I’m on my way to the greatest adventure of my life! It’s taken me a long time to get to this moment, but I didn’t do it alone. Many friends, teachers, mentors and even enemies have helped me. My art journey started with me watching Bob Ross on PBS on Saturday mornings. While in high school, I took a live workshop with him in Raleigh. Today’s cover image is my last oil painting created as I watched the horror during the two weeks after 9/11.
I’m thankful for Penland School of Crafts, the Art Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the School of Art & Design at East Carolina University, and my beginning at North Carolina State University School of Design. I’m even thankful for my unhappy high school years at C.H. Darden High School.
At times the journey has been heart breaking, lonely, painful and seemed impossible and improbable. I know the difficulties and hardships aren’t over, but my heart is bursting with joy and excitement as the adventure of my life in Textiles is revealing itself.
Every experience in my life, along with my dying mother’s prayers, brings me to Otahpiaaki Fashion Week in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Fashion never made sense to me until I participated in Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto and met Sage Paul Cardinal. Now it’s the passion that drives my creative energies in dyeing cloth, sewing, quilting, embroidery and freeform crochet. I’m humbled by my journey and writing my first official workbook complete with an ISBN.
This journey started with a kiss on June 10, 2018 by the man who was the first boy to kiss me when I was five years old. We were childhood friends, who drifted apart after high school graduation to live separate, unconnected lives. I was born cripple and wore casts on my feet and legs for most of my early childhood. He encouraged me when I felt like giving up, included me even though I couldn’t walk and run and helped me move around with tender kindness. Thank you, William Ashley Davis.
A special thanks Mount Royal University and the Blackfoot Confederacy for inviting and financially supporting my participation in Otahpiaaki Fashion Week 2018. Nya:Weh Patti Derbyshire for coordinating my journey and Jeannie Smith-Davis, Pooksinawaakii (Little Chief Woman) from the Piikani/ Aakainawa (Kainai) Nation for inviting me.
Many friends, teachers and mentors have supported and encouraged me to do the impossible. Thank you Christine Zollar, Martin DeWitt, Angela Edwards-Jones, Pura Fe, Patricia Brayboy, David Sutton, Jayne Bomberg, Sage Paul Cardinal, Jaki Shelton Green, Rachel Clark, Teresa Speight, Mary Kowalski, Novita Hill, Catherine Hargrove, Sage Paul Cardinal, Shawn Grey, Gillian Kyle, Allison Lowry, Sarah Dennis, Amy Desjarlais, Chana Smith, Carolyn Reyes, Sylvia Bond Sutton, Minnie Branch, Gillian Gussack, Diane Templeton O’Malley, Felicia Farmer Winstead Charles Chamberlin, Richard Spiller, Marvin Saltzman, Dr. Carol Mavor, Xavier Toubes, Cary Esser, Angelina Pozo, Eva Kwong, MaPo Kinnord, Jim Starrett, Cynthia Bringle, Edwina Bringle, Gay Smith and especially Vann Durham for sharing The Blues. Your support is a treasured blessing.