We are thrilled to introduce you to Fund the Change recipient Raven Halfmoon
We asked Raven…
What does your activist, social justice, anti-racism, anti-oppression, or intersectional work look like?
My work and my role as an artist and American Indian is to inform and educate the public about native issues. My art is an insight to what being indigenous looks like in the 21st century. I strive to illustrate how I feel about the ancient legacy of my heritage while at the same time acknowledging the present day and age. Each piece reflects my understanding of Caddo culture and the fight to maintain a place for it in today’s world. With the election of a new president, climate change and social oppression, I feel it is more important than ever before to have a voice and to be heard. My sculptures are a representation of myself and functions as a voice for others who share my same story. A story of understanding self, culture and defining what that means in todays society.
I love the idea that through viewing my work it can help some people understand a different perspective on history and in turn influence how they think of Native Americans today. We are not an extinct people and still exist and need to be heard. My dream is that my work acts as a mediator for voices that have been silenced and a culturally open minded audience.
How do you make space for self care?
I have to designate time out each day to relax and not focus on my work. It is crucial that I give my body a break from studio, which is physically demanding. It is important for me set aside a small chunk of time to not worry about what is happening in our world and how I can make a difference. Although, this generally doesn’t last too long!
What are you proud of?
I’m really proud of what my work has developed into and how strongly people have responded to it. I’m proud of how much I’ve grown as an individual, artist and community activist. I’m proud of my family who have helped and supported me every step of the way. Through this journey I have met so many individuals, friends and colleges that are influential, encouraging and inspiring.
What do you want to see change in the arts/museums/cultural sectors?
I would like to see more emerging artists. It is hard to get your name and work out to the public and sometimes galleries and museums push out the underdog. I feel it is important to hear new voices. I would also like to see more equal representation in our art sectors. Give light to the stories that aren’t as popular. Some artists have an ugly truth to tell and I would like to see that more. I crave to learn about new experiences, good or bad, and histories through art.
Who are your mentors? What inspires you?
I could go on and on with this question, but I will keep it short and sweet. My family, colleges, and friends act as mentors. I am constantly learning from the people around me and my community. I am inspired by my ancestors, other artists and my surroundings.
How can we support you and your work?
Owning one of my pieces for yourself or coming to one of my shows. You can always follow me and see what I’m doing though my website and my Instagram. I always feel supported when people are seeing my work and interested in what I’m voicing through public forums.
Raven on her art practice and sculptures…
My sculptures speak.
Through them I express my views and being Native American in the 21st century. I use the head and figure as a canvas to illustrate and convey my ideas about Caddo Culture and aspire to be a voice within Contemporary Ceramics.
My work deals with identity and how as individuals define and reference ourselves within our society. I look at the iconography on Caddo pottery and recreate the images on my heads, connecting past to present.
My sculptures tell a story and signify a moment in time that someone will experience in the future. I am trying to keep my culture alive by continuing to make, and it is one way that I represent my heritage and generation.
Art is how I navigate the world I live in. I consider myself a cultural activist as well as an artist who also deals with the subject matter of identity. Art is a reflection of a society that teaches us history, religion, life lessons and stories. It is a physical piece of time that acts as a context for humans and their past.
My work is me continuously trying to understand my place within the world, my place within my tribe, within society, and my place in the fine art world. For me, it is necessary to continue this tradition of making, telling and sharing.
Raven Halfmoon is from Norman, OK. She attended the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) where she earned a double Bachelors Degree in ceramics/painting and cultural anthropology.
Her work has been featured in multiple exhibitions throughout Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Texas, Montana and California. She enrolled in the Post-Bac at the University of Oklahoma. She also was accepted to several short term residencies from 2015 to 2016. In 2017, Raven completed a long-term residency at the Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, Montana.
Raven is currently based just outside of Dallas,Texas where she is working to establish her own studio and continues to produce work at Texas Women’s University.
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