2005 Fellows

Past Fellows: 2005

  • John Hoover (1919—2011, Aleut)

    JohnHoover Hoover was born in Cordova, Alaska.  He spent a lot of time as a commercial fisherman, but he was also a ski instructor who painted.  However, it was not until he was in his late forties, after he had built a large fishing boat in his backyard that he became inspired to sculpt.  From 1960 on, he worked in red cedar to create otherworldly, shamanistic elemental figures whose transformative states from animals to humans (and vice versa) are indicative of his personal search for what comprises, and perhaps, transcends, spirituality.  Hoover’s first bronze-cast piece Seaweed People was installed in the First Lady’s Sculpture Garden at the White House from 1997 to 1998.  Also in 1998, he created a monumental bronze sculpture commission titled Raven the Creator for the Alaska Native Heritage Center.  Other Anchorage sites that have commissioned his work include the Alaska Native Medical Center and William A. Egan Civic and Convention Center.

  • Harry Fonseca (1946—2006, Nisenan Maidu/Hawaiian)

    Harry Fonseca Fonseca was born in Sacramento, California, and at the age of eleven, he knew he was an artist.  He attended Sacramento City College before studying art under Frank LaPena (Wintu-Nomtipom/Tenai) at California State University—Sacramento.  Ultimately, he decided to leave school to pursuit his art, his own way.  His early paintings were influenced by his Maidu ancestry, depicting traditional basket patterns and dance regalia motifs, and later, scenes from Maidu origin stories and southwestern ancient petroglyph symbols.  In 1979, Fonseca began a series for which he is perhaps most renowned, his Coyote series.  He placed Coyote in urban settings in non-Native clothing as if to infer that the lives and positions of Native Americans had transformed as much as the Trickster’s had.  In 1980, he was granted a fellowship from the Southwestern Association on Indian Affairs, and in 2004, he was bestowed with the Alan Houser Memorial Award.

  • James Lavadour (b. 1951, Assiniboine/Chinook/Walla Walla)

    James Lavadoursmaller Raised on the Umatilla Indian reservation, Lavadour expresses his love of the terrain through his paintings’ and prints’ predominant subject matter, landscapes.  Use of panels and reliance on layering are two typical processes he utilizes to visually interpret his layered and textured panoramas.  A self-trained painter who worked different jobs after leaving high school early, Lavadour began exhibiting in the 1970s in Seattle.  In 1991, he won the Betty Bowen Award from the Seattle Museum of Art; in 1994, the Oregon Governor’s Arts Award; in 1995, he was a Rutgers Center for Innovative Printmaking Fellow; and in 1998, he was a Joan Mitchell Painting Fellow.  Lavadour is co-founder of Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, a non-profit organization formed on the Umatilla reservation in 1992 that fosters and attracts local and national artists.

  • C. Maxx Stevens (b. 1951, Seminole/Muscogee)

    cmaxstevensAs a young girl, Stevens grew up in Wichita, Kansas, after her family had been relocated there in the 1950s.  She attended Haskell Indian Junior College, where, in 1972, she received an Associate of Arts in Sculpture and Indian Arts Studies.  She graduated from Wichita State University in 1979 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture and Ceramics.  In 1987, she received her Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Indiana University—Bloomington.  Stevens won SITE Santa Fe’s Regional and Local Artist Endorsement Award in 1995; a Joan Mitchell Foundation Sculptor Grant Award in 1998; and an Andrea Frank Foundation Visual Artist Award in 2000.  Currently she is an assistant professor of Art at the University of Colorado—Boulder, where she also teaches in the art and art history department’s Foundation Program.  Stevens is an installation artist and sculptor whose work contains motifs of home, community, and traditions.

  • Tanis Maria S’eiltin (b. 1951, Tlingit, Coho Clan, Raven Moiety)

    Tanis S'eiltinS’eiltin’s mother was Maria Miller, a master weaver of Chilkat robes who taught her daughter how to skin-sew.  In 1986, she graduated from the University of Alaska—Fairbanks with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking, and in 1992, from the University of Arizona with a Master of Fine Arts in Mixed Media.  S’eiltin won a Klukwan Heritage Grant from Klukwan Incorporated (Juneau, Alaska) in 1996, and first place at Bellingham’s Whatcom Museum of History and Art show Transforming Traditions: Art of Native America.  Currently, she is an associate professor of art and humanities at Fairhaven College at Western Washington University.  Her mixed media pieces both honor her ancestors by her integration of natural materials and sewing skills, and oppose the colonized tenants of both dominant western art and viewpoints about Native peoples by combining traditional art techniques with innovative multi-media installations or objects.

  • Marie Watt (b. 1967, Seneca, Turtle Clan)

    marywatt Watt graduated from Willamette University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science in Speech Communications and Art, and the Institute of American Indian Arts with an Associate of Fine Arts in Museum Studies in 1992.  In 1996, she received her Master of Fine Arts in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University.  She was a printmaking resident at Crow’s Shadow Institute in 2003, 2005, and again in 2011; an Oregon Arts Commission Visual Artist Fellow in 2004; and a Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellow in 2006.  Watt was commissioned by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2011 to create a site-specific fourteen-foot tall column of wool blankets from around the world, titled Blanket Stories: Matriarch, Guardian and Seven Generations.  In 2016, she was commissioned by the U.S. State Department’s Art in Embassies program to create a permanent sculpture installation in Islamabad, Pakistan.  Presently, she is a professor at Portland Community College.  Watt creates mixed media sculptures and installation pieces that employ natural materials or utilitarian objects such as blankets and felt, to explore history and how it relates to memory.

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