Courtesy Pamela Peters
Teri Greeves, Steven Paul Judd, and Raven Chacon are among the forty-four artists and designers awarded this year’s United States Artists Fellowships.

2016 USA Artist Fellowship Winners include Teri Greeves, Raven Chacon and Steve Paul Judd

Alex Jacobs

Teri Greeves, Steven Paul Judd, and Raven Chacon are among the forty-four artists and designers awarded this year’s United States Artists Fellowships.

Teri Greeves (Kiowa)

Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Greeves is a jeweler, bead-worker and visual artist; she has won awards at the Santa Fe Indian Market, the Heard Museum and a residency at the School of American Research. She was featured in the PBS television series, Craft in America; exhibited at the Museum of Art and Design, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Crystal Bridges Museum. She was included in Native Fashion Now at the Peabody Essex Museum, and which is currently touring; her work has been collected by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, the British Museum, the Heard Museum, and the Portland Art Museum.

Greeves mixes traditional style Plains arts with a pop art aesthetic as seen in her beaded boots and sneakers. She and her sister, Keri Ataumbi, were honored as Living Treasures at the Museum of Indian Art and Culture in Santa Fe. Their mother, Jeri Ah-be-hill, was honored at MIAC last year.

Greeves was selected as a USA Distinguished Fellow in the traditional arts category, and released this statement. “I am honored to receive this amazing recognition from United States Artists. The Fellowship represents the gift of time… to experiment, to learn new skills, research, and create.  

I have had a few ideas that I’ve set aside, pieces that I’ve wanted to make but haven’t had the time to pick up the skills to see them come alive.  My plans are to hit the ground running, I have a lot of experimenting to do before I can even sew down the first bead... As for what I will be making, there is so much shifting in this world right now, the life of this planet is at a crossroads and as a Native artist, as a Kiowa woman, as a mother, I know that my feelings and prayers for this world will be at the heart of any new work.”

Raven Chacon (Dine’)

Chacon was selected as a USA Distinguished Fellow in the music category. Chacon is an award-winning musician, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is a composer of chamber music, a performer of experimental noise music, and an installation artist. He has been building his own instruments for creating new sounds since he was a child growing up in Chinle. Chacon performs as a solo artist as well as with numerous ensembles in the Southwest and is also a member of the Native American arts collective Postcommodity.

As an educator, Chacon has served as composer-in-residence for the Native American Composer Apprentice Project (NACAP) since 2004, teaching string quartet composition to hundreds of American Indian high school students living on reservations in the Southwest. Under his instruction, this project was awarded the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in 2011. Chacon has performed in Vancouver, Venice, San Francisco, New York, Sydney, Montreal and a sound installation at Chaco Canyon.

Steven Paul Judd (Kiowa/Choctaw)

Judd is from Oklahoma and is a visual artist who mashes up Native experiences and American pop culture in sly and humorous ways. Judd was awarded a USA Hatch Fellow for Media, for his work as a filmmaker, director, screenwriter, and writer of fiction. He’s a member of the Writers Guild of America and served as staff writer for a Disney XD Comedy Series.

Steven Paul Judd as a director is known for his Native films, American Indian Graffiti: This Thing Life, Search for the World's Best Indian Taco and Ronnie BoDean. He designed artwork for the electric pow-wow group, “A Tribe Called Red” and his mural "War Paint" can be seen at historic Indian Alley in downtown Los Angeles.

United States Artists Fellowships reps say of his work, “Judd’s filmography is large in scope… his innovative approach provides a glimpse into a world that is familiar to the underrepresented first peoples of this nation and simultaneously brings about a fresh perspective and understanding among the non-Indian community through humor.”

Judd was busy when Indian Country caught up to him at home in Oklahoma, he rattled of his schedule, “I just released my book, I’m in post on a short film and a feature film… just had a big shirt release… now with the fellowship money I plan to do bigger "instillation" projects.” Asking what he means by instillation over installation, Judd said, “We gonna instill knowledge to non-natives and some cultural pride in the natives.”

What does the award mean to you?

Judd: Some artists may take it differently, but I’m kind of sensitive about it, it’s a validation of my work, it’s a prestigious award, it’s not like it’s an award from my mom and dad. These are professionals, I don’t know them, it’s like they’re saying, ‘Dude, we see what you’re doing with your art, make more stuff!’ So I’m proud about it, it means I must be on the right road.”

Any projects in production that this award will affect?

Judd: Larger pieces are expensive and I always wanted to do more and now I can. I want to buy an arcade horse that you plug in a quarter and it rocks. I’ll sand it down and paint it, rewire it, it’ll play pow-wow or Tribe Called Red music and there’ll be a ledger artwork installed behind it, so it’ll be moving in front of that. And I redid that toy game, the Operation Game, switched things out and called it the Indian Hospital Game, but this will be larger in size, like 4-5 feet long, so that people can actually play it. These things I never really thought about selling but now I can do big pieces and have a big show.”

The old school word is multi-media, what’s your reality as an artist in a plugged-in world?

Judd: I won the award for media, my short films and books. I have a book release in two weeks that I worked on with another writer, called “The Last Pow-Wow”, its short stories and we want to do a short film on one of them. Most social media levels things out all over. It’s the reason I can make a living, I couldn’t afford magazine ads and social media is free. You can find me Facebook, Instagram and Vimeo.”

Each year, United States Artists (USA) awards $50,000 fellowships to the country’s most accomplished and innovative artists working in the fields of Architecture & Design, Crafts, Dance, Literature, Media, Music, Theater & Performance, Traditional Arts and Visual Arts. Created in 2006 by the Ford, Rockefeller, Rasmuson and Prudential Foundations with $22 million in seed funding, United States Artists was founded to address the lack of unrestricted funding available to artists. Through its signature USA Fellows program, United States Artists has distributed over $21 million in support of almost 450 artists.


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