Sunday, August 17, 2008

"Youth Dedication: A Wisham Boy"

Medium(s): Woodcut (Printmaking)
January 13, 2007

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High School -Senior Project- composition done with printmaking using wood block instead of linolium. This piece was based on a paper I wrote for this project concerning the importance of Native youth and their relation to the preservation of our oral history and culture. On the right is the main drawing on the wood before the carving process. The right is the result of the printmaking overall style. This was an Edward S. Curtis photo I referanced of a Wisham nation boy around 1900 or so.
This overall represents the lifestyle of warriors we once learned and looked up to in the old days, and also what was expected of them. Boys very quickly became men, and all had to prove themselves of this. Usually relating to war and counting coup, boys would be given a silly and derogatory name, but was changed once the boy gained respect by stealing enemy horses or counting coup on a human enemy themself. At this time, boys were no longer seen as such and were considered men.
This also tells the story of contemporary life of Native youth now compared to then. The drastic change and in most cases, the carelessness of youth relating to their culture, and actively participating in such. The loss of oral traditions and language, though some languages like my nation are making a comeback and have a very high likelyhood of survival. This overall represents we do what we do, whatever that may be..but at the end of the day, it all matters and depends on what we show and teach the younger generations.

---Artist's Critique---

his composition overall is simply a first attempt at something new. Doing printmaking on a woodblock is almost entirely different than doing it on a lino pad. With wood, you're forced to go with the grain, and cannot curve the carving in any way. This entire piece is entirely created by vertical lines, if you look close enough.
Not my favorite example of my printmaking in the portfolio, but is a good first attempt at using a woodblock instead. I learned in this piece that putting lines close enough together would create a shading effect, which I was forced to do in order to go with the wood's grain.
This could have been done much better I believe with more patience and not outlining the edge of the pompadour (stuck up bangs) and the eagle feather.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Medium(s): Pen & Ink, Pencil, White Acrylic, B&W Paper
December 13, 2006

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High School -Senior Project- class, this was my first multi-media piece to start off my independent senior project of conveying traditional culture through art. Here I have referanced from a famous Niitsitapi photo by Curtis of Bear Bull. I entitled this aíssksinima'tstohki which is the word for teacher/instructor, which our elders and old ones always were and are to us as younger generations. They held many of our people's old stories, ranging from the times before we had dogs instead of horses, the battle of Omahkai'stoo & Ksiistsikomm (Raven & Thunder) over the man's wife, etc. He symbolizes our entities, who we were as people before we were forced to change our ways, lifestyle, and beliefs. Our views on hair, the land, and our relatives that walked the earth with us. Naato'si (the sun being), iinii (the buffalo one which we survived because of) and all the other animals that shared power with humans, and overall Ihtsipaitapiyopa, the overall Creator, the Essence and Source of All Life. This piece is dedicated to who we were, the "real", original people. The Niitsitapi, the Aapatohsipikani, Amsskaapipiikani, Kainai, Siksika, and all the red nations who we lived next to and shared this continent with.

---Artist's Critique---

very well done multi-media composition, using a black and white theme regarding all the mediums used in it. The face of Bear Bull has immense detail and is very accurately proportionate to the real photo of this man. The dark lines and use of pointalism for some shading really displays diverse techniques of design. The location of the upper layer being in the top left corner is very unique versus making it "perfectly" balanced by centering it.
Some changes could be better craftsmenship of the outter-edge cut design of the white paper, to where the sizes are equal all the way down and across the bottom. Glue stains from the gluegun are apparent on the bottom and should have been given more delicacy when placed. Also his hair I believe should have been left alone with the ink, versus trying to combine the graphite with the ink and meld the two. The corner designs on the 3 corners of the piece should have continued onto the white paper only made black with ink or even cut out the design to it uses the lower black layer's exact color and texture.

"Scroll Through History: A.I.M."

