Bartow (Yurok) was born in Newport, Oregon, and lives on familial land along the Oregon coast. A prolific artist, Bartow works in pastel, graphite, charcoal, acrylic, mixed media, printmaking, mask making, and sculpture. His works are personal, reflecting his internal struggles and connection to the local environment. Bartow, who is an expert draftsman with a brilliant sense of color, often draws images with anthropomorphic qualities in a state of transformation.




 
         
   
WalkingStick was born in Syracuse, New York, to a Cherokee father and a non-Native mother. Her work deals with issues of mixed ancestry, the balance between land and space, and the relationship between the physical and spiritual self. In the mid-1980s, WalkingStick began an ongoing series of diptych paintings (as well as drawings and prints) in which a pair of juxtaposed images—one realistic and the other abstract or symbolic—represents different aspects of a subject or theme.




 
         
   
Feddersen (Colville) was born in Omak, Washington, and teaches at Evergreen State College in Olympia. His work investigates signs—capitalizing on personal connections of memory interwoven in basket patterns from the Inland Plateau Region of the Columbia Basin. Feddersen’s art speaks to a portrayal of the landscape in a visual language, embedded in simple repetitive design. His interest lies in the zone where the signs tenuously dissolve into a modernist aesthetic while still maintaining direct ties to the designs of his people.




 
         
   
Fonseca (Nisenan Maidu/Hawaiian/Portuguese) was born in Sacramento, California, and resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He works with oil, acrylic, pen and ink, aquatint, lithography, sculpture, and mixed media. The imagery, themes, and style of Fonseca’s art have evolved throughout his career. Some pieces have been narratives; others highly abstract. Cultural myth and history are important themes in his work, and he has been influenced by African, Native American, and contemporary North American art.




 
         
   
Whitman, born in Claremore, Oklahoma, was raised in his Yuchi traditions and language by his grandmother. A painter, photographer, video artist, and poet, he gained notice for his Street Chiefs (1973) series on the homeless Indians of Oklahoma. His works are sociopolitical commentaries in which society’s representation of indigenous people is often juxtaposed with the buried reality of Native life. He lives in the Yuchi community of Gypsy, Oklahoma.




 
         
   
Heap of Birds (Tsistsistas[Cheyenne]) works in multiple media including painting, drawing, printmaking, and mixed media installations. He is best known for his work with language and text messages in public settings using formats such as billboards, traffic panels, and electronic signs to make incisive social and political commentary. Heap of Birds was educated at London’s Royal College of Art, the University of Kansas, and Temple University. He currently teaches at the University of Oklahoma.




 
         
   
Naranjo-Morse, from a prominent family of Santa Clara Pueblo potters, lives in Española, New Mexico. Educated at the College of Santa Fe and the Institute of American Indian Arts, she is well known for her clay sculpture and for her use of humor in treating social issues. Naranjo-Morse has expanded into metals, printmaking, video, and multimedia installations, and is also a published poet. Her work addresses questions of contemporary identity for Native, particularly Pueblo, women and communities.




 
         
   
Longfish (Seneca/Tuscarora) was born in Oshweken, Ontario, Canada. He works in oil, acrylic, pencil, pen and ink, mixed media, and printmaking. A recurring theme in his art is the importance of “owning” one’s cultural information and passing it to future generations. He is well known for his two-dimensional paintings dealing with spirituality and issues of injustice. Longfish was a professor of Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis until his retirement in spring 2003.




 
         
   


Niro, born in Niagara Falls, New York, is a Bay of Quinte Mohawk, Turtle Clan, from the Six Nations Reserve. Best known as a photographer, Niro employs this medium as well as painting, sculpture, film, and mixed-media installation to explore the complexities of Native, female, and personal identities, making frequent use of humor and parody. She lives in Brantford, Ontario, Canada, and teaches at the University of Western Ontario.


 
         
   
Lowry is of Hammawi Band Pit River, Mountain Maidu, Washo, Scottish-Irish, and Australian descent. The daughter of a military officer, she spent her childhood traveling the world with her family. Lowry’s large-scale and vividly colored narrative paintings, done primarily in acrylic on canvas, portray memories and stories from her family history and address issues such as her mixed cultural heritage, historical injustices against Native peoples, and cultural stereotypes. She lives and works in Nevada City, California.


 
         
   
Watt, of Seneca and Scottish-German heritage, studied at Willamette University, the Institute of American Indian Arts, and Yale University. She works in pen and ink, mixed media, and installation art. Interested in the symbolism, structure, and use of everyday objects, Watt utilizes a variety of materials in her art including textiles, alabaster, slate, and cornhusks. She is a professor of art at Portland Community College in Oregon and the gallery coordinator of its Northview Gallery.


 
         
   
Smith was born on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana and is of Flathead Salish, Cree, and Shoshone descent. Through her paintings, drawings, prints, and mixed-media installations, Smith addresses political, social, and historical concerns. Native land rights and the destruction of the land have been of particular importance in her work. A curator, lecturer, and writer as well as a highly accomplished artist, she lives in Corrales, New Mexico.



 
  © 2004 SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION