Project Antelope

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Dawn Spears

Apparel, dolls, art cards and posters Narragansett Ashaway, Rhode Island Dawn Spears is inspired by the vibrant colors and patterns of the natural world and the symbolism within her Indigenous culture. Her hand-painted tote bags, shoes, and jackets are one of a kind. She also makes cornhusk dolls and has created a line of richly detailed posters and art cards from works in her sketchbook. In addition to abstract geometric and floral patterns, many of her works honor women’s roles. The female figures are meant to offer solace to those who need it, and often lack facial features so that all women can see themselves and their loved ones in the figures. Dawn was immersed in art from an early age, as a child assisting her mother, the Choctaw artist and educator Diosa Summers. Dawn has shown her work at the American Indian Arts Marketplace at the Autry Museum, Heard Museum Indian Fair & Market, SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market, and We Are the Seeds. Dawn is dedicated to teaching about Eastern Woodland culture through her art and activism. For 25 years she has coordinated cultural events and educational programs, and created materials for Native language and arts. She and her husband own and operate Ashawaug Farm, in Ashaway, Rhode Island, and they founded the Narragansett Food Sovereignty Initiative, a farm-based organization devoted to reclaiming food and cultural ways for Narragansett people.

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