Culture in Art


Growing up in the Upper Midwest, my art experiences included studying Native American art and craft work of the Sioux Nation tribes. As the child of an art major, I didn’t realize or appreciate the depth of art culture that was shown to me then. But I must have internalized it, because I took an art major as well, making three generations in a row who studied art in college and received a BA in art. Count four in a row, if you include my maternal grandmother’s father, who was a stunning nature photographer in the days of Ansel Adams and Teddy Roosevelt.

I grew up doing bead work on leather bracelets, braiding, weaving and leatherwork, using Dakota art as inspiration. What I didn’t realize then was how intertwined culture is with art. But the way culture impresses upon us necessarily affects the way we see the world. Since then I have traveled to other cultures, been enamored of their art, and through those experiences, become more aware of my own culture’s art. One of my endeavors is to more deeply explore and understand how culture and art work together, and how they can bring people of different cultures together as well.