May 21, 2019
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!
May 28, 2019
I’m with a Tolowa elder and a Yurok basket master and we think Fox Spears red blanket design is a winner and we’re ready to order.
Geo Neptune creates beautiful baskets with fantastic energy. I believe his work translated to a blanket will carry this beautiful energy as well. Congratulations to all of the finalists.
May 22, 2019
Geo Neptune, very, very Beautiful colors and design!!
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!
They all are great, but to see something different in the basket-weaving style for a blanket would be different from the others before. Carol does such amazing work, to where I continuously ask “how did she do that, or create that, or incorporate that into her weaving?” It would be great to see what Eighth Generation could incorporate from one of her basket designs.
Beautiful work by all. Geo and Fox are my favorites. Good luck making a selection!:)
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
I love them all but i would most want to shroud myself in Carol’’s work. Such peaceful work
Amazing art & design by everyone! I would love to have a Two Spirit blanket by Geo and a beautiful Karuk inspired blanket by Fox.
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.
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!!!
All are beautiful, I love Carol’s a lot, but Geo’s would get me to your store fast!
Geo Neptune or Fox Spears really struck me the most. Wonderful artists, all, though!
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.
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
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!
All fabulous artists! For blankets specifically the examples presented by Fox Spears are beautiful and perfectly suited. I would treasure either one
I love Fox and Sydney
I feel so drawn toward Carol’s work. I will choose her.
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.
Geo Neptune’s basketry designs are perfect for blanket designs.
each artist is phenomenal. For a blanket, I have to go with Fox.
Geo Neptune! the details are amazing! the colors are so vibrant! Wonderful!
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.
Geo’s basket is stunning! His art would look amazing as a blanket.
Love the basket by Geo Soctomah! Would look fantastic as a blanket
Sydney’s work is unique and displays her feelings put into her work and her skill in placing the beading.
May 29, 2019
Sydney’s work is unique and displays her feelings put into her work.
So much beauty! And would especially love to see Geo’s colors and details in a blanket :)
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.
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!
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.
I’d love the opportunity to buy a Geo inspired blanket! Absolutely gor-geo-us . :)
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 💜
Sydney has beautiful eye i ❤️ her design
They are all stunning. I particularly love Geo Neptune’s vibrant intricate basket design. Gorgeous!
Mrs. Douglas’ work is beautiful and unique. A blanket of her design would be tremendous. Love to own one.
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.
May 16, 2019
Geo Neptune’s design and color are brilliant and demonstrate exquisite talent.
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.
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!
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!
Geo ‘s work highlights the resilience of working in traditional ways in the present.. Weaving the wisdom of Elders with Bright eyes on the future.
Their work is rich and compelling.
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.
Congratulations to all ! Would love to see Geo’s weave as a blanket! Hands down! Extremely impressive.
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.
Geo’s basket for sure! ❤️
Geo’s work is amazing! I would love to see a blanket that he has designed.
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!
Geo’s basket weave would make an amazing blanket!
They are all gorgeous however Geo has my vote!! Fabulous!!
Geo’s Design is beautiful! I would love to see it as a blanket. It is so colorful and full of life.
Geo Neptune’s basket is gorgeous. I love the bright colors!
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.
Congratulations to all of the finalists. The entry by Geo Soctomah Neptune is still my favorite by far.
Wonderful works, I like the Fox Spears blanket best!
These are all so gorgeous… but I can picture my living room complete with a Fox Spears blanket!
Fox Spears sends a message that inspires me, and the geometries of his Karuk art beg to be shared and enjoyed as blankets!
Trying to see that Geo blanket
I love Fox Spears’ designs!
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!
All four finalist’s design sense is outstanding. Geo Neptune’s beautiful woven colors would be my choice on a blanket.
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.
Geo Neptune’s baskets would translate into an amazing blanket. His baskets are full of life and meaning!🖤💜💛💚💙❤💖
Geo Neptune!!!! Absolutely stunning work everytime!
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.
My vote is for Geo’s basket design!
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.
What beautiful talent! I have been following Geo Neptune’s work for years! I just can’t get enough 😍 I love the designs and bright colors :)
Love Sydney Jacobs design!
Geo’s work is just STELLAR! inspired! I hope I get to see their work on a blanket!
They are all so beautiful! And deserving of a blanket style! If I have to choose one it would be the design by Geo Soctomah Neptune. Thank you.
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!
I’m so glad you’re doing this! It’s been so amazing to see all the artwork. I especially love Geo’s work.
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.
Geo Neptune is my first vote! Thecolours in Geo’s basketry offs stunning!
Geo Neptune’s work is absolutely breathtaking!
Geo is the most amazing artist. I just love everything they do!
Geo! I really hope to have the opportunity to purchase a blanket with their design. Gorgeous!!
Geo Neptune has such incredible talent. The basket is beyond stunning not only in design but shape as well.
I vote for Geo Neptune!!!
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.
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.
Geo’s is stunning. The colors are so vibrant and Two-Spirit representation is important!
GEO NEPTUNE – PASSAMAQUODDY AT INDIAN TOWNSHIP!!!!! Incredible talent, powerful, inspiring, honoring! To be transformed into a blanket would be phenomenal!!!!
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.
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.
I would have to vote for Geo Neptune from Passamaquoddy at Indian Township. Their basketry and designs are absolutely gorgeous. 😍
I absolutely vote for Geo Neptune for the winning blanket design. I would love to get that blanket in a heartbeat!
Love Geo Neptune’s design and colors! It would be fantastic!
I always appreciate how Eighth Generation uses its platform and success to showcase the diversity of tribal talent across the nation. Well done, all!
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
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January 21, 2020
January 15, 2020
Oprah Winfrey stopped by St. Paul, Minnesota, for her “2020 Vision: Your Life In Focus” tour. Winfrey is joining local workout groups at each stop as part of her tour, and her latest stop was with the KwePack, an incredible running group of Native American women based on the Fond du Lac Reservation near Duluth, which was started by Inspired Natives Collaborator Sarah Agaton Howes (Anishinaabe). Watch as Sarah made her wildest dreams come true by wrapping Oprah in an Eighth Generation blanket that she designed!
December 31, 2019
Eighth Generation by Louie Gong