Traditional Beadworker Kooskia, ID
2014 USA Fellow
This award was generously supported by the Rasmuson Foundation. _
Marcus Amerman is a Choctaw bead artist who uses traditional Native American techniques to create contemporary art and imagery. He first learned beadwork among the Umatilla in Pendleton, Oregon, making beaded regalia for his family and beaded jewelry to sell at pow-wows. As his skills evolved over the years, he expanded his content and imagery to include political and socially conscious themes, as a tribute to his ancestors. Known both as a multi-media artist/performer and a teacher, he has passed on his innovative use of traditional beadwork to a new generation of makers, encouraging students to make beadwork about their lives and experiences. His photo-realistic, painterly aesthetic, which he calls, “photo-beadalism”, has been emulated by many of the top Native beadwork practitioners. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums all over the world, including the Highgate Gallery in London, The Museum of World Culture in Sweden, The Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, The Museum of craft and Folk Art in San Francisco and The Far Eastern Museum in Russia. Amerman’s work is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and The American Museum of Natural History.