Medium(s): Linocut (Printmaking)
November 12, 2006

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High School -Painting & Drawing 1- "Scroll Through History" project slide 5 of 8. This assignment was about printmaking, and creating 8 slides to tell a significant event in history. I chose the American Indian Movement (1968-1973), probably one of the biggest starts and foundation to modern Native activism today. This slide of 8 represents the militant takeover of Wounded Knee, SD where A.I.M. traditionalists were circled by the U.S. Army and Oglala goon squads in control of a corrupt Tribal government.
Besides the representation of your classic looking A.I.M. member, the background shows the white church, as well as the barriers and blockcades, upsidedown U.S. flag, and chaos of choppers circling. The Siege at Wounded Knee II was so symbolic because of its historic ties to the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890, where over 200 men, women and children were slaughtered. A significant part of our modern history, and model for future activist-related movements to come.

---Artist's Critique---

y first attempt at and probably best printmaking composition to date, this linocut I believe overall was well done. The piece has a whole has no visable balance issues, with a great focal point of the AIM warrior. Instead of making the sky just plain white negative space, the horizontal lines clash with the style of the warrior, which pops out the main subject even more. There are no real big mistakes that I can see in my intentions for this to look like.
Some work could be done in the background I believe, such as some things are too small to tell what they actually are. With some practice in working small with linocuts I think would help me improve.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"The Orphan Boy and the Elk Dog"

