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Native artists across the continent are flooding our website with entries to this year’s Wool Blanket Design Contest – open until July 6, 2021! As our largest contest to date, we’ll be selecting three artists to design a blanket in one of three categories: a Warrior Blanket, an Elder Blanket and a People’s Choice Blanket.
Our Tribally-owned business is centered around Indigenous entrepreneurship, and we are proud to use our platform to uplift Native voices and art. Take a look at some of the stunning submissions we’ve received so far and give these artists some love!
Alyssa Masaquaptewa, Hopi
Alyssa is a twenty-one-year-old artist from Arizona based out of Honolulu, Hawai’i. Her art is centered around representing Native people both in the past and present. “As the granddaughter of a veteran and retired military member, I honor Native people who fought for our country not because of patriotism but because we are land protectors,” Alyssa says. “My art not only expresses the image that Native people hold today but also the triumphs that made us who we are.”
Inocente Freeman, Nooksack Indian Tribe and Malahat First Nations
Inocente creates modern, yet traditional beadwork by intertwining her different cultures. She also teaches beadwork in her community. “My husband is in the United States Navy, so creating a Warrior blanket hits home for me and it would be mean a great deal and a privilege to be able to design a blanket honoring our service members,” Inocente says.
Jennifer Pictou, Aroostook Band of Micmacs
Jennifer is an artist who combines stained glass and beadwork! Along with teaching art within her community, Jennifer has also represented her community at local, state, and federal levels as her Tribe’s former Tribal Historic Preservation Officer. “As a storyteller and artist, I have been able to change minds and reconnect lost tribal citizens with a piece of their culture,” Jennifer says. “I am humbled to carry on this important work. Connecting generations with each other is what my art is all about.”
Roger Perkins, Akwesasne Mohawk
Roger is a visual artist who illustrates his beliefs in the positive aspects of tradition and the natural world. Maintaining the motto “educate through art,” he hopes to inspire and unite all. “I strive at maintaining a spiritual composure as a husband, a visionary, eternal optimist and father of five children,” says Roger. “…I view my art as an all-encompassing journey of the integration of texture and color, humans and nature, spirit and the supernatural, earth and the cosmos.”
Kayne Whyte-Dale, Navajo
Kayne’s main art style is weaving mandalas. He’s also an Indigenous/visual arts teacher at the Native American Community Academy, a school he attended as a student. “We have six Core Values that we teach students through our curriculum, and I believe that the mandala embodies them; our core values are respect, responsibility, perseverance, culture, and community/service,” Kayne says. “I also enjoy weaving to honor my teacher who passed this art to me, Ralph Davis. He is an awesome artist who visits our classroom to continue sharing the weaving with students.”
Johnnie Jae, Otoe-Missouria/Choctaw
Johnnie is a celebrated journalist, speaker, podcaster, technologist, advocate, community builder and entrepreneur who loves empowering others to follow their passions and works toward positive change in the world. “I believe the more voices we have speaking up, the harder it is for our struggles, achievements and humanity to be ignored,” says Johnnie. “My art is just extension of our efforts as Native people to reclaim our narratives, tell our own stories and challenge the rampant misrepresentation and misconceptions that people have of our identities and cultures.”
Hillary Kempenich, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa
Hillary is a multi-disciplinary artist, cultural bearer and advocate who empowers Indigenous people through her work. “In Anishinaabemowin, there is no word for art; our daily lives are part of the creative process,” Hillary says. “I am a storyteller; my creations tell the stories from personal experiences, identity, historical knowledge, and observations. As we work to decolonize the spaces that we are part of, it is imperative that we self-actualize.”
Continue to follow our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts to hear from more artists! If you’re a Native artist and you haven’t entered our Wool Blanket Design Contest yet, know that you can submit your existing artwork until July 6, 2021 by visiting our Contest Page!