Hattie Lee

Region: Midwest

 As a member of the Cherokee Nation, my process is a personal expression of the Native American Diaspora. Indigenous peoples were inventive with resources as they were removed from native homelands to new environments. Resourcefulness is instilled in my mind not only from my native ancestry, but also from a rural Kansas upbringing. I myself am a collage of cultures. I react by collaging materials from my ancestors’ contemporary community and personal collaging materials from my ancestors, contemporary community, and personal life experiences.

My studio is a flux of mediums and objects in constant conversation: a gouache painting is printed on fabric, which is collaged, then informs a piece of wearable art or inspires the composition of a new gouache painting. Nothing is off-limits to being repurposed and reimagined.

My research into traditional arts brings imagery abstracted from moccasin beading patterns into my paintings. Some works utilize actual beading and sewing. Graphic design, fine art, and craft are all woven together in my studio, at times literally. Cultivating the joy that arises from cultural differences gives hope for future tribes, countries, and personal communities.