The Final Four Revealed! 2019 Wool Blanket Design Contest

May 21, 2019 89 Comments

After a challenging review of 13 semi-finalists, and closely reading through hundreds of community feedback comments from folks all over the country, the Eighth Generation team has decided on the final four! First, if you want to get a deeper sense of our work with contest winners, check out this awesome video of Louie Gong (Nooksack) talking to David Robert Boxley (Tsimshian), winner of Eighth Generation’s first Wool Blanket Design Contest, in Metlakatla, Alaska! 

 

We encourage you to show love and support by leaving a comment about your favorites for the final four contestants, as well as the previously showcased Honorable Mentions, along with the First and Second Round of Semi-Finalists!

Take a look at the beautiful artwork below. Please remember that the art below are intended to be broad examples of their work - not necessarily wool blanket designs - so you'll have to use your imagination. If you have the chance, please check out their website or social media pages and support their work! 

Geo Neptune -  PASSAMAQUODDY AT INDIAN TOWNSHIP

 "Geo's artwork is absolutely stunning. The basket designs would look incredible on a wool blanket!" - Adriana Perrusquia, Communications Specialist

As a Two-Spirit basketmaker, much of Geo's work focuses on fancy baskets—a tradition coming from the women from their family. Geo finds the most success when they look at historic examples of Passamaquoddy/Wabanaki baskets and give them a contemporary spin with modern colors, abstract shapes, miniaturization and the incorporation of non-traditional materials. Geo's goal as an artist is to use baskets and stories to create pieces that not only inspire Indigenous youth to practice their culture and find new ways to be Indigenous, but to also inspire other Two-Spirits across turtle island to reclaim their sacred roles within their communities.

Sydney Jacobs - Mohawks of Akwesasne

"I absolutely love Sydney's work. Her skill as a digital artist is amazing, and every single piece is absolutely charming." -Kim Kroeker, Graphic Design Lead

Sydneydesigner, illustrator and maker of thingscreated her brand Ken’niwá:’a because she saw that Eastern Woodland tribes are underrepresented and baby products are even more rare. Sydney proudly describes her work as "a celebration of everything we are and everything we can be." She painted hundreds of beads by hand to create the quilt above that takes inspiration from nature and traditional styles of beading without creating a choking hazard. She keeps her style black and white because she believes babies absolutely love contrast. Sydney also created the piece below she calls Traditional Paper Dolls. She describes her paper doll collection as exactly how our children arecute and full of history. 

Fox Spears -  Karuk

"Spear's artwork holds immense potential. His online portfolio was extremely helpful in showcasing the breadth and extent of his artwork and how his designs translate beautifully throughout different mediums" - Serene Lawrence, Project Manager

Fox's current focus as an artist is using printmaking to reinterpret traditional Karuk basketry designs into contemporary works on paper. When he makes art, he thinks about the people who made them, the knowledge that was passed down from previous generations, and the time and effort that brought these baskets into existence. Each basket tells a unique story, and is a memory from a way of life that has existed for millennia. The prints he creates are a deliberate continuance of one visual aspect of Karuk culture. While his work is not created as activist art, its presence is inherently an act of resistance against colonial assimilation. Fox says his art is made with intention: to thank and honor his ancestors, to mourn losses and heal historical traumas, and to help create new Indigenous futures.

Carol Douglas - Northern Arapaho - Seminole Nation of Oklahoma

"We are currently working with 4 different traditional weavers from the northwest, and I think Carol's masterful and totally unique work would be a nice compliment to what is already in the pipeline. The contrasting styles will create an opportunity for education." - Louie Gong, Founder and Owner

Carola Traditional/Contemporary basket weaver and multimedia artistcreates baskets that tell a story by design, shape and use of color. The coiled basket weaving process is time consuming, and she takes inspiration from her Northern Arapaho and Seminole heritage. She has based some of her designs using Plains style beadwork, ledger art and parfleche designs from her mother’s tribe, as well as colors and patterns of Seminole patchwork in her work.

 

What's Next:

We will be conducting phone interviews with the final four contestants. Please feel free to share with your networks, and make sure to keep an eye out for the winner in the next couple of weeks!




