Ripple Project Program Description:
Join National Heritage Fellow Karen Ann Hoffman of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin for a conversation about Contemporary Native Art, Issues and (Mis-)Understandings. Warning—some topics may be triggering for some attendees.
Our gathering will begin with community building over a sampling of traditional Oneida food and tea prepared by Karen Ann. As we get to know each other, Karen Ann will share a presentation of her art, songs and stories focusing on a 2 way discussion comparing the ways Western and Native cultures understand the role of Art. The broad ranging conversation will include an in-depth discussion of her multi-year efforts to raise awareness about the Mass Native burial site on the grounds of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. We’ll also touch on the ongoing tragedy of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and the discovery of children’s graves at Residential Schools. Karen Ann will also encourage attendees to “Ask an Indian Anything!” as a way of openly and gently addressing questions and concerns and (mis-)understandings they may have.
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.
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.