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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'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.
"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
Sydney—designer, illustrator and maker of things—created 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 are—cute and full of history.
"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.
"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
Carol—a Traditional/Contemporary basket weaver and multimedia artist—creates 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.
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!