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Owen Heavy Breast, 2022

6” x 30”

This beaded portrait is of a Pikunni (Blackfeet) man, named Owen Heavy Breast and depicts him around the year 1925. It speaks of my tribe’s individual uniqueness and to a sense of being grounded in the beauty of our world. Its background speaks of our homes, with design elements of our lodges (tipis). The border around the imagery speaks of our land, the plains and the mountains. The style of the bag indicates it is a personal object, such a bag would often carry face paints and a mirror. It is unique and individual.

Yellow Buffalo, 2022

6” x 30”

The buffalo (iinii) are sacred; in the past, they provided our tribe with everything they needed to survive as they lived in harmony with all of Creation. They are beautiful animals, both powerful and life sustaining. This beaded work was created on smoked hand tanned buckskin using seed beads (sizes 15, 13, and 11). The style of the bag is personal; it is a small wearable bag, finished with solid brass beads and glass tile beads.

Jackie Larson Bread is an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Nation. She was born and raised in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains on the Blackfeet Reservation. Jackie’s grandmother left a legacy of exquisite Blackfeet beadwork for her family. Jackie loved the beaded pieces so much, she began a lifelong journey of creating beaded works of art. Jackie attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she developed illusionary pictorial beadwork. Pictorial depth is created by using graduated shades of beads.

Currently, illusionary pictorial beadwork is the focus of Jackie’s work. Traditional plains ledger art and its vibrant color and stylized depictions, as well as delicate Blackfeet florals and bold Blackfeet geometric designs comprise the remainder of her beaded art. Her images are hand drawn and composed into intricately beaded bags, boxes, and other traditional utilitarian items.

Jackie lives in Great Falls, Montana and works full-time as a beadwork artist. Her art is included in many permanent and private collections including the Smithsonian Institution Museum of the American Indian. Jackie’s beadwork has been acknowledged with over 100 awards including Best of Show at the prestigious Indian Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has brought the traditional art of beadwork into the 21st century with technique and a color palette that are unique and innovative.

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