fashion Week. On November 4, Michaels was chosen as Honorary Keynote Speaker for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and their Millennium Scholars Program.
“They were celebrating their last year for scholarship recipients, and the recipients were from all over the world. I spent Nov 4, 5 and 6 with them. The students, staff and organization couldn't have been more perfect for one's hope in the future, and for your own soul. I realize I've created a voice that shows the way for others like me but who may be in other fields and interests. When one looks at the bigger picture we stand in camaraderie for a better world,” said Michaels.
Jason Garcia (Santa Clara Pueblo)
It was a good year for Garcia, winning major awards at the SWAIA Indian Market and the Heard Museum, Phoenix. He won Best of Classification, for paintings, prints, graphics, photography, participated in two big group exhibitions plus his solo exhibition - “Tewa Tales of Suspense!”; he was an Artist in Residence at the Institute of American Indian Arts, and graduated with a MFA in printmaking from the University of Wisconsin.
Known for his clay work combining traditional techniques and pop art references, his awards are for a new series of serigraphs. You can find him at Okuu Pín (Turtle Mountain) Studio. Here he is interviewed at the awards reception at Santa Fe’s Indian Market.
Carla Hemlock (Kahnawake Mohawk)
Some best artists are teams as in family doing the work together or doing different things together. Babe makes the wood cradleboards and Carla does quilting and the fabric art. They do the Heard Museum Show and the National Museum of the American Indian Art and have had success at Santa Fe Indian Market winning top awards there since 2013. This year SWAIA honored Carla with an Innovation Award, for “We Remain Haudenosaunee”, a pictorial quilt with historical text that reveals the history of a scorched earth campaign against the Iroquois Confederacy directed by George Washington, and led by Generals John Sullivan and James Clinton. Hemlock used a digital photo on canvas with her family dressed and posed with the corn that was the target of the Sullivan Campaign.
Shelley Morningsong (Northern Cheyenne)
Shelley took the coveted Artist of the Year award for her album “Love Medicine” and commanded the stage with a stellar performance of singing and playing flute as her husband and musical partner, Fabian Fontenelle performed in his stunning regalia. September 17 at the 16th Annual Native American Music Awards was quite an evening filled with beauty, love, laughter and tears from actors, comedians and musicians in Native American entertainment at the Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino Event Center.
Moving tributes to departed heroes, icons and dear friends John Trudell and Jim Boyd highlighted the evening.