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(Eastern Shoshone)

Oh•hah•moegwaya (Yellow Hand), 2022

Acrylic painting on antique ledger paper with gold leaf accents
15.5” × 9.75”

My grandma always reminds me of how prayer repeatedly saved our people. Our ceremonies and respecting Mother Earth kept life balanced. The Sundance came to us when were in a time of need. They say Yellow Hand was praying and fasting for an answer to save his people. A buffalo appeared swaying his head and gifted Yellow Hand our songs. My painting is about how the Sundance was brought to Yellow Hand. I incorporated twelve hands to draw you to the second painting. I kept the various elements minimal so that the key components were accentuated.

Dah• goo•wuh•ruh (standing thirsty) / Sundance, 2022

Acrylic painting on antique ledger paper with gold leaf accents
19.5” × 15.5”

The Sundance keeps us grounded because we offer prayers of gratitude, giving thanks for life’s beautiful blessings. We believe that during the three days of our ceremony that we are at the center of the universe and that the power radiates from the lodge to bless all of Mother Earth and her creations. This work is heavy in symbolism, an intentional design choice that I used in depicting a ceremony.

Talissa Abeyta is a Native American contemporary artist who is a descendant of the Eastern Shoshone, Northern Arapaho, and Paiute tribes. She was raised in Fort Washakie, Wyoming on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

Her artwork is defined as Native American aesthetic with contemporary design. The main component being ledger art, she executes the collaborations of acrylic paints, watercolors, and printmaking, and is intent on experimenting with art forms that are already established as well as with new forms of expression. A compassionate optimist, she is inspired by love, heritage, and life. Talissa feels very blessed to have the present-day experience of being a Native American woman, because it allows her to have a voice and the freedom to express her thoughts and emotions in her work without restraint. For Talissa, the best way to represent the love she has for her heritage and people is to create art that depicts Native Americans in beauty, grace, resilience, and strength. Through her art, she is showing the respect she has for individual expression, between and within Native American communities. With so much cultural diversity between tribes, she finds their individual uniqueness beautiful. Talissa aspires to reconcile, heal, and enlighten throughout her artwork.

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