Jodi Rave: Harvest Moon Ball promotes Native art
"If you're Indian, you probably know an artist.

That's because so many of our tribal communities are brimming with talented painters, beaders, sculptors and more.

My husband and I met Ken Morsette, a Chippewa Cree from the Rocky Boy's Reservation, at the Harvest Moon Ball, an art auction in East Glacier that celebrates Native artists. Today, two of Ken's eye-catching paintings grace a wall in our family living room.

I appreciate Ken's attention to detail. When I look at the traditional dancer in the larger of the two paintings, I see puffs of dust floating off the canvas from where the dancer's feet hit the dry ground. I imagine the sound of the Mandaree drum group, singing somewhere on the Northern Plains.

The second painting we have by Ken shows a common powwow scene, the grand entry. Everybody loves grand entry. It's one of the few times during a powwow when a spectator can see every single dancer as they enter the arena in single profile. Ken painted the Rocky Boy Powwow color guard during grand entry, a scene taken from a photo taken several years ago.

A number of the flag carriers, such as the late Roddy Sun Child, a World War II veteran, are easily recognized from within the Chippewa Cree Tribe. The color guard typically leads a grand entry procession while carrying eagle staffs, as well as tribal and U.S. flags. A flag song - something equivalent to the Star Spangled Banner - is always sung once the dancers are standing still. Ken's work allows me to appreciate a great artist, and lets me share in a community vision."

Get the Story:
Art purchased at Harvest Moon Ball delights and inspires (The Missoulian 8/16)

Relevant Links:
Jodi Rave - http://www.missoulian.com/jodirave

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