October 28 – Carly Federsen spent 100 hours knitting a basket called “Coyote and the Monster That Ate Everyone”.
Based on a traditional highland story, this 8 x 6 inch piece depicts a torch-wielding coyote as a deer, bear, fox, butterfly and rattlesnake flee from a monster.
Feddersen is one of 13 native artists selected to exhibit at the “Self-Determined: A Contemporary Survey of Native and Indigenous Art” currently taking place at the Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe. Through film, installation, photography, sound and beadwork, the artist uses both tradition and technology as tools of preservation, exploring environmental themes and myths.
Co-curated by Executive Director Daniel Means (Oglala Lakota) and Kiersten Ferrath, the exhibition draws its political titles from Nixon-era policy, the Indian Self-Determination and Education Act of 1975. I’m here. Make your own decisions. It was the first government policy not based on assimilation or genocide.
The show reinterprets “self-determination” as an act of regeneration, revolution, and self-expression.
“Their parents and communities couldn’t do that until the late ’60s or early ’70s,” said Means, executive director of CCA. “It came in many ways.”
Federsen learned the waxed linen technique from his uncle Joe Federsen, a Colville sculptor, painter, photographer and mixed media artist.
Carly Feddersen, who graduated from the American Indian Art Institute in 2016, focused on metallurgy and jewelry making. She will return to her residency at the Institute of American Indian Art this month.
Her monster triangular teeth surround the top and bottom of the basket.
“This is the story of a coyote slaying a monster,” she said in a telephone interview from Wenatchee, Wash. Feddersen is of Okanogan, Arrow Lakes, German and British heritage. “I’m looking into the monster’s mouth behind me. I can see the teeth. The coyote is telling everyone to run away.”
She spent about an hour weaving each round.
“A lot of our coyote stories are about making the world a better place,” Federsen explained. It also teaches you to be brave.”
Dyani White Hawk (Sicangu Lakota) brought a film that captures 24 women speaking indigenous languages.
“She wanted to create a native-language chorus,” Means said. Can you tell the difference between Lakota and Tewa?These languages have been developing for thousands of years.People weren’t allowed to speak or teach them.”
Photographer Jeremy Dennis (Shinneock) brings us four still shots of “Sunksquaw, A Return to Female Leadership” from his “RISE” series.
The central character looks like a zombie.
Dennis uses humor and references to pop culture as metaphors.
Erica Lord (Tanana Athabaskan, Inupiak, Finnish, Swedish, English, Japanese) is an instructor at the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, turning microscopic diseased patterns into woven beadwork.
Fascinated by traditional tribal luggage baskets and baby straps, she incorporated them into her life.
“My burden was diabetes,” she said.
A friend who was a microbiologist started showing me pixelated gridded images of the disease. Later, Lord found a 4 mm glass ball that he squared off.
“It makes sense to translate it,” she said. “I had one of those few ‘aha’ moments.
Unable to find a bead loom big enough to make an eight-foot-long piece, she whipped one up using materials from Home Depot.
“I just made it,” she said. “My background is sculpture.”
Lord recently created a series of dog sled blankets in honor of the dogs who brought medicine to Nome, Alaska during the diphtheria epidemic of the 1920s.
Lorde grew up in a small village in Nenana, Alaska. She drove a dogsled for the first time when she was three years old. Her mother made woven rugs.
“I still don’t know where I got the idea to become an artist,” she said.
Both Rose and Federsen’s work will be featured in May 2023 at Renwick Art Gallery in Washington, DC, Sharing Honor and Burden.
When: Until November 27th
Location: Center for Contemporary Arts, 1050 Old Pecos Trail, Santa Fe
Amount: General $10. $8 for members; $3 for SNAP/EBT cardholders. 505-982-1338, ccasantafe.org.