The Fellowship of the Artists


“Reconnecting cultural heritage” could serve as the mission statement for the Artist Leadership Program. The program for individual artists brings indigenous artists of the Western Hemisphere to Washington to do research in museum collections and to explore new artistic insights, skills, and techniques; the artists then return home to share with their cultural communities and the general public the value of Native knowledge expressed through art.” – National Museum of the American Indian Blog

Photo Courtesy of the National Museum of the American Indian 

From left to right:  Maura, Porfirio, Linley & Theresa

“Maura Garcia, from Kansas, whose artistic medium is dance and multimedia performance, plans to incorporate elements from the museum’s collections and work with the youth of the Kansas City Indian Center to create an urban Indigenous public performance. Her primary research focuses on the Cahokia and Spiro sites and the central Mississippi Valley mound sites within 500 miles of present-day Kansas City.

Porfirio Gutierrez, who lives in California and is a master Zapotec weaver who works with natural dyes, plans to research Zapotec textile art fabrication techniques and to verify that methods used in the past are still in use today.  He will do his community project in Teotitlan del Valle which is near Oaxaca, Mexico, a town known for its traditional Zapotec weavings, made with fibers dyed with local plants and insects.

Linley Logan, who lives in Washington and works with Seneca beadwork designs, will do his community project in Tonawonde Onondowaga Yoindzade, his traditional Longhouse community in New York State. His primary research focuses on Seneca/Iroquois beadwork clothing patterns, as well as clothing materials such as porcupine quillwork.

Theresa Secord, who lives in Maine, is nationally known as an ash and sweetgrass basket maker. She will share her knowledge and experience from the NMAI with the Penobscot Nation and other Wabanaki basket makers at the Hudson Museum at the University of Maine, and in the Penobscot tribal community on Indian Island, Maine. She is interested in researching Wabanaki basketry and learning more about other non-traditional materials in weaving practices, such as basswood fiber and cedar, as ash trees become extinct due to bug infestation.”

-From the NMAI Calendar


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