Medium(s): Regular "Bic" Pen, Conte Crayons
October 4, 2006

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In the days when people had only dogs to carry their bundles, two orphan children, a boy and his sister, were having a hard time. The boy was deaf, and because he could not understand what people said, they thought him foolish and dull-witted. Even his relatives wanted nothing to do with him. The name he had been given at birth, while his parents still lived, was Long Arrow.
Now he was like a beaten, mangy dog, the kind who hungrily roams outside a camp, circling it from afar, smelling the good meat boiling in the kettles but never coming close for fear of being kicked. Only his sister, who was bright and beautiful, loved him. Then the sister was adopted by a family from another camp, people who were attracted by her good looks and pleasing ways. Though they wanted her for a daughter, they certainly did not want the awkward, stupid boy. And so they took away the only person who cared about him, and the orphan boy was left to fend for himself. He lived on scraps thrown to the dogs and things he found on the refuse heaps. He dressed in remnants of skins and frayed robes discarded by the poorest people. At night he bedded down in a grass-lined dugout, like an animal in it's den.
Eventually the game was hunted out near the camp that the boy regarded as his, and the people decided to move. The lodges were taken down, belongings were packed into rawhide bags and put on dog travois, and the village departed.
"Stay here," they told the boy. "We don't want your kind coming with us."
For two or three days the boy fed on scraps the people had left behind, but he knew he would starve if he stayed. He had to join his people, whether they liked it or not. He followed their tracks, frantic that he would lose them, and crying at the same time. Soon the sweat was running down his skinny body. As he was stumbling, running, panting, something suddenly snapped in his left ear with a sound like a small crack, and a worm-like substance came out of that ear. All at once on his left side he could hear birdsongs for the first time. He took this worm-like thing in his left hand and hurried on. Then there was a snap in his right ear and a worm-like thing came out of it, and on his right side he could hear the rushing waters of a stream. His hearing was restored! And it was razor sharp -- he could make out the rustling of a tiny mouse in dry leaves a good distance away. The orphan boy laughed and was happy for the first time in his life.
With renewed courage he followed the trail his people had made. In the meantime the village had settled into it's new place. Men were already out hunting. Thus the boy came upon Good Running, a kindly old chief, butchering a fat buffalo cow he had just killed. When the chief saw the boy, he said to himself,
"Here comes that poor good-for-nothing boy. It was wrong to abandon him."
To the boy Good Running said: "Rest here, grandson, you're sweaty and covered with dust. Here, have some tripe."
The boy wolfed down the meat. He was not used to hearing and talking yet, but his eyes were alert and Good Running also noticed a change in his manner.
"This boy," the chief said to himself, "Is neither stupid nor crazy."
He gave the orphan a piece of the hump meat, then a piece of liver, then a piece of raw kidney, and at last the very best kind of meat -- a slice of tongue. The more the old man looked at the boy, the more he liked him.
On the spur of the moment he said,
"Grandson, I'm going to adopt you; there's a place for you in my tipi. And I'm going to make you into a good hunter and warrior." The boy wept, this time for joy. Good Running said, "They called you a stupid, crazy boy, but now that I think of it, the name you were given at birth is Long Arrow. I'll see that people call you by your right name. Now come along."
The chief's wife was not pleased.
"Why do you put this burden on me," she said, "Bringing into our lodge this good-for-nothing, this slow-witted crazy boy? Maybe you're a little slow-witted and crazy yourself!"
"Woman, keep talking like that and I'll beat you! This boy isn't slow or crazy; he's a good boy, and I have taken him for my grandson. Look -- he's barefooted. Hurry up, and make a pair of moccasins for him, and if you don't do it well I'll take a stick to you."
Good Running's wife grumbled but did as she was told. Her husband was a kind man, but when aroused, his anger was great.
So a new life began for Long Arrow. He had to learn to speak and to understand well, and to catch up on all the things a boy should know. He was a fast learner and soon surpassed other boys his age in knowledge and skills. At last even Good Running's wife accepted him. He grew up into a fine young hunter, tall and good-looking in the quilled buckskin outfit the chief's wife made for him. He helped his grandfather in everything and became a staff for Good Running to lean on. But he was lonely, for most people in the camp could not forget that Long Arrow had once been an outcast.
"Grandfather," he said one day, "I want to do something to make you proud and show people that you were wise to adopt me. What can I do?"
Good Running answered, "Someday you will be a chief and do great things."
"But what's a great thing I could do now, Grandfather?"
The chief thought for a long time. "Maybe I shouldn't tell you this," he said. "I love you and don't want to lose you. But on winter nights, men talk of powerful spirit people living at the bottom of a faraway lake. Down in that lake the spirit people keep mystery animals who do their work for them. These animals are larger than a great elk, but they carry the burdens of the spirit people like dogs. So they're called Pono-Kamita -- Elk Dogs. They are said to be swift, strong, gentle, and beautiful beyond imagination. Every fourth generation, one of our young warriors has gone to find these spirit folk and bring back an Elk Dog for us. But none of our brave young men has ever returned."
"Grandfather, I'm not afraid. I'll go and find an Elk Dog."
"Grandson, first learn to be a man. Learn the right prayers and ceremonies. Be brave. Be generous and open-handed. Pity the old and the fatherless, and let the holy men of the tribe find a medicine for you which will protect you on your dangerous journey. We will begin by purifying you in the sweat bath."
