Wyoming Arts Council

Native Art Fellowship

James Dewey. N Arapaho Beadwork. Casper, WY.

What is a Native Art Fellowship?

The Native Art Fellowship is a $3,000 unrestricted award of merit, based on the artist’s portfolio, honoring the work of Native artists based within Wyoming. Artists working across any artistic discipline or medium (visual, literary, performing, folk & traditional, etc.) may apply. This fellowship is designed to raise the profiles of the highly talented Native artists in Wyoming and celebrate their artistry. Applications are juried by noted Native artists outside the state. Two fellowships will be given this year. Jurors may also select honorable mentions.

Recipients of the Native Art Fellowship will also be given support to find a venue to showcase their work. Applications are currently closed. Check back in spring 2023 for the next round of applications.

2023 Native Art Fellowship Recipients

Christian Wallowing Bull

Christian Wallowing Bull is an indigenous singer-songwriter residing in Wyoming. With familial relations to the Wind River Reservation, as an enrolled member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe, his heart as a storyteller is to represent his own indigenous roots, and to bridge perspective and healing to the lives of those indigenous, as well as, non-indigenous.

Talissa Abeyta

Talissa Abeyta, a Native American contemporary artist, sixth generation descendant of both Chief Washakie of the Eastern Shoshone and Wovoka of the Paiute, was raised on the Wind River Indian Reservation located in Wyoming.

She is inspired by her heritage and culture and feels blessed to be a Native American Female Artist in the modern era. Her art allows her to have a voice and the freedom to express her thoughts and emotions freely with a contemporary approach. The strong feelings this artist has for her cultural ways, are best depicted through her style and reflect the beauty, grace, resilience, and strength of her people. Talissa’s goal is to make a profound statement of Native people’s humanity and divinity. Ultimately, she aspires to reconcile, heal and enlighten and honor her ancestors through her artwork.


Karen Ann Hoffman

Karen Ann Hoffman has been beading peace, beauty, and meaning through her Haudenosaunee Raised Beadwork since the 1990s. Haudenosaunee Raised Beadwork (also known as Iroquois Raised Beadwork) is unique to the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, characterized by lines of beads that arch above the textile surface for a three-dimensional effect, typically sewn onto velvet. Hoffman is a respected national leader in this art, known for reimagining existing forms to expand their significance for today and the future.

photo credit: Jeffery Potter/WPR

Raised by her first teachers—parents Robert and Betty Ann Messner—as a citizen of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, Hoffman grew up in Oshkosh, south of the Oneida reservation. As an adult, she settled in Stevens Point, marrying Michael Hoffman (Menominee/Ottawa) with whom she built a Native tradition-centered life. In the 1990s, she learned Haudenosaunee Raised Beadwork from Samuel Thomas and Lorna Hill, Cayuga artists who traveled to Wisconsin from Ontario to teach. Retired from a sales career, Hoffman pursues her twin goals of strengthening Haudenosaunee Raised Beadwork within the Haudenosaunee community and gaining recognition for it more widely. She produces two to three large pieces each year, with some in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, the Field Museum, the Iroquois Indian Museum, and the Oneida Nation Museum. She teaches and hosts a beading circle at her home. She is a co-organizer of the annual International Iroquois Beadwork Conference and has curated multiple exhibits of work by Native artists.

Topaz Jones

Topaz Jones is a multidisciplinary artist who originates from the Pacific Northwest and Great Basin regions. She is an enrolled member of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of Duck Valley Indian Reservation, with descendancy ties to the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and the Lummi Nation. Jones started creating art early on in life—her formal training began at age 10 when she took oil painting classes and studied landscapes. Topaz has a natural ability to replicate what she sees onto canvas transforming ideas and feelings into artistic creations while utilizing multiple mediums. Her Native American heritage and modern-day nomadic roots add to her unique perspective on people and places, impacting the narratives surrounding her works.

Jones moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico to attend the Institute of American Indian Arts, where she earned a BFA in Studio Arts in 2011 and a certificate in Museum Studies in 2016. During her time at IAIA she was awarded a sculpture apprenticeship, that took her to Samsun, Turkey, to create artwork for exhibit; and the Journey Home Internship where she worked and created a large mural for the Chachalu Tribal Museum and Cultural Center in Grand Ronde, Oregon. Topaz was a 2020 recipient of the A.I.R. residency at IAIA. Allowing her three months of full access to the bronze foundry, where she created multiple bronze sculptures that were casts from her original basket weavings. She participates as a juried artist with the SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market, the largest and most prestigious art market for Native Americans in the country. Her most recent accomplishment was winning First Place in Painting; Br. CM Simon, SJ Award, Purchase Award for the 53rd Red Cloud Indian Art Show. In the years to come Jones plans to work on large oil paintings and continue to develop her weaving and sculptural abilities. Topaz currently lives and creates in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her artistic family. 

Previous Native Art Fellowship Recipients

2021 | Colleen Friday


Grant Information

Contact: Josh Chrysler