Fellow Native Arts and Cultures Awardees

This is the second spotlight on Native American talent that I am doing for the blog in honor of Native Heritage Month. I was recently awarded a grant from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation http://nativeartsandcultures.com as part of the Artistic Innovation – Through the Soul of an Artist initiative. I decided that this week I will highlight just a few of the other individual artists who were also awarded this honor in 2010. This year eight artists were selected, below are just a few. To read more about all the artists from this year’s cycle go to http://nativeartsandcultures.com/innovation It is such an honor to be included with this group of amazing talent.


Emily Johnson (Yup’ik)
Emily Johnson is dancer and choreographer whose work often functions as an “installation performance” that combines dance, storytelling vignettes, props, and theater sets. Funding for this project will assist the artist in the development of new work centered on movement, story, and sound housed within an installation of hand-made fish skin lanterns. The project will reach the stage after continued ripening of the piece. You can learn more about her and her work at: http://www.catalystdance.com/

Sonya Kelliher-Combs
Sonya Kelliher-Combs is a visual artist whose work is rooted in painting but is interwoven and influenced by traditional skin sewing and sculptural elements using animal parts. Funding for this project will support work with a master printer and the development of an exhibit. The project will culminate in a retrospective solo exhibit at the International Gallery of Contemporary Native Art in Anchorage. She is also on the board of the Alaska Native Arts Foundation: www.alaskanativearts.org

Ricardo Mendoza

Ricardo Mendoza is a seasoned muralist who follows in the tradition of the great Mexican muralists of the 20th century and the Chicano mural movements of California. Funding for this project will support the development of a large scale portable mural depicting the life of fabled Chemehuevi tribal member popularly known as “Willie Boy”. The project will culminate in the presentation of the mural in Yucca Valley, CA.

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