89 Responses

Shannon
Shannon

May 22, 2019

Geo Neptune, very, very Beautiful colors and design!!

Damara Jacobs
Damara Jacobs

May 22, 2019

Congratulations to the final four! All of the work is beyond beautiful. If I had a vote I would select Fox Spears. The purity of the design would look awesome as a blanket!

MARIE ABAYA
MARIE ABAYA

May 22, 2019

Geo!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jenna Burnett
Jenna Burnett

May 22, 2019

Geo Neptune!

Malena
Malena

May 22, 2019

Beautiful work by all. Geo and Fox are my favorites. Good luck making a selection!:)

Lenore Three Stars
Lenore Three Stars

May 22, 2019

1. Fox Spears clean bold lines adapt so well to a blanket, I already want to order!
2. Sydney Jacobs lines are sophisticated with a fine art sense

Lenore Three Stars
Lenore Three Stars

May 22, 2019

1. Fox Spears clean bold lines adapt so well to a blanket, I already want to order!
2. Sydney Jacobs lines are sophisticated with a fine art sense

eric morrison
eric morrison

May 22, 2019

I love them all but i would most want to shroud myself in Carol’’s work. Such peaceful work

Steve
Steve

May 22, 2019

Amazing art & design by everyone! I would love to have a Two Spirit blanket by Geo and a beautiful Karuk inspired blanket by Fox.

Danai
Danai

May 22, 2019

Geo’s use of color really captures the eye. Translated into a blanket….fascinating! Love the wee birds too! Somehow though, I’d really like to see what Carol would come up with for a blanket design. Her baskets have so much story & food for thought to them. It’s really hard to choose because all four are wonderful artists, but I think I’ll cast my vote for Carol.

Monica
Monica

May 22, 2019

I would be so excited to see a Carol Douglas design on an EighthGen wool blanket!!! Two of my fave artists together in one! AWESOME!!!

Robin
Robin

May 22, 2019

All are beautiful, I love Carol’s a lot, but Geo’s would get me to your store fast!

Ryn
Ryn

May 22, 2019

Geo Neptune or Fox Spears really struck me the most. Wonderful artists, all, though!

David Drinkard
David Drinkard

May 22, 2019

Geo, the basket is filled with healing energy. I look at it and I smile as I watch my day being eclipsed by the love woven in. Wado…David of Saint Louis, Missouri.

Marc Anthony
Marc Anthony

May 22, 2019

I am fascinated by the work of all these artists. The diversity, and the way traditional design has been adapted and interpreted are impressive. I vote for Fox Spears for a blanket design

Claire Ramsey
Claire Ramsey

May 22, 2019

All four are exciting designs. But to my eye Geo Neptune’s vision is the one I’d like to see in a blanket. Even though it might be too exciting to sleep under!

Steven Hooper
Steven Hooper

May 22, 2019

All fabulous artists! For blankets specifically the examples presented by Fox Spears are beautiful and perfectly suited. I would treasure either one

Mary Ramsey
Mary Ramsey

May 22, 2019

I love Fox and Sydney

Brenda Comolli
Brenda Comolli

May 22, 2019

I feel so drawn toward Carol’s work. I will choose her.

Cathy
Cathy

May 21, 2019

They are all fabulous artists. That being said Carols design is both traditional and appealing.
I believe that her design would be universally appealing and commercially successful.

Angielina Grass
Angielina Grass

May 22, 2019

Geo Neptune’s basketry designs are perfect for blanket designs.

Alex
Alex

May 21, 2019

each artist is phenomenal. For a blanket, I have to go with Fox.

Teddy
Teddy

May 22, 2019

Geo Neptune! the details are amazing! the colors are so vibrant! Wonderful!

Janice Anthony
Janice Anthony

May 21, 2019

I vote for Geo Neptune. Their use of color and the intensity of the design glows like the Aurora in the dark night sky. The translation of the woven art of a basket into the woven art of a blanket has a very strong meaning to the Indigenous community. And Geo’s work with young people and their courage as a two-spirit person gives depth to their designs.

