Gallery of Native Artists

Beadwork, Painting, Ledger Art, Jewelry, Contemporary Fashion and Home Furnishings Artist Joanne Brings Thunder (Eastern Shoshone)

Before we headed north for our site visit to the New Mexico schools with which The Kwek Society partners, TKS founder Eva Marie Carney and TKS Board member Lisa Witt met Joanne Brings Thunder at her booth at the 2019 Gathering of the Nations PowWow in Albuquerque, NM. Her work is exquisite and she is a dear person, too. Joanne made the introductions to the Wind River Reservation schools that we began supporting with period supplies in mid-2019. Migwetch/thank you, Joanne!

Artist Statement
I bead, paint and create to ground myself. It is known that these techniques, used over hundreds of years, have become embedded in our DNA. So through the process of creating something grounded in my traditions and culture, I connect with my ancestors along with the legions of women who made regalia, home décor and changed their environments for comfort and aesthetics for the better. These women elaborately adorned their loved ones and sacred spaces as a since of tribal, clan, family and individual identity. I seek to do the same. I’m honored to be able to share my ancestor’s stories and connect with others through my art, my artwork allows me to commutate the memories of my grandmothers, using their patterns, influence and strong artistic expression passed down through our matriarchal society allows me to continue their legacy for future generations. My designs are inspired by my culture, traditions, the laws of nature and the forms found in the sciences and engineering. Just as reality is bounded by physical laws, beading and painting are bound by specific forms and applications. Both of these forms can create an exact 45 degree angle, produce a circle, or something as simple as a rectangle. This is not even considering the inclusion of colors or texture. Using these basic fundamentals of forms, I work to represent the meeting of my culture and traditions through my technically trained side of my spirit that requires me to use the precision of science and engineering. Artist website: www.jbringsthunder.com.

Beadwork and ribbonwork artist Peggy Kinder (Citizen Potawatomi)

Peggy (in hat), with student Lila, at the close of Peggy’s beading class held during the 2018 Gathering of the Potawatomi Nations in Mayetta, Kansas.

Here’s the introduction that our friend Peggy Kinder wrote for this website:

Ndezhnakas Peggy Kinder. I live in Missouri and am a Bourassa, Curley, Pappan. Family and extended family began teaching me cultural arts when I was young. I enjoy doing beadwork, handstitched ribbonwork,and machine stitched ribbonwork. I continue to learn from others. I especially enjoy teaching and passing on what I have been taught. Currently, I am working with an apprentice through the Missouri Folk Arts Grant Program. I am teaching my apprentice how to do applique beadwork and make a bandolier bag. If anyone wants to learn to bead or make ribbonwork, I encourage them to reach out to me. Let’s keep our cultural arts alive. Bama mine.

Peggy Kinder

Peggy is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. In addition to being a fine teacher, she takes beadwork and ribbonwork orders. Shown are just a few examples of her exquisite work. Contact Peggy at pkinder57@gmail.com

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Kickapoo and Citizen Potawatomi clay and bronze artist Pahponee

Pahponee is a self-taught clay artist who has re-learned the traditional pottery methods of her woodland culture as well as learning contemporary pottery making techniques.

To learn more about her and and to see more of her beautiful work, please visit her website.

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Citizen Potawatomi composer and flutist Marcia Watson Bendo

Marcia Bendo’s debut album, Woodland Moons, can be heard in its entirely on her website.

It often plays in the background at The Kwek Society workspace!

Recognition for her album includes:  Global Music Awards (2018): 2 Silver Medals for “Debut Album” and “New Age/Native American Album”; One World Music Nominations (2018): “Album of the Year” and “Best Neo Classical Album”; Zone Music Reporter Award Winner (2018): “Best New Artist”, announced May 18, 2019); One World Music Radio Top 100 Chart: #1 in November 2018, #1 in December 2018; Zone Music Reporter Top 100 Airplay Chart: #2 in September 2018; #2 in October 2018.

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Singer/Songwriter Elexa Dawson

Elexa Dawson is yet another talented Citizen Potawatomi kwe. She recently was
awarded a fellowship from First Peoples Fund, founded in 1995 to honor and support the Collective Spirit of First Peoples artists and culture bearers. 

Elexa just released first solo album, Music is Medicine. You can buy it here (Kwek Society has a copy that we are wearing out!). And here are some links to listen and watch:

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/38fDWtp

Amazon: https://amzn.to/34WF57l

Itunes: https://apple.co/2RqHD9P

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/lexadawn/sets/music-is-medicine-1

Music Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YylpppvQN4

Live Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CqgX1L33xw. You can read more about Elexa’s background and music here and here.