Aurolyn Renee Stwyer is a Celilo Native who is revered for her magnificent beadwork, particularly her practice of beading traditional horse regalia that is significant in her culture.
Sharing Knowledge, Skills, and Cultural Wisdom
An incredible wealth of cultural heritage and creative expression is held and maintained in Native arts and cultures. As our Native American elders pass—and with the integration of non-tribal worldviews in our Native communities—indigenous people are experiencing a dilution of cultural wisdom. So passing the fire between generations, particularly in Native arts and cultures, is of vital importance. Historically, Native artists and culture bearers dedicated their time, resources, and support to teaching the next generation by passing on technical skills, arts practice, and cultural knowledge needed to perpetuate visual and traditional arts in the community.
Yet in today’s fast-paced and overloaded modern world, mentorships can be resourcefully challenging. While even the most established Native artist faces challenges, emerging artists are especially vulnerable: pressed for time, resources, and support, their ability to advance their skills and attain necessary knowledge is often limited. Thus, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Mentor Artist Fellowship is focused on creating formal, structured opportunities for the transfer of knowledge, and supporting artistic rigor that furthers cultural perpetuation and creative development.
NACF Mentor Artist Fellowships will perpetuate the continuity of traditional practices, languages, and cultural expressions in Native communities, and provide an avenue for a new generation of artists to invest and strengthen their artistic voice in the evolution of contemporary visual arts.