My Art Quilt The Road to Oklahoma is part of the Speak: Speak While You Can exhibition taking place at Living Arts Tulsa, Oklahoma, from 4th September 2020. Curated by Bobby C. Martin and Tony Tiger, the exhibition " makes clear that our languages are still—and will always be—an integral part of our identity as Native peoples".
This piece represents a blending of cultures that makes sense to me as an artist and as a Mvskoke woman. Using historical photographs reclaims them from being ‘images of a vanishing/vanished people’ and gives them a powerful new presence, actively carrying a bloodline that links Indigenous Women over generations. The red colour also points to the ‘hidden’ issue of murdered and missing Native women. In recognition of the commonality of this experience, the dress fuses Plains styling, with imagery from the Eastern Woodlands, the Plains, and from my own Mvskoke heritage.
© Melinda Schwakhofer 2020