September 05, 2018
Eighth Generation has teamed up with popular Diné artist and entrepreneur, Jared Yazzie (OXDX) to bring you the "Tribute" Wool Blanket! Eighth Generation Project Manager Serene Lawrence (Anishinaabe/Hopi) says, "We couldn't be more excited to partner with Jared, an artist that's both grounded in community and shooting for the stars. Together we will highlight a fact that's lost on large companies that profit off of fake Native art - that authentic Native art, artists, and stories add value." The blanket will be among the highest profile of Eighth Generation's 45 blankets, each of which is designed by a Native artist.
Jared Yazzie's (Diné) "Tribute" Wool Blanket
A self-taught graphic artist, entrepreneur, and designer, Jared is known for his bold, graphic style that incorporates vibrant Diné motifs with messages of Native empowerment. The "Tribute" Wool Blanket pays homage to traditional rug designs woven by his grandmothers. Within Navajo weaving, clues to where a rug has been woven can be found in patterns originating in specific areas, or colors of yarn dyed from particular plants.
Jared says, “While my grandmothers are no longer with us, these patterns and colors remain to tell us the story of where they come from. I felt it was important to show tributes to their designs through my new work. It makes me feel as if I am passing along their legacy.”
Jared Yazzie (Diné) with his "Tribute" Wool Blanket, photo by Tomás Karmelo Amaya (Yaqui/Zuni/Rarámuri)
Jared started OXDX out of his dorm room at the University of Arizona in Tuscon, screen printing t-shirts and selling them out of the trunk of his car at powwows, art events, and flea markets. Now a popular street wear brand, OXDX has been featured on CNN, The Wall Street Journal, Refinery 29, Huffington Post, the Smithsonian Institution, and more.
This partnership between Eighth Generation and OXDX represents Native people working together to pursue economic sovereignty, which ultimately creates a cycle of support that benefits Native communities, artists, and art. Eighth Generation founder, Louie Gong says, “This cycle of support includes consumers, who strengthen cultural art when they buy from Native artists and Native-owned companies.”
"Jared's design process started by going to the closet to look at his Grandma's designs. I think that's infinitely more meaningful than some in-house designer Googling Navajo Rug or Navajo Blanket and then copying it," he says. "Our presence on the market asks consumers to decide which process they want to strengthen with their dollar."
Through the end of year, Eighth Generation plans to release at least one new blanket a month, including a baby blanket by Sarah Agaton Howes (Anishinaabe), the highly anticipated "Two Spirit" blanket by Ryan Young (Ojibwe), and the "Lightning Horse" Blanket by John Pepion (Blackfeet).
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Eighth Generation by Louie Gong