Artist Statement

Histories on many spectrums—ancestral, artistic, material, personal, and cultural—fuel my practice.


     My studio is a flux of mediums and objects in constant conversation with each other: A small original gouache painting gets printed on custom fabric, which goes into a mixed media collage, informing a piece of wearable art, or adding to the composition of a new gouache painting. Nothing is off-limits to being repurposed and reimagined. 


     A member of the Cherokee Nation, this process is a personal narrative of the Native American Diaspora. Being a product of Cherokee, Scottish, Swiss-German, and other diaspora, I am, in the very makeup of my DNA, a collage of cultures, values, histories, and personal aesthetics. I react by collaging materials from my ancestors, contemporary community, and personal life experiences. Graphic design, fine art, and fiber are all woven into my ancestral tapestry the same way I weave in and out of mediums in my studio. Sometimes, literally weaving materials. 


     I illustrate personal narratives by inventing compositions driven by a theme or experience, translating them through the lens of abstracted patterns I’ve built out of my cultural research of Cherokee and other native arts. These personal illustrations are a hybrid of being culturally grounded, while also being far from native upbringing; a life influenced by various sources to the point of abstraction. There is a feel of beadwork or sewing, but the painting may contain neither. I view each piece I create as its own individual entity, yet all contributing to a visual language I am inventing. 


     Sometimes my compositions are cropped. These flow from me instinctively; yet, I see my subconscious expressing core feelings that the people in my life, at any given time, only see one part of me. One part of my surroundings, heritage, upbringing, or expat experiences. There is not one individual in my world who has seen my life influences holistically, or even every house I’ve lived in. Cropped images feel like cropping a piece of culture- ambiguous but beautiful; informed by elements unseen. I'm a woman who is constantly picking which cropped piece of my life I’m operating out of, while still trying to maintain them all and present myself to the world as a whole. 

     I desire my art to open conversations and be a starting point to discussing tribes, Native Americans past and present, and the many nuances of being descended from Native cultures in a world growing increasingly diverse in numerous ways with every generation. For myself, this also includes my time in Southeast Asia and friendships I’ve made globally.


Cultivating and presenting a joy of cultural differences, influences, and histories allows hope to exist for where we might go in regards to tribes, countries, and personal communities in the future.





b. 1990, Fowler, Kansas


Lives and works in Peoria, Illinois.






2021 • MFA, Bradley University, Peoria, IL


2012 •   BA, summa cum laude, Graphic Design, Tabor College, Hillsboro, KS                                        







Solo Exhibitions



2024 •   Inheriting JoyCameron University, Lawton, OK


2024 •  Gathering Joy, Gardiner Gallery of Art, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK


2023 •  Narrating Joy, Trusler Gallery, Emporia Arts Center, Emporia, KS


2023 •   Recollecting, Foster Art Gallery, First United Methodist Church, Peoria, IL


2023 •   Connected, Ebel Gallery, Tabor College, Hillsboro, KS 


2023 •   Joy Intwined, Contemporary Art Center, Peoria, IL


2022 •   Gallery Homes Exhibition, Peoria Heights, IL


2021 •   Intertwined: MFA Exhibition, Bradley University, Peoria, IL


2021 •   Bound Together: Cultural Patterns, Peoria Art Guild, Peoria, IL


2020 •  Heuser Gallery Exhibition, Bradley University, Peoria, IL


2020 •  Artist of the Month Exhibition, Casa De Arte, Peoria, Illinois


2019  •  Sacred, MA Thesis Show, Prairie Center of the Arts, Peoria, Illinois




Selected Group Exhibitions


2024    • Expo Chicago 2024, Center For Native Futures booth, Chicago, IL


2024   •  55th Red Cloud Indian Art Show, The Heritage Center, Pine Ridge, SD


2023   •   53rd Annual Trail of Tears Art Show and Sale, Cherokee Tahlequah, OK *


2024   •  Stitched, Woven, Hooked, Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Michigan City, IN


2023-24  •   Native FuturesCenter For Native Futures, Chicago, IL


2024   •  Stitched, Woven, and Hooked, Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Michigan City, IN


2023   •  Still Here Still Native, Arts Council Fayetteville, Fayetteville, NC


2023   •  Excellence in Fibers, San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, San Jose, CA


2023   • Fiber Worlds, Arts Council Fayetteville, Fayetteville, NC


2023   • 28th Cherokee Homecoming Art Show, Cherokee Cultural Center, 

                                                   Tahlequah, OK*

2023   • Material World, Arts Council Fayetteville, Fayetteville, NC


2023   •  Fantastic Fibers 2022, Yeiser Art Center, Paducah, KY


2023   •  52nd Annual Trail of Tears Art Show and Sale, Cherokee National History Museum, 