Donna Sabattus
Donna Sabattus

May 22, 2019

Geo’s basket is stunning! His art would look amazing as a blanket.

Mali
Mali

May 22, 2019

Love the basket by Geo Soctomah! Would look fantastic as a blanket

Nadine
Nadine

May 22, 2019

Sydney’s work is unique and displays her feelings put into her work and her skill in placing the beading.

Andrew
Andrew

May 21, 2019

Sydney Jacobs!!

Maria
Maria

May 21, 2019

Geo Neptune!

Simon
Simon

May 21, 2019

So much beauty! And would especially love to see Geo’s colors and details in a blanket :)

Rachel
Rachel

May 17, 2019

These are all excellent artists with exciting visions. Out of the artists represented here, I think Carol has the most unique style to add to the 8th generation collection. 8th generation has many traditionally patterned blankets and blankets that include a focal character. I think Carol’s work could add a dimension of strength and visibility in community and representation. Her medium literally “ties” people together and I think she could create a beautiful piece that celebrates the strength, diversity, power and breath of community.

Erin
Erin

May 17, 2019

The baskets are lovely as baskets, and I applaud those two artists for continuing on with this important art form! Yet when I think about 8th Generation as a company and its mission and…feel…I’m feeling Fox Speares’s and Sydney Jacobs’s work so so so much more! If I had to choose a top artist specifically for a blanket or to be working on products for 8th Gen, it have to be Fox, as his monotypes totally translate to the medium and are gorgeous. thoughtful design. I love how he’s gone deep into translating Karuk basket design into 2-D and using paper as the medium…printmaking is also becoming more and more of a lost art, so there’s something amazing about it as a tactile medium (sorry if i sound too artsyfartsy! Just excited about this and no, I don’t know any of these contestants personally). His sense and use of color is also incredible and I could see his designs working with a ton of products and appealing to a really broad demographic! He definitely keep standing out to me. That said, while I can’t see Sydney’s website as something’s wrong with it, when I look at her IG, I immediately get a sense of her design aesthetic and love how she’s using b&w contrast not only for practical reasons, but to work with traditional imagery, pattern, and craft in a new way. Not sure what her design background is, but if she hasn’t been to art school and is traditionally taught I would seriously back her talent as her design sense feels so developed for being such a young artist! I am biased a bit personally in that I’d be excited to see the Haudenosaunee representation, but objectively too, I think there is a ton of potential for 8th Gen products in her design…appealing to men, women, and kids, not just one demographic. So there’s my 1-2! Thanks for letting us weigh in!

Margaret
Margaret

May 17, 2019

I love Sydney’s! Watching her create her designs on her IPhone was unbelievable and listening to her explain what she was doing helped make the pieces come alive. I’m so excited that more people are getting a chance to see her incredible talent.

Mary Klement
Mary Klement

May 17, 2019

I’d love the opportunity to buy a Geo inspired blanket! Absolutely gor-geo-us . :)

Lucas Hitchen-Smith
Lucas Hitchen-Smith

May 17, 2019

I vote for Geo Neptune!! Their work is so beautiful and delicate, with powerful meaning and poetry behind their artistry. Geo also does important work for the Two Spirit and queer community so they can’t be given enough credit! They’re a shining example of humanity, art, culture and power 💜

Jodi
Jodi

May 17, 2019

Sydney has beautiful eye i ❤️ her design

Kali Bird Isis
Kali Bird Isis

May 17, 2019

They are all stunning. I particularly love Geo Neptune’s vibrant intricate basket design. Gorgeous!

Nan Micco
Nan Micco

May 17, 2019

Mrs. Douglas’ work is beautiful and unique. A blanket of her design would be tremendous. Love to own one.

Susan Dickson-Smith
Susan Dickson-Smith

May 17, 2019

All the designs are beautiful, but Geo Neptune gets my vote! Their designs are full of colors that just pop! They are also doing such important work inspiring and supporting other Two Spirit people, and encouraging Indigenous youth to embrace and learn about their culture and traditional arts. I would love to have a blanket they designed.

