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Eiteljorg Insider| 5 Questions with Summer Peters

by Jaq Nigg, Eiteljorg festivals and markets manager | Jul 11, 2013

We caught up with bead worker Summer Peters who won Best of Show at the Eiteljorg Indian Market with her beadwork portrait Gentleman Jim. A single mom and full time artist, she is a tribal member of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe in Michigan, but lives in Phoenix, AZ. It was her first time coming to the Eiteljorg market and she blew everyone away with her creativity and talent.


Summer Peters (Saginaw Chippewa), Gentleman Jim, Best of Show Winner at the 2013 Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival

 
1. What inspires you?
What inspires me is fashion, places I've been to, experiences I've had, nature, people watching, and a desire to learn more. It doesn't take much. I see beauty in almost everything. I love talking about art with other artists. I like watching things being built.

 2. If you could steal any piece of art in the world to have in your home, what would it be?
I'd have to bypass the obvious choices of the Mona Lisa or some Picasso painting, it would definitely be, Spirit of the Forest by Odilon Redon. I learned about him in one of my art history courses.

 3. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
I would most definitely be an ironworker in the NYC skyline or some sort of home builder/architect/interior designer. I have a strong academic background in the technical side of building things.

 4. What is your favorite tool? 
My favorite tool is my needle nose plier. It makes everything perfect! I'm very very very much a perfectionist about my work, even though they say nothing in the world is perfect. If there's an extra bead on my string and I've already attached it to the canvas, I snap it off.

 5. What do you listen to while you work?
I usually turn on the TV and find a show that I can listen to. I don't really listen to music while I work. Music has a strong attachment to memories in my life, good and bad, so I don't listen to it. I don't like sad feelings seeping into my work.  One time, though, I turned on classical music and I was beading like a mad woman! I need to do that again. 

 About Gentleman Jim:
Gentleman Jim
is beadwork portrait of Jim Thorpe (Sac and Fox). The piece was created to bring attention to Native American people who have made great accomplishments in mainstream society.

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