I have been working on some new work and stretchin' mad canvas. I love that feeling you get when you get the art gat (staple gun) and put in work. The focus is on the ground of the work, which is equally important to the creation of new work.
This is a snippet of a new series I am working on. My Tiospaye comes from a strong blood line and every time I need courage or strength I say my Lakota name. My parents met at BYU (Mormon college) and left the church when I was young. Since then, my mother and father looked towards ways of raising us to know who we are (Lakota/Mohawk) and where we come from.
Growing up I played basketball and watched the Chicago Bulls religiously. I wanted to be Michael Jordan and emulated his moves. I was fascinated with his character and dedication to his people. After reading and hearing many stories of my relatives Tatanka Iyotake and Crazy horse, I admired both of their hard struggles and dedication to their team. The Bulls were a Dynasty and always faced off against the Utah Jazz in Fort Salt Lake City. Our people needed a hero and they looked to our leaders to guide them to become strong young men. In these times, we are influenced by religion and Christianity that was forced upon us and we adopted those ways.
Today there is a game being played, and there are those Lakotas that work hard and follow the cunka luta (red road). This painting reminds me of going to my grandpa's house in Salt Lake City, Utah. He would always say comments when I was young to make me feel insecure about my dreams of playing basketball. When I started to dance he visited me and talked about how he was once Indian, but he had "to grow up and get a job." I had compassion for him, not only for his gift of my life but his struggle... he came and looked at my beadwork and spoke Mohawk to me. I never heard him say anything in his language til' that day.
The Dynasty of our relatives lives through our blood, and is played everyday.