So Long Arrow was purified with the white steam of the sweat lodge. He was taught how to use the pipe, and how to pray to the Great Mystery Power. The tribe's holy men gave him a medicine and made for him a shield with designs on it to ward off danger.
Then one morning, without telling anybody, Good Running loaded his best travois dog with all the things Long Arrow would need for travelling. The chief gave him his medicine, his shield, and his own fine bow and, just as the sun came up, went with his grandson to the edge of the camp to purify him with sweet-smeliing cedar smoke. Long Arrow left unheard and unseen by anyone else. After a while some people noticed that he was gone, but no one except his grandfather knew where and for what purpose. Following Good Running's advice, Long Arrow wandered southward.
On the fourth day of his journey he came to a small pond, where a strange man was standing as if waiting for him.
"Why have you come here?" the stranger asked.
"I have come to find the mysterious Elk Dog."
"Ah, there I cannot help you," said the man, who was the spirit of the pond. "But if you travel further south, four-times-four days, you might chance upon a bigger lake and there meet one of my uncles. Possibly he might talk to you; then again, he might not. That's all I can tell you."
Long Arrow thanked the man, who went down to the bottom of the pond, where he lived. Long Arrow wandered on, walking for long hours and taking little time for rest. Through deep canyons and over high mountains he went, wearing out his moccasins and enduring cold and heat, hunger and thirst. Finally Long Arrow approached a big lake surrounded by steep pine-covered hills. There he came face to face with a tall man, fierce and scowling and twice the height of most humans. This stranger carried a long lance with a heavy spear-point made of shining flint.
"Young one," he growled, "why did you come here?"
"I came to find the mysterious Elk Dog."
The stranger, who was the spirit of the lake, stuck his face right into Long Arrow's and shook his mighty lance. "Little one, aren't you afraid of me?" he snarled.
"No, I am not," answered Long Arrow, bemused and smiling back at him.
The tall spirit man gave a hideous grin, which was his way of being friendly. "I like small humans who aren't afraid," he said, "but I can't help you. Perhaps our grandfather will take the trouble to listen to you. More likely he won't. Walk south for four-times-four days, and maybe you'll find him. But probably you won't."
With that the tall spirit turned his back on Long Arrow and went to the bottom of the lake, where he lived. Long Arrow walked on for another four-times-four days, sleeping and resting little. By now he staggered and stumbled in his weakness, and his dog was not much better off.
At last he came to the biggest lake he had ever seen, surrounded by towering snow-capped peaks and waterfalls of ice. This time there was nobody to receive him. As a matter of fact, there seemed to be no living thing around. "This must be the Great Mystery Lake," thought Long Arrow. Exhausted, he fell down upon the shortgrass meadow by the lake, fell down among the wild flowers and went to sleep with his tired dog curled up at his feet.
When Long Arrow awoke, the sun was already high. He opened his eyes and saw a beautiful child standing before him, a boy in a dazzling white buckskin robe decorated with porcupine quills of many colours. The boy said: "We have been expecting you for a long time. My grandfather invites you to his lodge. Follow me."
Telling his dog to wait, Long Arrow took his medicine shield and his grandfather's bow and went with the wonderful child. They came to the edge of the lake. The spirit boy pointed to the water and said: "My grandfather's lodge is down there. Come!" The child turned himself into a kingfisher and dove straight to the bottom. Afraid, Long Arrow thought, "How can I follow him and not be drowned?" But then he said to himself, "I knew all the time that this would not be easy. In setting out to find the Elk Dog, I already threw my life away." And he boldly jumped into the water.
To his surprise, he found it did not make him wet, that it parted before him, that he could breathe and see. He touched the lake's sandy bottom. It sloped down, down toward a center point. Long Arrow descended this slope until he came to a small, flat valley. In the middle of it stood a large tipi of tanned buffalo hide. The images of two strange animals were drawn on it in sacred vermillion paint. A kingfisher perched high on top of the tipi flew down and turned again into the beautiful boy, who said, "Welcome. Enter my grandfather's lodge." Long Arrow followed the spirit boy inside. In the back at the seat of honour sat a black-robed old man with flowing white hair and such power emanating from him that Long Arrow felt himself in the presence of a truly Great One.
The holy man welcomed Long Arrow and offered him food. The man's wife came in bringing dishes of buffalo hump, liver, tongues, delicious chunks of deer meat, the roasted flesh of strange, tasty water birds, and meat pounded together with berries, chokecherries, and kidney fat. Famished after his long journey, Long Arrow ate with relish. Yet he still looked around to admire the furnishings of the tipi, the painted inner curtain, the many medicine shields, wonderfully wrought weapons, shirts and robes decorated with porcupine quills in rainbow colours, beautifully painted rawhide containers filled with wonderful things, and much else that dazzled him. After Long Arrow had stilled his hunger, the old spirit chief filled the pipe and passed it to his guest. They smoked, praying silently.
After a while the old man said: "Some came before you from time to time, but they were always afraid of the deep water, and so they went away with empty hands. But you, grandson, were brave enough to plunge in, and therefore you are chosen to receive a wonderful gift to carry back to your people. Now, go outside with my grandson."
The beautiful boy took Long Arrow to a meadow on which some strange animals, unlike any the young man had ever seen, were galloping and gamboling, neighing and nickering. They were truly wonderful to look at, with their glossy coats fine as a maiden's hair, their long manes and tails streaming in the wind. Now rearing, now nuzzling, they looked at Long Arrow with gentle eyes which belied their fiery appearance.
