Frank Waln (Sicangu Lakota)
NATIONAL ARTIST FELLOWSHIP
HOW THE INITIATIVE WORKED
The National Artist Fellowship was designed to to explore, develop and experiment with original and existing projects. The NACF was able to recognize Native artists who make a significant impact in their discipline, who were respected by their colleagues and the greater arts field, or who were emerging as powerful voices in the arts. Awarded National Artist Fellows also work with their communities and share their culture in numerous ways. The award is designed to support Native artists as they explore, develop and experiment with original or existing projects
In addition to the monetary award, National Artist Fellows attended NACF convenings to build partnerships with their cohort and the Native arts community at large. In 2017, the NACF held its first convening to act as a catalyst for Native artists, communities, organizations. In 2018, the convening was held in Portland, Oregon and included three full days of programming plus an honoring dinner. Each of the artists gave fifteen-minute Ted-Talk like presentations about their work that included visuals, video, readings and performances, representing work that spanned their respective disciplines, from film-making and performing arts, to literature, traditional practices and visual arts.
The positive feedback from artist fellows demonstrated the power of convening talented and intellectual artists together to network, think-tank and engage with the community. There was a sense of comradery and mutual admiration that resulted in plans for collaboration, new work ideas and a general excitement about the potential of their collective voices. There was an overwhelming sense of wonder and inspiration and, like our long-term commitment to these artists, many of them launched life-long relationships from these events.
Overall, the National Artist Fellowship program strengthened the ecosystem of support for Native artists, enabling them to generate more artistic work, live sustainable lives, and contribute to their communities. The program awarded 105 artists from 2011 through 2018.
Melissa S. Cody (Navajo), “4th Dimension”, Melissa Cody, 2017. Wool Germantown textile.
Anna Tsouhlarakis (Navajo/Creek), Legend I. Inkjet print. 2005.
Tiokasin Ghosthorse. Photo courtesy of artist.
Sonya Kelliher-Combs (Iñupiaq/Athabaskan), Red Curl. Completed during her fellowship year.
Brian Adams (Iñupiaq), “Marie Rexford,” photograph, 2016.
Mateo Romero (Cochiti Pueblo), Bonnie and Clyde. Mixed media acrylic with photo transfer on panel. 2007
Jackson Polys (Tlingit), Jewel Raven. Epoxy resin, steel, polyurethane, glass. 2010. Photo courtesy of artist.
Luzene Hill (Band Cherokee)
Courtney Leonard (Shinnecock), Ceramic fishing baskets, 2019.
James Luna (Luiseno/Diegueno), We Become Them – Bear. 2011.
Cannupa Hanska Luger (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota), Regalia. Ceramic, feathers, beads. 2014.
Anthony Hudson/Carla Rossi (Grand Ronde), LOOKING FOR TIGER LILY
Shan Goshorn (Eastern Band Cherokee), Reclaiming Our Power. 2014.
Filmaker Billy Luther (Navajo/Hopi/Laguna Pueblo)
Cortney M. Leonard (Shinnecock), “Breach #2”, Ceramics on Pallet, 2016.
Will Wilson (Navajo), 2011 NACF Artist Fellowship in Visual Arts
Theresa Secord (Penobscot Nation), Biennial Trinket Box Basket. Dyed, split, plaited ash, braided sweetgrass, twined cedar bark overlay. 2015.
Umeke Lokomaika’i, Pohaku Kaho’ohanohano, 2015.
Forget Me Not: Mothers and Sons by Marie Watt (Seneca), NACF Visual Arts Fellow
Nora Naranjo Morse (Santa Clara Pueblo-Tewa)
Abigail Romanchak. Photo courtesy of artist.
Halau dancer in full kapa
Delina White (Ojibwe), Woman’s Regalia
Will Wilson (Navajo), NACF Visual Arts Fellow. Detail of work in progress for Air Weave.
Allison Akootchook Warden (Iñupiaq, Native Village of Kaktovik)
TJ Young (Haida Nation), Raven in Human Form. 2015.
Nora Naranjo-Morse (Santa Clara Pueblo-Tewa), Weaving. Discarded objects and an old screen door. 2012-2014.
Jeff Peterson (Native Hawaiian) and Kalani Pe’a (Native Hawaiian)
Brenda Mallory (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma), Keen Reforming. Molded cardboard paper shoe forms, paint, wood. 2016.
Joe Feddersen (Okanogan and Arrow Lakes), “Aggressive Attitude,” Blown and sandblasted glass, 2017.
John Feodorov (Navajo), Domi-Nature.
RYAN! Feddersen (Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (Okanogan and Arrow Lakes), “900*Horses,” (detail), 2015.
Bernice Akamine (Native Hawaiian), Ahu ula. Dyed goose feathers, copper wire and glass beads. 2012.
Choreographer and dancer Emily Johnson (Yup’ik), 2011 NACF Artist Fellowship in Dance
Marques Hanalei Marzan (Native Hawaiian)
Christopher Morgan (Native Hawaiian)
Rose B. Simpson, Self Portrait, 2016.
Jeremy Frey (Passamaquoddy), Basket. 2014.
Kaumakaiwa Kanaka’ole (Native Hawaiian)
Kevin Pourier (Lakota), Sitting Bull and Monarchs. Monarchs are inlaid into the horn with sandstone and mother of pearl.
Brent Michael Davids (Mohican)
Kapulani Landgraf (Native Hawaiian), Nå Hono a Piçikea (Bays of Piçikea). Hand-etched silver gelatin print. 2011
Linda Infante Lyons (Alutiiq), “Our Lady of Karluk,” oil on canvas, 2017.
Israel Shotridge (Tlingit), Painted Box
Honestly, it was a highlight of my year. The fellowship is a big hunk of money, a prestigious line on the resume, and the ability to see a project realized. I am extremely grateful for all that, and the convening turns those finite benefits into “forever” ones as the relationships and one-on-one time of meeting colleagues will continue to deliver benefits.
– Brenda Mallory (Cherokee Nation), 2016 National Artist Fellow
NACF would like to express its appreciation to all of the community stakeholders, organizational collaborators and generous funders who supported the National Artist Fellowship program. The program would not have been possible without support from the Ford Foundation, Second Sister Foundation, arts patrons, and the generosity of the Andy Warhol Foundation for their support of Visual Arts Fellows.