Saturday, July 28, 2018

Anishinaabek Artist, Maria Hupfield, includes Debbie Reese on JINGLE DRESS

In 2015, artist and author, Julie Flett (she's Cree-Metis) created art that featured me, reading to children. That particular artwork was for Teaching Tolerance magazine. I experienced a range of emotions when she told me what she wanted to do. I was ecstatic, because, well.... Julie Flett's art and books are absolutely outstanding! That she chose to honor me--for the work that I do in children's literature--was overwhelming, in a good way.

Earlier this week, I learned that Maria Hupfield, a member of the Anishinaabek Nation from Wasauksing First Nation in Ontario, Canada, recognized my work in her art, too. Here it is:

See my name, there? On the right edge, see Marcie Rendon's name, too? If you've not read Marcie's Murder on the Red River yet, or her short story, Worry and Wonder, get on it! Marcie's writing is terrific! That photo was taken by Katherine Rose Sabo, a teacher who saw the dress recently in the National Museum of the American Indian, in New York City (Sabo reads AICL).

Here is Hupfield's statement about Jingle Dress:
The work Jingle Dress is a quiet act of cultural empowerment, modeled after the contemporary Native American woman’s healing and dance regalia of the same name, which consists of numerous metal jingles adorning its surface. Made from regular blue lined note paper, the jingles on this artwork carry the names of over 500 Indigenous authors from North America. Each jingle represents one voice; collectively they make visible the written contributions of Native Americans. The stillness and contemplation of this work comments on the dichotomy that exists between the value of objects and knowledge.

Here's a photo of the front and back of Jingle Dress, from Hupfield's website:

I gotta say--if I lived in New York City--or was within driving distance, I'd go there and study the dress. From what I see in the photos, it is exquisite! I don't know Maria Hupfield, but learning that I was included in this gorgeous work gave me a lift that I really needed. This, then, is a public thank you to her for including me in Jingle Dress!


Cynthia Leitich Smith said...

Deeply heartening. I love everything about this. Everything.

Ava Jarvis said...

This is awesome and well-deserved, Debbie.