SchoolArts Magazine

MAR 2009

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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a journey to the artists, origins and work of American craft Teri Greeves, Sunboyz: Beaded Shoes, 2008 I n moving from the present into the future, it is important to remember where we have been, what we have cared about, and how we have lived day to day. This understanding allows us to more sensitively wonder where we might go next. In the world of craft, historical tradition is powerful. Most craft artists are well aware that as they work, they are continuing a traI dition of expression with materials and techniques used for generations. Some craft artists work only in traditional ways, attempting to preserve the past. Other craft artists make it a point to bring tradition up to date and push its boundaries beyond the present into the future. Beadworking has been important in all cultures around the world. Early beads were made of shells, seeds, animal teeth, porcupine quills, and other objects found in nature. Used to decorate utilitarian objects and for personal adornment, beadwork often " 18 March 2009 SchoolArts communicated information about social identity—group membership, age, gender, marital status, and other life-history characteristics. As a young girl, craft artist Teri Greeves developed a great respect for the beadworking tradition in her own Kiowa culture, as well as in other Native American groups. Raised on cans as the "first recyclers," Greeves explains that when the Europeans introduced glass beads, each tribe incorporated the shiny new beads into their own traditional patterns. Teri Greeves learned beadworking from the women in her family and other beadworkers on the reservation. Although she has a deep respect for traditions, she departs from geometric and floral motifs bead contemporary Native life. and opts for what she calls —Terri Greeves "pictorial" work. Her images the Shoshone and Arapaho's Wind tell stories of the Kiowa, Shoshone, River Reservation in Wyoming, she and Arapaho people, but from a conhelped her mother in a family-owned temporary perspective. The artist trading post where beadwork was also seeks out unusual surfaces to honored as a valuable and culturally decorate with her beadwork, like a significant tradition. Greeves reports, deer hide umbrella embellished with "I grew up crawling around behind images of people remembered from her cases of everything beaded— parades seen as a child. She refers moccasins, belts, necklaces, buckles, back to the long and strong tradition dresses, leggings, purses." She learned of beading moccasins, but beads modhow to recognize designs passed ern-day sneakers instead. These, too, down by beadworkers within certain tell stories as the images wrap around tribes. Referring to Native Amerione sneaker and continue on the next. "

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