"At last," thought Long Arrow, "here they are before my own eyes, the Pono-Kamita, the Elk Dogs!"
"Watch me," said the mystery boy, "so that you learn to do what I am doing."
Gracefully and without effort, the boy swung himself onto the back of a jet-black Elk Dog with a high, arched neck. Larger than any elk Long Arrow had ever come across, the animal carried the boy all over the meadow swiftly as the wind. Then the boy returned, jumped off his mount, and said, "Now you try it."
A little timidly Long Arrow climbed up on the beautiful Elk Dog's back. Seemingly regarding him as feather-light, it took off like a flying arrow. The young man felt himself soaring through the air as a bird does, and experienced a happiness greater even than the joy he had felt when Good Running had adopted him as a grandson. When they had finished riding the Elk Dogs, the spirit boy said to Long Arrow: "Young hunter from the land above the waters, I want you to have what you have come for. Listen to me. You may have noticed that my grandfather wears a black medicine robe as long as a woman's dress, and that he is always trying to hide his feet. Try to get a glimpse of them, for if you do, he can refuse you nothing. He will then tell you to ask him for a gift, and you must ask for these three things: his rainbow-coloured quilled belt, his black medicine robe, and a herd of these animals which you seem to like." Long Arrow thanked him and vowed to follow his advice.
For four days the young man stayed in the spirit chief's lodge, where he ate well and often went out riding on the Elk Dogs. But try as he would, he could never get a look at the old man's feet. The spirit chief always kept them carefully covered. Then on the morning of the fourth day, the old one was walking out of the tipi when his medicine robe caught in the entrance flap. As the robe opened, Long Arrow caught a glimpse of a leg and one foot. He was awed to see that it was not a human limb at all, but the glossy leg and firm hoof of an Elk Dog!
He could not stifle a cry of surprise, and the old man looked over his shoulder and saw that his leg and hoof were exposed. The chief seemed a little embarrassed, but shrugged and said: "I tried to hide this, but you must have been fated to see it. Look, both of my feet are those of an Elk Dog. You may as well ask me for a gift. Don't be timid; tell me what you want." Long Arrow spoke boldly: "I want three things: your belt of rainbow colours, your black medicine robe, and your herd of Elk Dogs."
"Well, so you're really not timid at all!" said the old man. "You ask for a lot, and I'll give it to you, except that you cannot have all my Elk Dogs; I'll give you half of them. Now I must tell you that my black hair medicine robe and my many-coloured belt have Elk Dog magic in them. Always wear the robe when you try to catch Elk Dogs; then they can't get away from you. On quiet nights, if you listen closely to the belt, you will hear the Elk Dog dance song and Elk Dog prayers. You must learn them. And I will give you one more magic gift: this long rope woven from the hair of a white buffalo bull. With it you will never fail to catch whichever Elk Dog you want."
The spirit chief presented him with the gifts and said: "Now you must leave. At first the Elk Dogs will not follow you. Keep the medicine robe and the magic belt on at all times, and walk for four days toward the north. Never look back -- always look to the north. On the fourth day the Elk Dogs will come up beside you on the left. Still don't look back. But after they have overtaken you, catch one with the rope of white buffalo hair and ride him home. Don't lose the black robe, or you will lose the Elk Dogs and never catch them again."
Long Arrow listened carefully so that he would remember. Then the old spirit chief had his wife make up a big pack of food, almost too heavy for Long Arrow to carry, and the young man took leave of his generous spirit host. The mysterious boy once again turned himself into a kingfisher and led Long Arrow to the surface of the lake, where his faithful dog greeted him joyfully.
Long Arrow fed the dog, put his pack of food on the travois, and started walking north. On the fourth day the Elk dogs came up on his left side, as the spirit chief had foretold. Long Arrow snared the black one with the arched neck to ride, and he caught another to carry the pack of food. They galloped swiftly on, the dog barking at the big Elk Dogs' heels. When Long Arrow arrived at last in his village, the people were afraid and hid. They did not recognize him astride his beautiful Elk Dog but took him for a monster, half man and half animal. Long Arrow kept calling, "Grandfather Good Running, it's your grandson. I've come back bringing Elk Dogs!"
Recognizing the voice, Good Running came out of hiding and wept for joy, because he had given Long Arrow up for lost. Then all the others emerged from their hiding places to admire the wonderful new animals.
Long Arrow said, "My grandfather and grandmother who adopted me, I can never repay you for your kindness. Accept these wonderful Elk Dogs as my gift. Now we no longer need to be humble foot-sloggers, because these animals will carry us swiftly everywhere we want to go. Now buffalo hunting will be easy. Now our tipis will be larger, our possessions will be greater, because an Elk Dog travois can carry a load ten times bigger than that of a dog. Take them, my grandparents. I shall keep for myself only this black male and this black female, which will grow into a fine herd."
"You have indeed done something great, Grandson," said Good Running, and he spoke true. The people became the bold riders of the Plains and soon could hardly imagine what life was like before they had them.
One day, Good Running asked Long Arrow to lead them back to the Great Mystery Lake... for maybe they would be blessed with more magic gifts, and more power. He took them there, and found the lake. But when they got there, there was no longer anyone waiting for him, there were no kingfishers that turned into boys, and when they looked into the bottom of the crystal clear waters of the lake, they saw no tipi, no people, and no Elk Dogs. Nothing except a few fish.

