The IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) is the country’s leading museum for exhibiting, collecting and interpreting the most progressive work of contemporary Native artists for local, national and international audiences. This month we discuss public programming at the museum in conjunction with IAIA’s (A-i-R) artists in residence program including artists: Janice George (Squamish Nation), Leanne Campbell (Coeur d’Alene) and Martha Nielsen (Kokhanok Village).
George, Campbell, and Nielsen will discuss their art practice and their current residency. On Saturday, September 23, 1-2:30p.m. please join MoCNA for Resilient Fibers, a public program happening on Saturday, September 23rd 1-2:30 p.m. at IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, 108 Cathedral Place, Santa Fe. Hands-on experiences with interesting materials: wool, bark, grasses, and cured fish skin. Gain insight into techniques and materials featured in MoCNA’s exhibition Connective Tissue: New Approaches to Fiber in Contemporary Native Art. Janice George (Squamish Nation) introduces Coast Salish weaving, Leanne Campbell (Coeur d’Alene) shows twining techniques used in basketry, and Martha Nielsen (Kokhanok Village) shares Alaskan fish skin as a material for clothing.
About the Residency:
IAIA Artist-in-Residence (A-i-R) Programs host artists for variable-length residencies taking place on the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) campus in Santa Fe, New Mexico, during the Academic year. Each A-i-R program provides opportunities for Native and First Nations artists to travel to the IAIA campus in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for a meaningful period of art-making and interaction with IAIA students, staff and faculty, and the Santa Fe arts community. IAIA will generally host 15 artists each year.
Janice George (Squamish Nation)
Janice George (Chepx imiya Siyam), from Squamish Nation, Canada, is a master weaver and textile artist who learned to weave from Coast Salish weaver Susan Pavel and Subiyay-t Bruce Miller of Skokomish in 2003. George has integrated Squamish teachings into her work from her late Grandmother Kwitelut-t Lena Jacobs and other Squamish ancestors. George states, “In this short time of my weaving life, a few of my mentors have left this earth. Their breath is carried on in the teachings I pass on. I feel and see the pride that comes from reclaiming our inheritance from our elders and ancestors when we weave and when we wear our beloved weavings. We are taught spiritual protection is part of what we are wearing and feel the love that is put in each hand movement it takes to make a robe.” George co-authored the book Salish Blankets, Robes of Protection and Transformation, Symbols of Wealth with Willard Joseph and Leslie H. Tepper. For the last twelve years, the artist has been teaching her textile skills across Salish speaking territory. She attended Capilano University, British Columbia, the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, and interned at the Canadian Museum of History, Quebec.
Leanne Campbell (Coeur d’Alene)
Leanne Campbell is an enrolled member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe or Schitsu’umsh – meaning “Those who were found here” or “The Discovered People”. Her lineage includes the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation located in central Washington and the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho. Campbell embraces her history, culture, language and traditions while being a speaker of the Schitsu’umsh language. Most renowned for her unique skills in traditional and cultural arts with beadwork and basketry. Her beadwork is a mix of pictorial, geometric designs and old style floral designs of the Northwest Columbia Plateau. Campbell gained valuable experience and knowledge by working over the past twenty-four years with the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. Currently, Campbell serves as the Historic Preservation Program Manager/Curator for the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. She earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Museum Studies with a minor in Studio Arts at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, and is a United States Air Force veteran of the Desert Shield/Desert Storm era.
Martha Nielsen (Kokhanok Village)
Martha Marlene Ann Nielsen is Yupik from Kokhanok, Alaska, located on the south shore of lake Iliamna. This is the largest lake in Alaska and contains several species of fish that spawn yearly. From a young age she has helped to preserve smoke and salt sockeye salmon for winter use. Nielsen is self-taught in the art of making baskets, wallets and jewelry with sockeye salmon skin. She experienced trial and error on learning how to preserve fish skin. Salmon skin art was seen as a lost skill in her area, inspiring her to reintroduce the rare technique by teaching students of all ages. Nielsen has been creating art with fish skin since 2002.