Exhibit: March 6 – May 30, 2020.
Opening Reception: March 6, 5 – 7pm
Artists Talk: 6pm March 6, 2020
“Wezhichigewaad” an Ojibwe word, means “makers” in English.
“We are so honored to exhibit recent works by Thomas Stillday and Vincent Morris. These master beading artists have been involved with their art practice for most of their lives dedicating themselves to technical development and conceptual individuality in their work. Both work to honor the traditional designs and knowledge that have been gifted to them by their elders. However, as true artists, they are pushing the designs into new compositions and colors that keep the visual language fresh and contemporary. Their understanding is rooted in a very rich cultural history. Their commitment to ‘making’ is important to the collective voice and continuing history of the Ojibwe cultural arts.” – Karen Goulet, Program Director of the Miikanan Gallery
Tom Stillday (Red Lake Nation)
2017 Anishinaabe Arts Initiative Fellow
“I am an experienced bead work artist who has been creating works of art for thirty eight years. I have substantial technical skills and advanced conceptual and design abilities. I am very detailed on the designs I have created. I have taken the traditional beading techniques, designs and concepts I was given by my grandmother, mother, and father and developed my distinct and personal style of work. I have my own way of using the newer beads with the older beads of the past while still creating beautiful Ojibwe beadwork. The way I use stitching techniques and my choice of colors distinguishes my beadwork style. I made work using the lazy stitch style for about seventeen years, then mixed lazy stitch with applique flatwork, and now do mainly appliqué flatwork beadwork in my unique Ojibwe designs.” – Tom Stillday
Vincent Morris – “Niizh Okaden” or Two Braids (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe)
Morris began beading at the age of eight, learning techniques and traditions of the beading community and elders on the Leech Lake Reservation. He is recognized for his skill and mastery of the Ojibwe floral beading tradition.
“Growing up in the Seventies I always saw history books and beadwork, including bandolier bags. I thought it was a dying art, and told myself I would make one someday. I have finally completed that dream. The Seventies was a difficult time to be Indian. It was also a time we started to reclaim our culture. But writing “Indian Power” on our notebooks in school, would get us sent to the principle’s office. So, it has been important for me to make my beadwork to keep our traditions going. I have been gifted old designs, that I use, but in my own creative way. I also bead for my family and make contemporary images too. Beadwork helps me to relax and I feel like I am still learning new things to this day.” -Vincent Morris