"Taking the Land Back"

Medium(s): Regular "Bic" Pen
September 5, 2006

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High School -Painting & Drawing 1- class, first day's assignment included filling the page using a medium that is non-erasable. I chose a regular pen because it was the closest thing to a pencil. At this point is where my militance had really began to shine through, in the reaction emotions of the Oka Crisis of 1990. Though in this composition, portrays much more than just the Oka Crisis. The main subject and focal point is the masked warrior, the image that now many Indigenous warrior socities and at protests now use to symbolize resistance. Symbolism and referancing to history and events is what holds this piece togrther to teach the viewer.
Starting with the top-right, which symbolizes the old life...our traditional elders, our lodges, and our Iinii (buffalo) strong, fearless animals that provided much of what we needed for survival. Below this corner melds into the bottom right corner, where the buffalo has turned into nothing but a skull, symbolizing their almost extinction due to over-hunting for sport by euro-americans. The elder has turned into nothing but a skull showing imense pain with a branded cross of Christianity, symbolizing our forced change from our beliefs into much of what now many of my people believe in, Catholicism. The bullet holes into the skull as well as the small "massacre" scene symbolize the Marias Massacre (also known as the Baker Massacre), a massacre of about 173 (mostly women and children) with about 140 captured. With smallpox killing us, we simply didn't have the numbers to respond, and tension between us and whites declined.
Behind the raised fist and red star of freedom on the left side, is an upsidedown U.S. flag, which symbolizes all euro-controlled North American union of the U.S, Canada, and Mexico. In the stripes are the words "Bury the past, rob us blind, and leave nothing behind", which does say a lot about what has been done over all 500 years of history going all the way to now. Below that is an Mohawk warrior on top of an Oka police car, another famous photo of the event. Also below that is the symbol of AIM (American Indian Movement), one of the most modern organizations of open resistance and bring a sense of "Pan-Nativism" back to Native people.

