Updated: Apr 6
The exhibition was open to the public Thursdays 4pm-8pm and Saturdays 11am-3pm through December 18th, 2021
We're excited to offer our community another artistic collaboration with Justin Beatty in celebration of Native artists and Indigenous cultural influence, including their contributions to the ongoing fight for recognition, support and justice for Native communities. We worked with Justin in 2019 for an exhibit of his own work which remains one of our favorite events of all time. We're privileged to work with him once again, this time to host 2 exhibits in 2 towns in the pioneer valley. The group exhibition is with six incredibly talented indigenous visual artists participating in total: Ella Nathanael Alkiewicz (Inuk), Hailey-Jade Araujo (Chippewa), Justin Beatty (Ojibwe, Saponi, African-American), Casey Figueroa (Indigenous, Irish, & Mexican), Nayana Lafond (Anishinaabe, Abenaki & Mi'kmaq), Anthony Melting Tallow, Bo'taan'niis, [Flying Chief] (Blackfoot). Artist bios and more information about the exhibit are below. A very special thank you to participating artist Hailey-Jade Araujo for use of her work for the exhibit flyer. We're also proud to promote the partner exhibit, SKY, featuring more works from these same artists as well as other native artists, located at 50 /Arrow Gallery Easthampton,MA For more information and visiting hours click here!
November Red Participating Artists
Ella Nathanael Alkiewicz (Inuk)
Ella Nathanael Alkiewicz, Labrador Inuk, is a self-taught artist. She envisions the digital art and paintings plus creates beaded necklaces & beaded Orange Shirt pins. [The Orange Shirt pins represent the Canadian Residential Boarding School students as her mother is a survivor.] Her digital art has appeared in Toronto, Ontario, Varna, Bulgaria, and in Easthampton City Arts Post Pause Online Art Exhibition. She is a UMass Amherst alumna 2012 and happy to be a member of the Western Mass. Native community. Contact Ella on Facebook: @EllaNathanaelAlkiewicz, Instagram: @ella_alk, Twitter: @ellaalk or at firstname.lastname@example.org. She lives in Northampton with her family.
Hailey-Jade Araujo (Chippewa)
Enrolled member of the Sault Ste Marie Chippewa tribe, Senior at Endicott College, graduating in 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Art Therapy. Hailey-Jade works mainly with oil-based paints on various surfaces. Hailey-Jade has found a love for expressing and exploring her Native culture through art and painting. She has spent the last 4 years honing her painting skills. She has an eye for detail and a love for doing memorial pieces. Hailey-Jade is currently working on mixed media pieces combining oil-based painting accented with Native beadwork. A principal theme in Hailey-Jade’s work is identity. Identity as a Native woman. Identity as a Native American growing up in mainstream America and portraying the truth behind what Native “looks like” in 2021. Her pieces have a laid-back simplicity with deep-rooted cultural symbolism.
Justin Beatty (Ojibwe, Saponi, African-American)
Justin Beatty is an artist of Ojibwe, Saponi, & African-American descent. His work for the past few years has been primarily dedicated to taking a deeper look into the cultural, political, spiritual, and social issues affecting current Native American & First Nations people. Frequently alternating between challenging the stereotypes of Indigenous people as relics of the past and creating new images around traditional symbology, his work explores the tropes, misconceptions, and erroneous beliefs the general public often carry about Indigenous people in North America & the Caribbean. His passion for educating comes through in his art by creating visuals that encourage his audience to question their understanding of Native people and their existence in modern spaces.
Justin was the featured artist for the Grand Opening of the Urbana Art Studio and his artwork has been featured in the Town of Athol's “Windows on Main” exhibit, and the “Indigenous Voices Project”. Currently, some of his work is displayed on the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding's “Decolonzing Curricula Resources” website, and was recently hired as the Native American Community Liaison for the Western Massachusetts ArtsHub website. Outside of the art world, Justin is the founder and Powwow Committee Chairperson of the Odenong Powwow. He is a well-know powwow emcee and powwow singer. He is also the drum keeper and lead singer for Urban Thunder, an intertribal powwow drum group currently based here in Western Mass.
Casey Figueroa (Indigenous, Irish, & Mexican)
Casey Figueroa is a contemporary artist focused on exploring the connections between art and Indigenous methodologies. Working with commercial and alternative materials, Casey creates bold and evocative pieces that speak to environmental, cultural, and social issues that we are confronted with today. Casey is located in Plymouth, MA, and designs and produces artwork, public installations, digital and analog media, projection installations, and teaches contemporary art and theory in the local area. As a mixed-race American of Irish, Mexican, and Indigenous ancestry, Casey acknowledges the full diversity of his ancestors and honors their legacy through his artistic practice. You can view his artwork on instagram @ stone_bear_studio and he can be reached via email at email@example.com for all inquiries.
Nayana Lafond (Anishinaabe, Abenaki & Mi'kmaq)
Nayana LaFond is a multi disciplinary artist who is best known for her paintings. Her work tackles deeply personal subjects related to trauma and life experience. Her recent series, " Portraits in RED, Missing and Murdered Indigenous People Painting project", has garnered national acclaim. Nayana has multiple scheduled solo and touring exhibitions of the ongoing series scheduled for the next several years. In addition to a professional full time artist and mother, Nayana also serves on the Board of Directors for Artist Organized Art out of Brooklyn NY, and several other organizations and boards in Massachusetts. She has written articles on art and culture and regularly lectures on topics related to Missing and Murdered Indigenous People, processing trauma through art and Artivist. Nayana has also been a curator for 20 years and was the chief curator for the Whitney center for the arts and a serial entrepreneur having owned and operated both a cafe, independent record label and several art galleries and is a founding member of the Liberal Arts Pop Up Gallery in Northampton MA. Nayana lives and creates her work in western Massachusetts where she resides with her daughter.
Anthony Melting Tallow, Bo'taan'niis, [Flying Chief] (Blackfoot)
Enrolled member of the Siksikaitsitapi Blackfoot Nation. Visual Artist, Public Speaker, Indigenous social justice advocate, land and water defender. As a resident of Chicopee, Massachusetts since 2005. I am presently producing art work that expresses new ideas based within explorations of my cultural heritage as, visual environmental statements rooted in traditional/ancient Blackfoot artways. As multimedia expressions I embrace color as language, evoking form as tradition. Marking issues of current context and discourse in land defense, cultural resilience, post contact document and aspirations for healing in these relevant states of Indigenous peoples movements toward social justice, relating to the natural world and, the impact of human activity on its condition and ultimate preservation.
More About This Exhibit
Why are we hosting November Red Native Artists Exhibit? Paper City Clothing Company is a screenprinting shop dedicated to custom apparel and original clothing printed in house - but it is also much more than that. Expanding access to meaningful creative and economic opportunities for the greater Holyoke community is at the core of our business model and leveraging our 2,000 square foot space for community art events has been part of our vision since the beginning. An annual exhibition for and by native artists each Fall is one way that vision is coming to life, inspired by business owner Carlos Peña's connection with his own indigenous Taino heritage and made possible by our collaboration with Justin Beatty. The name of the exhibit, November Red, is a nod to the global campaign Why We Wear Red seeking to honor and advocate for missing and murdered indigenous women and girls (#MMIWG #whywewearred #NotInvisible).
Thank you to MassDevelopment Transformative Development Initiative Creative Catalyst grant program for their generous support which in part makes this event possible.