Grantee: Delina White
Native Citizenship: Ojibwe
Location: Walker, Minn.
Award: 2017 NACF Mentor Artist Fellowship
Discipline: Traditional Arts, Textile Mixed Media
Web Site: iamanishinaabe.com
White is considered by many to have transformed Anishinaabe women’s traditional dress into unique and exquisite works of contemporary wearable art. She is passionate about passing on what she’s learned about Ojibwe history and traditional artistic techniques and practices. Through mentor coaching, White wants to nurture apprentice Joy Campaigne (Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians) into developing her own artistic style that may achieve further definition and merit in her apprentice’s work.
During Delina White’s mentoring with her apprentice, the progression of lessons will eventually lead to more complicated and intricate pieces of an Ojibwe woman’s traditional attire, including beaded accessories and jewelry. White will establish a gradual learning process that begins at her apprentice’s skill level and leads to more difficult designs, techniques, and stitchery. Through this series of lessons, she will guide her apprentice to develop an understanding of design, art form in relation to Ojibwe history and culture, and how changing societal factors over time have influenced the meaning and function of traditional apparel and accessories.
She plans to exhibit and speak about the finished mentor project at the American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO). AICHO is a Native American shelter that provides services to battered women and their children and is also used as a community center in the seven-county area surrounding Duluth, Minnesota. Through this project and her passion to teach others, White remains committed to creating cultural learning environments for everyone.
My issues today involve social justice, environmental protection and passing the beliefs, values and customs of my ancestors to those who are willing and committed to learn through cultural arts.
~ Delina White
Mentor and Apprentice Joint Art Project:
Delina White taught Joy Campaigne to sew and deepen her knowledge, appreciation of, and connection to Ojibwe culture and symbolism in Ojibwe regalia design. Under White’s tutelage, Campaigne completed her first Ojibwe dress. Together, the artists presented their work at a community workshop demonstration at the American Indian Community and Housing Organization in Duluth, Minnesota.