Tipi painting brings students and Native Americans together

Art students in Totem Shriver’s class painted a tipi as part of an Arts and Visual Culture course, after a local woman, descended from the Lakota Sioux tribe, offered it as an art project.

“We steeped ourselves in the history and culture of Native Americans,” Shriver says, “and designed a medicine wheel for the canvas. Each direction has an element associated with it — mother earth, water, sky and fire.”

Tipi owner Kathleen Wallace asked that students include birds. “They are so free,” says Wallace. “Birds wind-dance.”

In a ceremony celebrating the finished painting, Jan Michael Looking Wolf, a Kalapuya Native, offered a flute song and blessing.

“We are one heart,” said the award-winning Native American flutist. “There is a place beyond all religions where everyone’s opinion is equally important. Diversity isn’t about everyone agreeing on things, but about agreeing that our hearts have the same significance.”

Art and Visual Culture Studies

Linfield Gallery

Oregon Tribes

Joe Medicine Crow ’38

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