Crow's Shadow Institute of the Arts is offering a unique artist in residency program located on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. While Crow's Shadow is a print studio that offers educational and professional development opportunities for Native artists, its residency program invites artists who don't traditionally work in the printmaking medium to work with a master printer to create lithographs of their work. The combination of the medium of printmaking, together with the work of artists in other mediums, allows for a collaboration of ideas and visions that feel alive and new.
- Companion Species (What's Going On), 2017 by Marie Watt.
Currently, work from the last two years of residencies is on display at Bend Art Center. The show features the work of Avantika Bawa, Marwin Begay, Modou Dieng, Demian DinéYazhi', Ka'ila Farrell-Smith and Marie Watt. While most of the artists are Native American, the collection also features work from artists from India and Senegal, who have connections to Oregon. As a result, visitors see a collection of work from voices not often highlighted in the art world.
The uniqueness of this type of collaboration can easily be seen in Marie Watt's piece, "Companion Species (What's Going On), 2017," a four-color wood block print inspired by Marvin Gaye's song. Watt typically works with fabric—blankets and embroidery that have deep roots to her indigenous heritage (she's an enrolled member of the Seneca Nation of Indians). Her work often uses language and words embroidered on blankets, but here, her approach is translated to wood block prints. It's fascinating to see an artist work outside of their natural medium, which expounds on the complexity of the human spirit, and yet, also offers comfort by the fact that the spirit is indeed complex.