The Native Art Fellowship is a $5,000 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 now closed and will open next spring.
The native clay pottery that Rose Pecos-SunRhodes creates stems from the upbringing she’s had as a member of the Jemez Pueblo tribe in New Mexico. Born and raised with the tradition of pottery she has learned from the masters of the village who have taught her to continue the age old cultural practices.
As a contemporary traditional artist/potter, she respects and takes from the old traditional methods of collecting the clays, paints and firing to using a more contemporary, unique flair on the style of the clay piece she is working on. Taught by her grandmother, the late Louisa Toledo and mother, the late Carol Pecos as a young child with the age-old tradition and ritual of prayer with the corn meal to thank the Mother Earth for the goods she has blessed us with and the taking of it.
The process she uses for the clay, volcanic ash, (which is used as a temper), paints initially start by the traditional “digging.” They are all meticulously cleaned of rocks, roots, other impurities which can affect the drying and firing process. It is all refined through a laborious process by hand. The mixing of clay and volcanic ash is an art, combining the right ingredients of each to balance malleability for hand shaping and forming of each piece.
Rose considers herself a contemporary figurative potter. Storytellers, which depict village storytellers from long ago are portrayed by many pueblo potters. The style Rose creates is of a female figure with the skirt flared out which serves as a base for her children to sit on. She has also created native-ity scenes; chess sets and a series of “Earth Mothers” which portray sacred places to Native Americans. She has won numerous awards at Santa Fe Indian Market, Heard Museum, Red Earth Art Festival, Eiteljorg Museum and featured in permanent exhibits at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, traveling exhibit, “From One Hand to Another” owned by the Eitlejorg Museum and the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. Her recent entry at The Autry Museum American Indian Art Marketplace show earned her a second-place award in pottery.
Rose recently retired from her teaching career on the Wind River Reservation to concentrate on her clay. For over 30 years, she has lived in Ethete with her husband, Virgil, and their 4 children, 9 grandchildren and great granddaughter. She has tenaciously kept her traditional clay teachings passing down the traditions to her grandchildren. While teaching, she brought her clay into the classroom with her cultural perspective. Rose learned from her Arapaho Grandfather, the late Robert SunRhodes, about the clay pits near Ethete and further researching the use of clay among the northern tribes has inspired another tangent for Rose. Her future plans are to continue enriching as many lives, young and old, as she can with clay as a medium.
Taylar Dawn Stagner (she/her) is a writer and a journalist from Riverton, Wyoming. She focuses on Indigenous Affairs and has worked for Wyoming Public Media, and High Country News Magazine. Stagner won an Edward R. Murrow Award for her podcast episode on rural drag queens in Wyoming with The Modern West Podcast.
Currently, she is an Uproot Environmental Journalist Fellow and an Air New Voices Fellow, as well. Additionally, she mentors for NPR’s Next Generation Radio: Indigenous and holds a master’s degree in American Culture Studies from Bowling Green State University. Stagner is a Southern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone descendant.
2022 | Christian Wallowing Bull, Talissa Abeyta
2021 | Colleen Friday
Contact: Josh Chrysler