Where the Sky & the Earth Meet: NACF Native Artist Panel Event at PNCA

SEPTEMBER 28, 2018

11:00a to 12:30p –  Artist Panel 1 – Mediatheque (see artist bios below)
12:30p to 1:30p –  NACF Artist Reception – Atrium
                                   snacks and refreshments provided
1:30p to 3:00p    Artist Panel 2 – Mediatheque (see artist bios below)

Join us for a panel discussion by Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian visual artists as they present their work addressing the complexities of contemporary Native life and Native identity.
This event is free and open to the public!

Anthony Hudson (Grand Ronde)
A 2018 NACF National Artist Fellow and PNCA graduate, Anthony is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, performer and filmmaker. Anthony is perhaps best known as Portland’s premier drag clown, Carla Rossi, an immortal trickster whose attempts at realness almost always result in fantastic failure. Anthony and Carla have been featured at Seattle PrideFest, Risk/Reward Festival, Pepper Pepper’s “Critical Mascara” for TBA (PICA), along with hosting a veritable buffet of monthly nightlife events where s/he has performed alongside drag legends like Coco Peru, Lady Bunny and many more since 2010.


11:00a – 12:30p
Location: PNCA, Mediatheque

Melissa Cody (Navajo/Diné)
Melissa Cody comes from a family of phenomenal weavers. Her grandmother, Martha Schultz has woven for over six decades and her mother Lola Cody has won prizes at both the Heard Museum Indian Fair and Market and at the Santa Fe Indian Market. Cody builds on the patterns she has known all of her life and uses them to create fine art the is brilliantly designed and technically astounding. Today, like the iconic Navajo rugs and blankets considered characteristic of the genre, Cody’s tapestries are sophisticated geometric arrangements in striking color combinations. Designed at the loom as she weaves, they are artfully composed and so tightly woven that they can be read as graphic statements. She uses classic Navajo motifs: the cross, representing Spider Woman, who brought the gift of weaving to the people; the Rainbow Person, symbolizing protection. But, what she expresses with these elements is all her own, a statement of cultural pride. Fully grounded in her heritage, she easily walks the line between respect for the past and the artist’s quest for self-expression. Melissa is a graduate of the Studio Arts program at the Institute of American Indian Arts and a 2018 Native Arts and Cultures National Artist Fellow.

RYAN! Feddersen (Okanogan /Arrow Lakes /German /English)
RYAN! is a mixed-media installation artist who specializes in interactive and immersive artworks that invite audience engagement. She was born and raised in Wenatchee, WA. Feddersen received a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Cornish College of the Arts in 2009, graduating Magna Cum Laude. She remained in Seattle for approximately ten years while working as an artist, studio assistant, and arts administrator, before relocating to Tacoma, WA, where she is now based. She was inspired to create interactive art as a way to honor an indigenous perspective on the relationship between the artist and community. Her approach emphasizes humor, play, and creative engagement to create opportunities for personal introspection and discovery. Feddersen has created large-scale interactive installations and site-specific pieces throughout the region, working with Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, Tacoma Art Museum, MoPOP (EMP), The Henry Gallery, Museum of Northwest Art, Spokane Arts, Spaceworks, and the Missoula Art Museum. Recently, Feddersen was named a 2018 National Fellow in Visual Arts with the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation.

Pōhaku Kaho`ohanohano (Native Hawaiin)
Pōhaku Kaho`ohanohano, a practitioner and preservationist of traditional Native Hawaiian weaving, works and teaches from his studio on family land in Kahakuloa. His interest in weaving was first kindled by discovery of his family’s weaving lineage. Last practiced by his great-grandmothers, he was stunned to learn his family had abandoned weaving for the previous 40 years. Kaho`ohanohano believes he was indeed fortunate to have been taught by seven master teachers. He joined them in their homes with their families. He ate with them, he wove with them and he took care of them. All women, he says with a smile. “They taught the old way, one-on-one and on their terms.” In addition to his passion for weaving, Kaho`ohanohano feels a very strong kuleana (responsibility) to teach and perpetuate the cultural practice in its authentic form. Through a combination of weaving styles and perfected techniques, Kaho`ohanohano blends Native materials, Hawaiian language, education and land conservation into his art. His work can be found in museum collections throughout Hawaii and in many private collections, including that of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the renowned rock star, Mick Fleetwood. Recently, Kaho`ohanohano was named a 2018 National Fellow in Visual Arts with the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation.