               Tahlequah, OK *


2023  •  Tenuous Threads, Atlantic Gallery, New York City, NY


2022  •   Small Matters, 437co Gallery, Colorado Mesa University, Junction City, CO


2022  •  Spot on #3, D’art Gallery, Denver, CO *


2022  •  Still Here Still Native, Arts Council Fayetteville, Fayetteville, NC                     


2022  •   27th Cherokee Homecoming Art Show, Cherokee Cultural Center, Tahlequah, OK


2022  •  Shape of the Environment, Arts + Literature Laboratory, Madison, WI


2022  •   Drawn Exhibition, Indiana University Kokomo, Kokomo, IN


2022  •  64ARTS, Buchanan Center for the Arts, Monmouth, IL


2022  •   Innovations in Printmaking and Mixed Media, D’art Gallery, Denver, CO


2022  •  10th Annual Bridgeport Art Center’s Art Competition, Chicago, IL


2022   •  Fantastic Fibers 2022, Yeiser Art Center, Paducah, KY


2022  •  New Appalachia, Vestige Concept Gallery, Pittsburg, PA


2022  •  51st Annual Trail of Tears Art Show and Sale, Cherokee National History Museum, Tahlequah, OK


2022 •  Key of Dreams, Van Der Plas Gallery, New York City, NY


2022  Excellence in Fibers, Schweinfurth Art Center, Auburn, NY


2022 •  Midwest Issue #155, New American Paintings, Juried Exhibitions-in-Print


2022 •  Excellence in Fibers VII, Fiber Art Now, juried exhibition in print, Winter Issue


2021 •  State of Contemporary Drawing, Hilliard Gallery, Kansas City, MO


2021 •  Sky Art Peoria Exhibition, Foster Art Gallery, Peoria First United Methodist Church, Peoria, IL 


2021 •  RSVP Exhibition, Carl Sandburg College, Galesburg, IL  


2021 • Seen but not Felt, Bradley University, Heuser Gallery, Peoria, IL 


2020 •  Carry Weight, Hold Light, Collaborative Installation Exhibition, Contemporary Art Center, Peoria, IL 


2019 •  Member Show, Peoria Art Guild, Peoria, IL


2019 •  2019 Emerging Illinois Artists, McClean County Art Center, Bloomington, IL


2019 •  TWOgether: A Group Exhibition, Jan Brandt Gallery, Bloomington, IL


2016 •  Christmas Exhibition, Thai Christian Artists Collaborative, Chiang Mai, Thailand 


2014 •  45th Annual Smoky Hill Art Exhibition, Hays Arts Council, Hays, KS 







2024   •    1st place basketry, 53rd Annual Trail of Tears Art Show and Sale, Tahlequah, OK


2024   •    3rd place miniatures, 53rd Annual Trail of Tears Art Show and Sale, Tahlequah, OK


2023   •     First Place Contemporary Basketry, 28th Annual Cherokee Homecoming Show, Tahlequah, OK


2023   •    Merit Award in Diverse Arts, for drawing, 28th Annual Cherokee Homecoming Show, Tahlequah, OK


2023  •   Honorable Mention, Miniatures, Trail Of Tears Art Show and Sale, Tahlequah, OK



2022  •    Honorable Mention, Spot on #3, juried by Doug Kacena, D’Art Gallery 


                Denver, Denver, CO


2022  •   First Place Contemporary Basketry, “Clothed in Celestial Grace” ribbon 


               weaving, 27th Annual Cherokee Homecoming Show, Tahlequah, OK


2022  •   Merit Award in Diverse Arts, for drawing, 27th Annual Cherokee 


            Homecoming Show, Tahlequah, OK        


2022  •   Operating Expenses Grant, Fiber Art Now Magazine


2022 •   1st Place Emerging Artist, 51st Annual Trail of Tears Art Show and 


            Sale, Tahlequah, OK


2021  •   Sky Art Peoria, “Effervescent Connections” awarded a rotating billboard 


                around Peoria and East Peoria, Big Picture Peoria,  Arts Partners, Peoria, IL


2021  •   Vax to Get Back CampaignIllinois Arts Alliance and Peoria Art Guild, chosen artist 


                for original artwork and representation of Peoria Area


2021  •    Emerging Artist, tent awarded by Peoria Art Guild, Peoria Art Guild Fine Art Fair


