tribal member Luzene Hill works on an art installation entitled
"Retracing the Trace at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis.
She was recently named a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation
(NACF) National Artist Fellow. (Photos courtesy of Luzene
Luzene Hill, an EBCI tribal member, is known worldwide for her
out-of-the-box visual arts. She has shown her work in New York City
and Russia and on Wednesday, July 20 was awarded a $20,000 Native
Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) National Artist Fellowship.
"The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Fellowship is a coveted
prize, and I'm truly grateful for this award, said Hill. "I'm
honored to have my work recognized in this way and very excited
to have funding for my new work.
She has begun two new projects. "I continue to explore the Inka
khipu motifs that informed 'Retracing the Trace', which is currently
being exhibited at the Eiteljorg Museum. Both of my new installations
will address the issue of violence against Native American women
through traditional symbols and references.
When asked what direction her artwork is taking these days,
Hill responded, "For the last several years, I felt I was working
on parallel, but separate, paths as I made conceptual installations
about violence against women and with illustrations for Cherokee
language instruction books. The illustration work led to the production
of a letterpress artist's book, "Spearfinger, that was completed
this spring. As I worked on that book, initially planned to be bi-lingual,
I came to feel it was important to assert indigenous language sovereignty
by making it in Cherokee syllabary only.
drawing by Hill entitled "Shapeshifting appears in a
book entitled "Spearfinger.
Hill added, "I've been reading Sarah Deer's books and embrace
her idea that the key to stopping violence against Native women
is to reclaim our languages and our original cultural values. This
thinking helped me realize that my parallel paths of interest
the language and empowering Native women are now converging
as I embark on new work.
She was previously named an Eiteljorg Fellow and a First Peoples
Fund Fellow, and this spring Hill participated in a Native art show
entitled "Culture Shift in Montreal, Canada. "These experiences
and connections have expanded my awareness of issues that affect
all indigenous people in the Americas. It also expanded my knowledge
of new art that's being created by a wide range of talented and
passionate artists. I'm very interested in the work of Doris Salcedo,
who lives in Colombia, and I continue to explore and research pre-contact
art, which is a rich resource that provokes my own art making.
Hill joins the following 2016 NACF Native Artist Fellows: Mark
Keali'I Ho'omalu (Native Hawaiian), artistic innovation; Erica Trembley
(Seneca-Cayuga Nation), artistic innovation; Kelli Jo Ford (Cherokee
Nation), literature; Susan Power (Yanktonai Dakota), literature;
Tiokasin Ghosthorse (Mniconjou/Itazipco Lakota), music; Thea Hopkins
(Aquinnah Wampanoag), music; Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache),
music; Aaron J. Sala (Native Hawaiian), music; Theresa Secord (Penobscot
Nation), traditional arts; TJ Young (Haida Nation), traditional
arts; Cannupa Hanska Luger (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota), visual
arts; Brenda Mallory (Cherokee Nation), visual arts; Preston Singletary
(Tlingin), visual arts; Bunky Echo-Hawk (Pawnee, Yakama), visual
arts in painting; and Mateo Romero (Cochiti Pueblo), visual arts
Francene Blythe, an EBCI tribal member who also has Dine' and
Sisseton-Wahpeton heritage, is the NACF director of program. She
commented, "NACF fosters and supports the vision, creativity and
innovation of Native artists in a number of disciplines that feature
the ongoing vibrancy and range of artistic careers and accomplishments
across the U.S. We are honored to award this year's National Fellows.
They, too, continually raise the visibility of Native arts and cultures
to higher levels of achievement, excellence and endeavor.
Arts and Cultures Foundation
Art and culture is how humanity makes sense of and shares the world
around us. Art gives voice to our fears, our dreams and it invites
others to know us and to know themselves.