ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
September 7 – 17, 2022
Jenna Wood is a member of the Waganakising Odawak (Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians) and a resident of Beedoskeh (Petoskey, MI). She is a recent graduate of Michigan State University holding a BA in Hospitality Business and BFA in Apparel & Textile Design with minors in American Indian & Indigenous Studies and Graphic Design. Jenna began learning the art and process of quillwork in summer 2019 from master quillwork artist Yvonne Walker Keshik and her family Kim, Maya, and Jacob. Since this experience, Jenna’s focus in Odawa traditional arts, culture, and language has expanded and she has further immersed herself to learn more about traditional ways of gathering and working the materials that naturally grow within Odawa territory.
Jenna’s current art practice is focused on creating a visual voice for nibii (water) through avant-garde fashion design to show how deeply interconnected it is to the Anishinaabe way of thinking, and how the resource is currently threatened by big oil company Enbridge and project Line 5.
My community, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, is located in Waganakising, place of the crooked tree, (Harbor Springs, MI). It is a location where the water and the land dynamically interact. Since the time when my ancestors were first on the land, our people have utilized the materials found in our homeland to create items which are beautiful and durable. When I spend time in the same sweet grass fields as my ancestors once did, I look around and I appreciate the steadiness, adaptability, and patience they had when they labored in this field to gather this medicine for an entire community. The thought of their hard work ethic and resilience humbles me. It also fuels me to learn from their processes and to incorporate these principles into my own creative practices. I exercise these principles within my creative process by heavily considering the lasting personal and general impact of the materials, manipulation, and construction.
Images courtesy of the artist