2019  •    Dean’s Award: Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts, 2019 Student Scholarship Expo, 


                Bradley College, Peoria, IL


2010  •    Honorable Mention, Sandzen Memorial Gallery Juried Exhibition, Lindsborg, KS 






Exhibit C Gallery, Oklahoma City, OK

Wyld Gallery, Austin, TX




Public Art    


2021 •  Hello Peoria Building, Public Art, spool paintings placed within mural, Peoria, IL


2021 • Community Mural, Peoria Art Guild Fine Art Fair, “Illuminate” oil painting used for a public participation mural for event,


             displayed in downtown Peoria permanently 






2021 • (Co-curator) Seen But Not Felt, collaborative curation, Bradley University, Peoria, IL


2019  • (Co-curator) Christopher Holbrook: His Own Private Circus, collaborative curation, Bradley University, Peoria, IL    







2024     •    Linda Weigel, The Beacher, Stitched, Woven, and Hooked, April 18


2024 •  Emily Christenson, Art Focus, Joyful Returns// Hattie Lee Mendoza at OSU’s Gardiner Gallery, Winter 2024


2023  •  Native America Calling, Live radio interview “Friday, September 15, 2023-  Imagining Indigenous

              futures in art”, interview about the opening exhibit for the Center for Native Futures



2023 •   Sixty Inches from Center, Native Futures: An Artist-Led Gallery Reclaiming Indigeneity, October 18, 



2023  •  Instagram weekend takeover as invited artist, Fiber Art Now



2023 •   Fiber Art Now, Excellence in Fibers VIII, juried exhibition in print, Winter 2023


2022 •  New VisionaryIssue 4, two-page spread, October 2022    


2022 •  New American Paintings, Juried Exhibitions-in-Print, Midwest Issue #155


2022 •  Fiber Art Now, Excellence in Fibers VII, juried exhibition


2021 •  Featured artist for November, Soul City Fine Art & Photography, St. Louis, MO


2021 •  Mae Gilliland Wright, The Worlds of Hattie Lee, Peoria Magazine, September,




2021 •  Selected artist for Peoria Art Guild Fine Art Fair promotional materials and community mural


2021 •  Lori Waxman, New City Art, 60wrd/min COVID Edition: Lee Robson Spence, Boom Bloom, Seen But Not Felt, 


              May 7,


2021 •  Lori Waxman, 60 WRD/MIN ART CRITIC“Seen But Not Felt” Covid-19 exhibition review, April 28, 




2021 •  Harry Croton,, Local Nonprofits Team Up to Build Fruit Stands for Students in Local Schools, artwork on produce stand featured in local news segment, June 25, 


2021 •  Sky Art Turns Seven, Peoria Magazine, June,


2021 •  Peoria TV ShowBound Together: Cultural Patterns, solo exhibition at the Peoria Art Guild featured as set for an episode, Peoria, IL 


2021 •  Out and About Podcast, WCBU and Arts Partners of Central Illinois,, podcast platforms, “The Peoria Art Guild Presents Bound Together: Cultural Patterns”, April 2     





Lectures and Visiting Artist Invitations     


2024   •  Cameron University, Artist Lecture in conjunction with exhibition, Lawton, OK

2024   •  Oklahoma State University, Artist Lecture in conjunction with exhibition, Stillwater, OK   


2021   •  Peoria Riverfront Museum, Virtual Art Club, Seen But Not Felt, an Exhibition at Bradley University Galleries, PRM YouTube channel, May 11


2021   •   Exhibition presentation, Adv. Painting Class, Bradley University, Peoria, IL


2020   •   Guest speaker and exhibition presentation, American Art History class, Bradley University, Peoria, IL







2021 • Original painting on a wooden produce stand for Big Picture Peoria and Peoria Grown for a fresh fruit outreach at schools in Peoria




Other Professional Experience   




2022   •  Participated in an online Native American non-profit fundraiser by the Dreamcatcher Foundation, two paintings for auction      


2019      Collaboration with artist Eugene (Nana Ekow) Maison, resulting in collaborative work exhibited in his solo exhibits:


              • Fragments at the Buchwald Center, Mount Vernon Nazarene University, Mount Vernon, OH, 2019


             • Historical Consequences- Knyame Maison, Collaborative piece, Peoria Art Guild, Peoria, IL, 2021


Full Name *

Email Address *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the GooglePrivacy Policy andTerms of Service apply.
Peoria, Illinois 61614
Peoria, Illinois 61614
Copyright © 2024, Artist Studio Management Software by ArtCloudCopyright © 2024, Artist Studio Management Software by ArtCloud