Bently Spang (Tsitsistas/Suhtai – Northern Cheyenne)

Spang is an enrolled member of the Tsitsistas/Suhtai (Northern Cheyenne) Nation in southeastern Montana and was born on the Crow Reservation. Spang was raised both on and off the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, living in places such as Sitka, Alaska and Portland, Oregon. He graduated from Montana State University Billings and earned an MFA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He taught at the School of Fine Arts in Boston School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston from 2007 to 2009 as a full-time Visiting Faculty Member in Video. The University of Wyoming’s American Indian Study Program named Spang its “Eminent Artist in Residence” for the spring semester of 2014. During this time, he taught a class on Native American art and held exhibitions at the university’s art museum. Spang now works as an independent artist and has a studio in Billings, Montana. He was recently awarded the 2018 Native Arts and Cultures National Artist Fellowship. 


1:30p – 3:00p
Location: PNCA, Mediatheque

Jim Denomie (Ojibwe)
Jim Denomie is a renowned painter who lives and works in Franconia Minneapolis. Born on the Lac Courte Oreille reservation near Hayward Wisconsin, the Annishanabe artist has won numerous awards including fellowships from the Bush Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, and the Joan Mitchell Foundation. His work is found in the collections of the Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Weisman Art Museum, the Minnesota Museum of American Art, the Tweed Museum, and the Eitlejorg Museum among others. His work has been shown in Germany and extensively in the United States. Denomie was awarded the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation’s 2015 Regional Artist Fellowship and the 2018 National Artist Fellowship.

Courtney Leonard (Shinnecock)
Courtney M. Leonard is an artist and filmmaker who has contributed to the Offshore Art movement. Leonard’s current work embodies the multiple definitions of “breach”, an exploration and documentation of historical ties to water, whale and material sustainability. In collaboration with national and international museums, cultural institutions, and indigenous communities in North America, New Zealand, Nova Scotia, and the United States Embassies, Leonard’s practice investigates narratives of cultural viability as a reflection of environmental record. Leonard’s work is in the permanent public collections of the United States Art In Embassies, the Crocker Art Museum, the Heard Museum, ASU’s Art Museum and Ceramic Research Center, the Peabody Essex Museum, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of the North, the Mystic Seaport Museum, and the Pomona Museum of Art. Leonard is a recipient of the 2018 National Artist Fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation.

Linda Infante Lyons (Alutiiq)
Linda was raised in Anchorage, Alaska. Her family is from Kodiak and is of Alutiiq heritage. She earned a degree in biology at Whitman College, WA and studied art in Chile at the Vina del Mar School of Fine Arts. Her paintings and photography can be found in the permanent collections of the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, the UAF Museum of the North, the Alaska State Museum in Juneau, the Alaska Contemporary Art Bank and the Alutiiq Museum and Archaeological Repository in Kodiak. She was awarded a Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Fellowship in 2016, as well as a Ramuson Individual Project Award in 2013. She has received various grants including an Atwood Foundation grant to paint an exterior mural in the community of Mountain View. Lyon’s teaches painting workshops throughout the state if Alaska and is active in the Alaska State Council on the Art’s Artist in Schools program, creating collaborative art with local and rural school children. Additionally, she was a 2015 Rasmuson Foundation Fellow as artist in residence at the Santa Fe Art Institute in New Mexico and was artist in residence at Meyer Studios in Munich, Germany and Denali National Park and Preserve. She currently resides in Anchorage and shares a studio in Mountain View with her husband, artist, Graham Dane. Lyons was awarded the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation 2018 National Artist Fellowship.

Marques Hanalei Marzan (Native Hawaiian)
Born on the island of Oahu and intrigued by the weavings of his great-grandmother, Marzan learned Hawaiian plaiting techniques as a teenager. Earning a BFA in fiber at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and studying under many of Hawaii’s master weavers, he adopted Hawaiian fibers and practices as the basis for his work. His freestanding, suspended and relief sculptures, as well as his wearables, created largely from indigenous plants or those introduced by early Polynesian settlers typically are abstract in form and have geometric surface pattern. One of the few accomplished makers of utilitarian forms—large mats, baskets, hats and fans – Marzan collects and processes much of his own fiber. In his plaiting, look for lauhala, the long leaves of a tree also known as pandanus. Hibiscus, coconut and ie ie, an endemic aerial root, provide the basis for much of his braiding, netting, twining and spinning. Marzan’s work touches on Hawaiian – and often universal – themes that find a background today in the Hawaiian Renaissance, a revival beginning in the 1960s of values, language, dance, song, craft, agriculture and navigation. Through his manipulation of shape, choice of fiber, technique and pattern, and layering of materials, Marzan addresses both folklore and concepts such as origin or sacrifice. Marzan was awarded the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation’s 2015 Native Hawaiian Artist Fellowship and the 2018 National Artist Fellowship.