---Artist's Critique---

his is probably one of my most well-balanced, poly-symbolic composition I have done yet that is in my portfolio. The balance is perfect with a main subject-focal point with eyes that say a lot, and all around it are 4 sections equally divided to tell different stories, but yet have no visible divisions. I attempted to get an overall equality of darks and lights put together without trying to outweigh a side over the other. With such a perfect balance with much to tell makes this a very good overall composition.
Little mistakes I see are that the warrior's hat is drawn wrong. His forehead seems to just disappear into the hat's rim, rather than into the hat itself. Also, the Mohawk warrior standing on the cop car on the left clashes a little too much with the dark freedom-star wristband on the raised fist. There is barely any contrast and his overall image is too blended for many people to even notice he is there.

"The Oka Warrior"

Medium(s): Pen & Ink
May 7, 2006

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High School -Art II- project 2 of the Indigenous Retaliation series, symbolizes the Oka Crisis of 1990, a land, political and nation-to-nation struggle of the Kanesatake Mohawk Nation against Canada. Since the mid 1980's, the Mohawks of the town of Oka, Quebec, Canada had been often feuding and protesting with the Canadian and Quebec provincial government. This crisis started when a golf course was aimed at being extended. Where it extended to was a piece of the Kanesatake-Mohawk Reserve, where near that piece of land laid the sacred burial ground on ancestrial Mohawks. The Mohawks of Oka led countless marching protests against the bulldozing of trees and excavating of land to extend a golf course onto their reservation where sacred ground was not just the burial ground, but all the land the Mohawks have left today. However, Oka believed the land was theirs to do what they wish with, and that this land aimed at being bulldozed was not apart of the Kanesatake Reserve.
Soon protests were not enough, and the Canadian government ordered the continuance of extension. But to everyone's shock and suprise, the Mohawks weren't backing down that easy; Mohawk warriors ranging from all ages took up arms, and barricaded the roads leading to the extension spot and through the reserve using cut down trees, concrete blocks and dividers, and after a skirmish with Oka police, a cop car, and chicken as well as barbed wire. For 73 days, the Mohawk warriors actively around the clock guarded the barricades with rifles, their faces wrapped in bandanas for protection against the tear gas that was being shot at them by Quebec-forces.
Warriors as young as 15, stood up for this cause, and centuries worth of opressed anger exploded into one standoff that reminded everyone, both Native and White, the truth behind what the white invaders have really done to this land and the culture that had once existed. Soon many moral issues came into this one issues where people had to ask themselves, is this how we should be treating Native people, after all that has happened?
Below is a website where it has 1990 TV news broadcasts of the whole Oka Crisis. In this videos and radio recordings, you will learn the key people of this standoff, you will see with your own eyes and hear with your own ears, the unbelieveable treatment of Native Americans you thought had ended long ago. Its still here with us...amongst us. People don't think and see it everyday, but deep inside...the uneducated person of both America and Canada, have a fear and hate for what they don't udnerstand, further because of what they have not been taught; the true history and people of this continent.

Artistically, this was referanced off a famous photo from the Crisis of a 15 year old Mohawk warrior behind the barricades. On his hat is the flag of the Mohawk nation, which has evolved into the overall symbol of Native resistance in Canada and all over the continent by the Native Youth Movement (NYM), a continent-wide warrior society of Native people defending sacred sites everywhere.
On his neck is apart of the face bandana, but this part is choking him. This piece that is choking him as you can see is the national flag of Canada, which symbolizes the encroaching, hatred, and the choking of our lands as they grow smaller and smaller.

---Artist's Critique---

he composition is nicely centered, and is visually balanced by the symmetric fence posts on either side that symbolize the barricade. The only color in this piece is the warrior's warpaint, which serves as a visual focal point for the viewer to see his eyes, which say a lot about his emotions during this crisis.
Changes would be to make the Canada flag choking him a little more noticeable to people, and to show a more choking tightness of the rag, like how it wraps tightly around the structure of his face. Also some shading should have been done on the shoulders and body to not make it look so flat, maybe giving some folds and ridges of the camo jacket to give it more realism. Perhaps also a more worked on barricade behind him instead of just wire, and somehow filling that negative space on each side of the road just so its not total white blankness.
In ways though the negative space and lack of subjects drawn in the background keeps the whole visual focus on the warrior, which this piece is all about.

