"The Wright Stuff" Native Art Blog

Summer 2021 Community Grant Voting is LIVE! Group 13 – 17

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

VOTE for your favorites of all ages and submissions:

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

Ponca Tribe of OK (enrolled) and Omaha Tribe of NE
Title: ‘Digital Landscape’
As an urban Native, with deceased parents and grandparents, I use my phone to connect with my extended family in Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Ohio. With technology I am no longer the lone Native in my physical world. I can learn about my culture, traditions, and meet other Natives like me. When I am in a dark place and feel isolated I can digitally connect with others to remind myself that I am not alone and I come from a long line of warriors. I see technology as a digital landscape that can create a sacred space for Native people to gather. This landscape is represented in my drawing. In my drawing I used a filter on the phone screen to represent the beauty that exists even during the darkest times. The iPhone represents our ability to create a community with technology. We thrive through our gatherings. The digital landscape allowed us to stay connected during covid through Zoom and groups like the Social Distance Powwow. The digital landscape helps us share our issues and process our grief. Native people joined together to fight for our existence through movements like #EveryChildMatters, #MMIW, IdleNoMore, and #No-DAPL. I represent these movements on the iPhone case. The jingle dress dancer is a universal figure for healing, strength, resilience, and connection. The Digital Age created an Indigenous landscape that united our people and eliminated borders. Technology helps create communities to share our culture and reclaim our identity. The digital landscape provides a way to connect, learn, reduce our isolation, and express ourselves. The government separated Indigenous people through international borders, reservations, boarding schools, and relocation. The digital age allows us to reconnect. Social media and technology helps connect Native people from all generations and geographic locations to share our stories, causes, culture, traditions, grief, and talents. We can dance for healing, fight racism, and make our voices heard.

Sierra, 16

Seminole (enrolled), Mvskoke, Chahta, Cheyenne
Title: ‘Staying Connected’
When in a world where technology continues to dominate daily, we can still choose to create, and further develop our own personal connections with the earth, our culture, our people, and ourselves. We can even use it positively, we can use it to share our thoughts, hopes, dreams. Share our art, and see others’ creativity. We can use it for many, many things. But the best possible use for it? The ability to connect with our loved ones, creating personal connections in a digital world.” This piece shows a boy, and a girl floating in space, reaching for one another, with the many different galaxies, and stars all around them. The space is a representation of the digital world, with different QR codes throughout this piece. Them being the only ones in it together at the moment, as they’re trying to reach each other. They both reach towards a QR code, which when scanned, will direct you to this Google document. There are seven different QR codes in this piece that are important to its meaning. This artwork can be interpreted by the eye of the beholder, but when I look at it, I see my brother and I. We both definitely bond over video games, and they have been a great way for us to pass the time together, I always enjoy these times, and I feel it further connects me to him, as we’re both different in different ways, and I’m glad that no matter what, we can always stay connected, by the digital world, within the digital world, and outside of the digital world. Remember the QR codes? You can scan them by opening your phone camera and pointing it at them! If your phone does not have this, then I’d advise to download a QR reader app. There are seven different codes, each one being different pictures that are important to me.

Georgia, 15

Navajo, Minnesota Lake Superior Chippewa
Title: “Cyber Punk”
I chose to make this piece as a Pendant-It represents me in the copper silhouette form in front of my computer, that I made during the pandemic, the turquoise represent blessings. The circuit board is me inquiring knowledge, which means I literally like to investigate how things are made. Circuit boards carry waves of energy, much like physical energy, a spiritual sense of connection with out the human touch yet it is felt. So the pendant is next to my heart like my friends and family.

Mosgaadace, 15

Enrolled member of the Crow tribe and descendant of the Quechan, Kumeyaay and Chippewa tribes
Title: ‘Falling’
My drawing is about how we forget that we are in the real world. As we are drawn into social media. How we suddenly fall back into the real world, and how we want to go back. How we will reach back.

Isabella, 14