· By Rachel Dazey
It Was Always Us! // Corn Goddess Totem
I am honored to be part of an upcoming show in Springdale, Arkansas curated by Kalyn Fay Barnoski, a ᏣᎳᎩ (Cherokee) and native Oklahoman musician and artist. This is part of her thesis show before she graduates next month with a Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking from the University of Arkansas.
The show is titled It Was Always Us! and is about reciprocal relationships, platforming decentralized knowledge (knowledge that comes from outside of academia or institutional spaces, especially cultural and social), and the importance of collective/collaborative creativity.
It was really nice to listen to Kalyn talk about her concept for this show because collective creativity and community art sharing have always been important to me. When I think about the skills I have honed as a gold-smith, gemologist and designer I know instantly that I am building on years of collective research and refining techniques from generations before me. Sharing knowledge spurs innovation and creativity.
It's also refreshing to hear Kalyn talk about decentralized knowledge; I chose a path outside of academia and learned most of my skills directly from other artists and teachers. Not having a degree or formal education in the arts used to give me imposter syndrome, and sometimes still does, but as I've matured and increased my skill level I've actually found it a nice tool. My path to problem solving and creating new concepts is one that has developed internally rather than being imposed on me. I think it opens up different pathways of thinking and innovating that I've found really helpful when working in collective settings.
My piece in the show is titled 'Corn Goddess Totem'. She is the first of a series I am creating titled 'Pantheon of the American West'. An ode to iconic powers found in America.
You can see the entire show online at insearchofourselves.com (website will be live on April 2) or check it out in person in Springdale, AR at Perrodin Supply Co. It will run from April 2-16, 2021.
Participating artists include: Zora Murff, Rachel Rose Dazey, Nicole Norman Leah Grant, Lydia Cheshewalla, Bradley Dry, Ziba Rijabi, Ahimsa Timoteo, Blake Walinder, Anthony Kascak, MacKenzie Turner, Minah Kim, Amber Perrodin, May Yang, Matt Magerkurth, Cynthia Post-Hunt, Brody Parrish-Craig