Circe
Circe

May 16, 2019

Geo Neptune’s design and color are brilliant and demonstrate exquisite talent.

Jaq Nigg
Jaq Nigg

May 17, 2019

They’re all so very beautiful. For me, though, the joy and artistry of Geo’s work translated onto a blanket is the one I long to see.

Jane Whitney
Jane Whitney

May 17, 2019

Geo Neptune’s baskets are breath-taking creations of rainbow colors and the hues of the evening skies. Imagine wrapping yourself in a blanket of these atmospheric mysteries!

Jessica Beltran
Jessica Beltran

May 16, 2019

How can I get Fox Spears’ work inside my living room? His dedication to the past, through brilliant design in the present, is truly precious. I want MORE!

Carl Hale
Carl Hale

May 22, 2019

I’m also rooting for Sydney Jacobs. Our grand children wear her designs on t shirts and have her artwork in their rooms. Her work is outstanding. Congrats to all 4 finalists for their beautiful work.

Nika
Nika

May 16, 2019

My vote is for Fox’s beautiful geometric designs, which would make stunning blankets! All of these finalists are wonderful—maybe do the whole series.

Karen Davis
Karen Davis

May 22, 2019

Geo’s work is exquisite and absolutely breathtaking! The vibrant colors capture the beauty and positive energy in his work! What a gorgeous blanket this would be!

Nakia
Nakia

May 22, 2019

Geo’s basket weave would make an amazing blanket!

Jason Brown
Jason Brown

May 22, 2019

They are all gorgeous however Geo has my vote!! Fabulous!!

Crystal
Crystal

May 16, 2019

Geo Neptune’s basket is gorgeous. I love the bright colors!

Savannah
Savannah

May 16, 2019

WOW, I would TOTALLY purchase Fox’s blankets. Those are stunning. The other artists are fantastic, but Fox’s blankets speak to me. The simplicity and contrast is like a hand print on my heart.

Elizabeth Neptune
Elizabeth Neptune

May 16, 2019

Congratulations to all of the finalists. The entry by Geo Soctomah Neptune is still my favorite by far.

Scott
Scott

May 17, 2019

Wonderful works, I like the Fox Spears blanket best!

Dayna Stout
Dayna Stout

May 17, 2019

Fox Spears!

Cindy Maki
Cindy Maki

May 16, 2019

These are all so gorgeous… but I can picture my living room complete with a Fox Spears blanket!

Phil Stoiber
Phil Stoiber

May 16, 2019

Fox Spears sends a message that inspires me, and the geometries of his Karuk art beg to be shared and enjoyed as blankets!

Byron
Byron

May 16, 2019

I love Fox Spears’ designs!

Carolyn
Carolyn

May 16, 2019

They are all beautiful, but my vote is for Fox Spears. I love that his designs honor Karuk basket weavers by showcasing these designs that have been in our culture since time immemorial. Not only is his work striking, but it is also deeply meaningful. Yôotva, Fox!

Anne
Anne

May 17, 2019

All four finalist’s design sense is outstanding. Geo Neptune’s beautiful woven colors would be my choice on a blanket.

Rita A Moore
Rita A Moore

May 15, 2019

Carol’s baskets are gorgeous! Wonderful colors, clean simple designs. I want one. Would love to have a blanket of her design.

LorettaBarber-Miner
LorettaBarber-Miner

May 15, 2019

Geo Neptune’s baskets would translate into an amazing blanket. His baskets are full of life and meaning!🖤💜💛💚💙❤💖

Angele
Angele

May 22, 2019

Geo Neptune!!!! Absolutely stunning work everytime!

Jennifer
Jennifer

May 15, 2019

My top vote is for Sydney’s design! I love the simplicity of the black and white. And the dotted lines of the floral design make me think of an elegant pattern of pearls arranged on a background of black velvet.

krittur
krittur

May 16, 2019

I would like to cast my vote for Geo Neptune. The contrast and gradation of colors would be phenomenal on a blanket, and as Two Spirit myself, I can really support and find comfort in their activism and work.

Teena
Teena

May 15, 2019

Love Sydney Jacobs design!

