Home Fires – The Creative Energy of Native Women Artists.
Saturday August 14th – School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe
I attended a special evening event in celebration of a new book: Art in Our Lives: Native Women Artists in Dialogue. I was part of the book project, along with Sherry Farrell Racette, Cynthia Chavez Lamar, Felice Lucero, Eliza Naranjo-Morse, Dyani Reynolds-White Hawk, TahNibaa Naataanii, Gloria Emerson, Heidi Brandow, Shannon Letandre, Diane Reyna, and Erica Lord. The School for Advanced Research brought the group together for a series of meetings where we spoke about our lives, our art-making, our cultures, families, and educational/career paths.
Toward the end of our last meeting, we spoke about how important this experience of sharing with other Native women artists had been to us and how it put things into a new perspective us. We wished we had this experience years before. We decided (with SAR support) that we should put together a book based on our conversations and research. The last substantial book about Native Women artists was Women of Sweetgrass, Cedar, and Sage, by Harmony Hammond and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, in 1985. That means that the youngest artists in our group were in preschool through the first grade! We wanted a book that would be a resource for the next generation of artists as well as those interested in Native art and culture.
After two years, the book is finished and we have our advance copies. More will be available in two weeks. You can find it on the SAR Press website and on Amazon.com, where you can view significant portions of the book online.
The launch of the book at SAR on the 14th was a beautiful event with introductions and brief remarks about the book from Cynthia Chavez Lamar and Gloria Emerson, followed by a lovely dinner under the old oak tree on the campus. We had after-dinner conversations and signed books. It was a lovely evening!