IACA Journal, Fall 2014 - page 6

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IACA Journal | Fall 2014
all her own, on which she engraves the
title on the back of each bracelet, necklace,
pendant or pin that she creates. Her raised
mosaic inlay jewelry, created in gold or
silver, is distinct in its style. Her inlay in-
cludes coral, turquoise, lapis lazuli, lavulite,
onyx and marble. A winner of nearly every
major American Indian art award, Caroline
says, “I believe my drive and creativity
come from the universal spirit of life, love,
wisdom, joy and peace that lives within
each person.”
1984: J
ean Bales
(Iowa)
d.2003
Jean Bales
was well known for her paint-
ings depicting the traditional life of Iowa
Indian women. Her works focused on the
activities and dress of the Plains Indians
of the late 19th century. During the early
years of competitions, she signed her work
as J. Bales and was only revealed as a
woman when she came forward to receive
her award. Her works have been included
in prominent private collections as well as
institutional collections, and she has been
exhibited in major museums across the
country.
1985 & 2004:
Charles Pratt
(Cheyenne/Arapaho)
Charlie Pratt
has won
hundreds of awards over
a long career for his
sculptures and mod-
els. As a young man,
he learned welding and
quickly moved into the art world, teaching
himself how to cast bronze sculptures.
Completely self-taught, he is best known
for his work in bronze and stone, but he
has also worked with fiberglass, resins
and acrylics. His work ranges from small
silver sculptures that can sit on a tabletop,
to six foot tall, brightly colored fiberglass
feathers. In 2002, Charlie was honored with
a special IACA “Lifetime Achievement”
award.
Recognizing 32 Years
of Artistic Excellence:
IACA ARTIST OF THE YEAR
For thirty-two years, the exceptional
works of hundreds of IACA member art-
ists have been judged for this prestigious
recognition. Yet only twenty-eight have
achieved that honor, with three artists
having been named IACA Artist of the
Year two times.
Many of these great artists have gone on
to have their works published in books
and magazines, featured in museum and
private collections worldwide, and to win
many other awards and accolades. The
work of one
IACA Artist of the Year
is
now on permanent display in the National
Statuary Hall Collection in the U.S. Capi-
tol Building, Washington, DC.
To celebrate the
IACA Artist of the Year
heritage, the
IACA Journal
would like to
pay a special tribute to each of those spec-
tacular artists and their achievements.
1982:
Virginia Stroud
(Cherokee/Creek)
Not only the first IACA
Artist of the Year, but also
a former Miss Cherokee
Tribal Princess, Miss
National Congress of
American Indians, and
Miss Indian America.
Virginia Stroud
paints with tempera and gouache and is a
fine art printmaker. She also has written
and illustrated several children’s books. She
draws inspirations from ancient picto-
graphs and historical ledger art. Over her
career, Stroud developed a narrative style
with minimal facial details in her people
and lavish floral backgrounds. She also
paints kinetic wooden sculptures and fine
art furniture. Of her work Stroud says, “I
paint for my people. Art is a way for our
culture to survive... perhaps the only way.”
1983:
Carolyn Bobelu
(Zuni)
Early in the morning, while the world is
still before the sun,
Carolyn Bobelu
rises
and begins to draw her designs. Steeped in
her Indian heritage, Carolyn creates a style
1986:
Mark Silversmith
(Navajo)
Although born and
raised on the Navajo
Reservation, artist
Mark
Silversmith
does not
limit himself to Navajo
themes. While studying
at Southwestern Oklaho-
ma State University, he became influenced
by Plains Indians and the cultures of all
American Indians. Mark believes that all
tribes have a common bond and this is
reflected in his paintings and posters by
incorporating features of different tribes
into one image. He works primarily in
watercolor and occasionally in pastel and
acrylic.
1987:
Clifford Brycelea
(Navajo)
Clifford Brycelea
has
two distinct styles –
mystical and realistic
– and each image holds
a hidden story, often
with many symbols. His
art reflects his upbring-
ing on the Navajo Nation, with particular
emphasis on Mother Earth. By leaving the
interpretation of the image to the viewer,
he is able to express concepts of Native
American culture without showing too
much and offending his people. His work
is mainly with watercolor, acrylics, and pen
and ink, but he continues to experiment
with different painting techniques. During
the 1980s, Clifford’s work was used as a
book cover by writer Louis L’Amour, and to
illustrate several short stories.
1988:
Jake Livingston
(Navajo)
Jake Livingston
is of
Navajo and Zuni descent
and grew up in Pine Ha-
ven, New Mexico. After
serving in the Marine
Corps and in the police,
he became a self-taught
Eight years after founding IACA, the association established an award that
recognizes the best of American Indian art by naming an individual artist as
IACA Artist of the Year.
In the ensuing years, IACA has selected one artist to receive that very special, and unique, honor. While blue
ribbons abound at Indian art festivals throughout the country, being named
IACA Artist of the Year
is among the
highest honors that an artist can receive.
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