Jessica Sargent
Jessica Sargent

May 15, 2019

I’m rooting for Sydney! She does an amazing job of representing our beautiful Haudenoshaunee culture as well as showing a lot of Akwesasne’s unique beauty! Congratulations to all the finalists!

Zoe
Zoe

May 15, 2019

I’m so glad you’re doing this! It’s been so amazing to see all the artwork. I especially love Geo’s work.

Ana Wallace
Ana Wallace

May 22, 2019

GEO GEO GEO!!! Not only are Geo’ s designs stunning but they are an amazing person with such a huge heart and a beautiful message.

Sheila Unvala
Sheila Unvala

May 15, 2019

Geo Neptune’s work is absolutely breathtaking!

Dana Lippitt
Dana Lippitt

May 17, 2019

Geo is the most amazing artist. I just love everything they do!

Mary
Mary

May 17, 2019

Geo! I really hope to have the opportunity to purchase a blanket with their design. Gorgeous!!

Chanise
Chanise

May 15, 2019

Geo Neptune has such incredible talent. The basket is beyond stunning not only in design but shape as well.

Ana Rapp
Ana Rapp

May 22, 2019

I vote for Geo Neptune!!!

Julie
Julie

May 22, 2019

GEO!

Kim R Trujillo
Kim R Trujillo

May 15, 2019

Congratulations to the four finalists, sending encouragement to continue the beautiful work of each. I am certainly encouraged to be recognized within the semi-finalists.

Dawn Neptune Adams
Dawn Neptune Adams

May 22, 2019

Geo! 😍

Allene Kearney
Allene Kearney

May 15, 2019

All are beautiful. I especially love the children for the subject, coloration and beauty. And the unique basket weaving of the women. It is superb. Flavor of unity, peace and tradition are all woven in a peaceful loving way.

Brandon
Brandon

May 15, 2019

Geo’s is stunning. The colors are so vibrant and Two-Spirit representation is important!

Asa shenandoah
Asa shenandoah

May 15, 2019

Geo Soctomah Neptune is a beautiful person who does beautiful work. Contemporary colors and designs based in tradition. Their work is stunning and would look absolutely brilliant as a design on fabric.

Jennifer P.
Jennifer P.

May 15, 2019

Geo Neptune’s work is absolutely beautiful as well as a necessary statement of identity, inclusion, and strength. I can easily see Their art turned into a blanket that anyone would be proud to own.

Evan
Evan

May 15, 2019

I would have to vote for Geo Neptune from Passamaquoddy at Indian Township. Their basketry and designs are absolutely gorgeous. 😍

Andy Reza
Andy Reza

May 15, 2019

I absolutely vote for Geo Neptune for the winning blanket design. I would love to get that blanket in a heartbeat!

Lisa Fulton
Lisa Fulton

May 15, 2019

Love Geo Neptune’s design and colors! It would be fantastic!

Tina Kuckkahn
Tina Kuckkahn

May 15, 2019

I always appreciate how Eighth Generation uses its platform and success to showcase the diversity of tribal talent across the nation. Well done, all!

Aroha Mead
Aroha Mead

May 15, 2019

Love all four finalists and especially love the red design by Fox Spears as it is a design that many indigenous cultures around the world can relate to

Patricia J Henery
Patricia J Henery

May 15, 2019

How hard to choose from so much beauty!!

David
David

May 15, 2019

All beautiful…BUT….for a blanket….no question……FOX SPEARS!

Megan McDermott
Megan McDermott

May 15, 2019

I’m so happy for Carol!! Her work is beautifully diverse and she has 20+ years of experience with weaving and she just started painting.
BTW, her website is www.CemarthleArt.com
I think when I clicked on her name it went to an email.
@cemarthle is her IG

brian wilson
brian wilson

May 15, 2019

I love the basket design – it would be great to have this incorporated into an Eighth Generation wool blanket.

Carol Douglas – Northern Arapaho – Seminole Nation of Oklahoma
Ellen Freedman
Ellen Freedman

May 15, 2019

Carol’s basket is just breath-taking. Not to take away from the other three finalists, but this one knocked my socks off the moment I saw it.

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