"Protector of the Old World"

Medium(s): Scratchboard
May 14, 2006

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High School -Art II- project 1 of 3 in a theme series of portraying my theme of Indigenous Retaliation. This wasn't exactly easy due to whatever I scratched and drew on this turned white instead of black, which is in a way backwards thinking due to I'm always on white paper drawing whatever the darks and shadows are. This composition is supposed to symbolize the purity we had, with all our entities and beliefs before they were altered to mostly Catholicsm. He is a protector of how things were and used to be, using only weapons from that time also. In his background symbolize many things he protects as a warrior of his nation, including sacred sites, as shown by the large medicine wheel of rocks in Wyoming, burial grounds such as the deceased person on a scaffold high up as close as can be to the stars, and overall way of life and family symbolized by the small scene of a village and community. We as warriors and activists today still protect those things.

---Artist's Critique---

n overall well centered and balanced composition. Movement is shown in this piece well by the pulling back of the bow string and arrow, which excites the viewer of invisioning it letting go and the arrow taking flight. The curving of the rising smoke and the hawks circling the Evening star also are small factors that give this piece Movement. This is also balanced nice considering there is a lot of negative space on the top for the night sky, but knowing the symbolism of this piece, everything is supposed to be below him in the safe-guards of his protection. The brightness of his hair being white gives a good focal point to the piece, as well as the face of the eagle on his war shield.
Some changes I would make would be that overall, his body isn't exactly perfectly centered, and is kind of shifted towards the left. I'd worry about their being no room and cutting off the feathers of his shield, but just that small move to the right still would have been perfect I think and nothing would be cut off.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"We're All Connected"

Medium(s): Regular "Bic" Pen
September 11, 2005

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High School -Art II- class, first day's assignment included filling the page using a medium that is non-erasable. I chose a regular pen because it was the closest thing to a pencil. This piece is a massive symbolism of traditional views of how all the Niitsitapi (original people) we're related and fit together with the earth, all our relatives, and how all the nations are connected on the one land. Every circle of somesort drawn in this piece is made into a small medicine wheel to continue the theme of connection as well as the 4 directions, look closely.
The viewer's eyes are meant to start at the focal point, the horse's eye, which many nations were impacted and adopted horses into our lifestyles. From here, the whole entire composition is linked by each of the sacred four directions. Following each line will take you to a new area of the piece as well as the line itself being apart of another object, such as the North direction forms the right side of the lodge, in the horse's mane the West direction forms the flat prairie on which it portrays a young hunter scoping a buffalo herd, etc. Every small detail in this has its own subject, meaning, and story.
Look also on the larger scale, to where you mainly see the horse and its rider, and as you scan the piece your mind will change into looking at the smaller subjects as well, that may be forming the larger scale. Such as the horse's viens on the muzzle are actually also lightning bolts in a vast wilderness scene, as well as the smoke rising from the small circle of elders up to the eagle feather, which then forms into the coup feather's notch. Enjoy finding new subjects in here, and please ask any questions about anything.

---Artist's Critique---

verall a well put together piece, considering there was no allowed sketching first as well as not being able to afford making mistakes with a permanent medium. With the page full, the composition overall is equally balanced not just left to right sides but also the top and bottom as well. Changes I would make would be the night sky at the top right. You can see its somewhat "empty", and it seems to be negative space compared to the rest of the piece where all areas are filled almost completely. Though perhaps the night sky "emptiness" is balanced out by the blank negative space on the horse's neck, where its covered only in mane. Perhaps giving the mountains shading to look more realistic, but not too much so that it clashes with the pine forests, would maybe raise the line of "filled in" darkness to fill more of the visual negative space.
Overall I'd say the piece is so busy and filled with things to look at, defects aren't too noticeble when it comes to the principles of design.