2021 Creative Native Winners Announced
The Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) Creative Native Call for Art was created by former Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) Newman’s Own Foundation Fellow and renowned artist, Del Curfman (Apsáalooke). This Gen-I initiative is designed to provide space and support to Indigenous artists ages 5-24 years old across Indian Country.
For the 4th annual Call for Art, CNAY asked Native youth to answer the prompt: futurism. What are your hopes for the future? What is the future of your culture, your people, your community, and yourself?
We are proud and honored to announce the winners of each age category.
5-9 Years Old: Nevaeh, 8 years old, Navajo
About the Submission: My hope is for everyone to love the Earth like I do! I dream to be a caretaker of animals – a Diné vet. I want the planet and our water to be healthy and natural for all living creatures to enjoy and care for. It is a goal for me to learn my language and teachings to carry forward for my children. I want my family to be healthy and happy forever. Lastly, I want everyone in the world to be treated with respect.
Meet the Creative Native: Nevaeh is an 8-year-old Diné girl. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her mom, dad and two dogs. She is in the second grade. Nevaeh loves art, especially drawing. She is a kind, compassionate and respectful girl. She does her best in school and makes friends with everyone; she never leaves anyone out. Nevaeh’s parents and family are so proud of her for using art to express her ideas.
10-14 Years Old: Quahada,12 years old, Comanche Nation
About the Submission: Acrylic spray paint, acrylic paint pen on pressed plywood (brick) board. Stencil work and newspaper. “future of virus”
Meet the Creative Native: Quahada is a Comanche artist that lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Quahada patriciates in Southwestern Association for Indian Arts’s Indian Market and has won four ribbons. In addition to artwork, Quahada makes movies, his most recent film is called, “Samurai.”
15-19 Years Old: Hannah, 15 years old, Choctaw Nation
About the Submission: I believe my piece represents futurism as it shows the passing of culture through each generation. The elder is the grandma of the younger girl seen in the piece. I believe it is important to educate not just our descendants but all generations after us. We can learn a lot from our elders, and their stories, and their past. I hope and believe that for the interest of our culture we must take what we learn and pass it on to ensure our culture carries from each generation to the next. This piece is a pencil drawing made digitally.
Meet the Creative Native: Hannah is 15 years old and is from Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has created many art pieces and has experience with multiple mediums, including pencil drawings, digital art, acrylic, watercolor, and more. She would love to have a career focused on art one day and loves to share her art with others. Hannah uses art to express certain topics or just as a fun outlet.
20-24 Years Old: KamiJo Whiteclay, 21, Crow Nation
Grand Prize Winner
About the Submission: This piece is titled “Bear Medicine,” which is also my Apsaalooké name. I made this work personal to represent my dreams and manifestations for the future of my community. It is important to honor the traditions of the past to ensure a future of healing and resilience. The colorful floral bear represents a spirit helper that encourages healing through the dark times. The dark background and the 4-pointed stars show that our ancestors continue to guide us through darkness to a brighter future. The bear paw prints represent walking a good path for others to follow.
Meet the Creative Native: KamiJo’s Crow name is Bear Medicine and she is a member of Apsaalooké (Crow) Nation. She comes from the Greasy Mouth clan and is a child of the Whistling Water clan. She was born and raised on the Crow reservation. She is currently attending IAIA in Santa Fe, NM. Her artwork is a mix between contemporary understanding and being a modern-day Indigenous woman. KamiJo intertwines the working of Apsaalooké design and identity. By using art, she is able to cope and understand the world around her, causing her work to be very personal.
Contest submissions from other artists will be featured throughout the 2022 State of Native Youth Report. All submission from the 2021 Call for Art will be added to the Creative Native virtual gallery.
CNAY would like to thank the talented panel of judges who supported these phenomenal artists.