Wright's Indian Art

"The Wright Stuff" Native Art Blog

Winter 2021 Community Grant Voting is LIVE! Group 18 – 21

We are thrilled to announce and share our incredible submissions for the Winter 2021 Native Arts Community Grant. This is the 18 -21 group.
View ages 12 & under here.
View ages 13 – 17 here.

VOTE for your favorites of all ages and submissions:

12 and under here
13 – 17 here
18 – 21 here 

Navajo (Diné)/San Carlos Apache
Title: "Father to Daughter"
In this painting, I used acrylic paint, canvas, and paintbrushes. The painting is about what my father has taught me when I was a child. I wanted to paint something of what a child would think of first when taught about the Native American Church. When I was younger he taught me the meaning of peyote meetings, the feathers we use in our fans, meaning of cedar and sage. The painting represents just that. He was taught by his grandfather and father about the Native American Church and is now teaching me so that I can teach my little one.

Elle, 19

Picuris Pueblo/Navajo (Diné)
Title: "Feast Day Photoshoot"
My piece, Feast Day Photoshoot, depicts two Pueblo siblings posing for the camera after the dance. This piece is very reminiscent of my memories of feast days in Picuris, being stopped before you get to the door by family and friends. Giving blessing and posing for quick pictures is something we dancers find honored to participate in just as much as we do dancing. These average feast day photos represent our ancestors' spirit living through us. The girl expresses a very buoyant energy, happily showing off her shawl for the camera. The boy on the other hand is much more introverted and camera-shy, a lot like myself. The scenery behind them is inspired by the front doors of average Pueblo homes; horno, wooden doors, homemade curtains. Now in the age of social distancing, I cherish these memories of being together with my people. These traditions live on through our memories until we can be together again.

Zonnie, 19

Apache (Ndee)/Navajo (Diné)
For some time now, I’ve been curious about my identity as an Apache (Ndee), and Navajo (Dine) woman. Growing in the Flagstaff area, I wasn’t surrounded by the traditions of my people and it was easy to get lost in the sea of modern life. But somehow, whenever I would return to the homelands of my parents, it was such a significant reminder there is so much to appreciate about the indigenous life way. When I was 16, I went through a rite of passage ceremony called the Apache Sunrise Dance, and that was a true test of mental, physical, and spiritual strength. That experience, although it was a tough battle, shaped who I am and is something I can still reminisce about to this day. The hard lessons I learned throughout those four days of ceremony, inspire me to stay aligned with my beliefs and to stay rooted in my culture. For my art piece, I wanted to travel back to a specific moment during my dance and bring to life the experience I felt during the moment. **The sun was just climbing over the hillside to the east, and I could feel the resonance of the drums surrounding me. The whole family was at my side to witness my change from a young girl into a woman. After hours of dancing and running to the four sacred directions, the blessing ceremony was underway. The sun was now high in the sky, beaming down on all the people. All of the people, young and old, lined up to bless my family and me with polled and this was a special moment because I was able to see all the people that came to support my face to face. We had all been working so hard to help each other through this whole experience and in this intimate moment we were able to show our love, respect, and faith in the power of carrying our traditions forward.** The painting depicts a young Apache girl encompassed by the moon, representing her protector while she journeys through a spiritual ceremony. The colors are representative of the four sacred directions and one’s journey through life. Black-east (representing birth,) Blue-south (representing childhood,) Yellow-west (representing adulthood,) white-north (representing elders.) The vortex of color is representative of all the different people converging together to bless the young girl with yellow pollen, to nourish and replenish her weary spirit.

Kendra, 21

Title: “Nakomtha”
My piece is titled “Nakomtha” which is Shawnee for “my Grandmother”. The passing of Earth from the older hand to the younger hand represents the passing of traditions to the next generation. I chose dirt/Earth because I grew up gardening with Nakomtha and learning the reciprocity of our relationship with the Earth. The passing of Earth also represents how younger generations inherit the Earth from their Elders and the need to return the land and learn to live with it again if we want our traditions to live on. The roots below the hands represent the past generations that had to happen for the current one to exist and be there for the sharing of tradition. The flowers represent the individual and unique families from the past generations; They’re black and white to represent that they are the past generations but they still have streaks of color as a reminder of the permanence of them, their lives, and what they contributed to the growth of their lineage. The roots above represent the generations to come. The flowers here that represent the families that are yet to exist, are in color to emphasize the potential of who those people will be.

Patience, 20