Artist Wendy Red Star and her daughter Beatrice share the books that inspire them

Wendy Red Star uses a variety of media to create her art, which draws from her tribal background (Crow) to explore the intersections of Native culture and colonialist structures. Her work has been shown at the Portland Art Museum, and as far afield as

Melbourne's National Gallery of Victoria.

Greetings, from Wendy Red Star and Beatrice Red Star Fletcher (my nine-year old daughter). Together we make up a mother/daughter artist collaborative duo. You can see some of our artwork at the Seattle Art Museum and the Denver Art Museum this month through December. Beatrice is an avid reader with a book in her hand at all times including at art functions, birthday parties, and the dinner table. I also love reading but my focus is on specialty books including, Native crafts, sewing, historical photography books on Native Americans, individual artist monographs, and anthropological books on the Crow Nation. I use these books for inspiration, knowledge, and references for art projects.

Here are my picks:

Pattern Magic by Tomoko Nakamichi

This book gives me endless inspiration about the possibilities of pattern making. Whenever I need a break from conventional patterns I take a look at this book. In the past I have tried to make a few of the patterns out of paper. This book is challenging and engaging and a fun way to spend the afternoon.

The Art Of Manipulating Fabric by Colette Wolff

A seamstress's dream book! With over 350 diagrams and beautifully illustrated images demonstrating techniques to resurface, reshape, restructure and reconstruct using a simple square of fabric, thread and needle. This book truly brings out my inner nerd. I love spending hours analyzing each technique and dreaming up new ideas.

The Stars We Know: Crow Indian Astronomy and Lifeways by Timothy P. McCleary

My copy of this book is marked with underscores and notes in the margins. I have reread this book countless times and still find myself learning new information with each read. I am friends with the author, who I have worked with on projects including my solo exhibition Medicine Crow & the 1880 Crow Peace Delegation at the Portland Art Museum’s Apex Gallery in 2014. The observations of Crow star knowledge are fascinating. The old Crow stories are entertaining and eerily gruesome.

Crow Indian Beadwork (A Descriptive and Historical Study) by William Wildschut and John C. Ewers

This book is a great guide and resource to the art of Crow Indian beadwork from 1805 to contemporary times. The book includes several illustrations and photographic images of classic Crow designs. I use this book as a reference and a guide for my own beadwork.

Identity By Design: Tradition, Change, and Celebration in Native women’s dresses edited by Emil Her Many Horses

This is a gorgeous book filled with rich photographs of some of the best dresses and accessories of traditional Native women’s clothing. This book includes examples of historic clothing and contemporary trends across Native America. Filled with interesting essays and information that make it a valuable read.

Beatrice's picks:

When Mischief Came to Town by Katrina Nannestad

It has lots of adventures and lots of mischief, like falling asleep in a crate between a goat and a bunch of geese and getting half your hair chewed off.  It is full of marvelous literature!

Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell

Nikki, the main character, has lots of awkward situations in her school life. Nikki has a lot of personality, and all of the Dork Diaries books have interesting plots filled with tons of funny moments. Also amazing illustrations.

Thea Stilton and the Cherry Blossom Adventure by A Geronimo Stilton

The Thea sisters travel to different places and learn about other cultures. The books are filled with interesting mysteries that the Thea sisters have to solve. There are amazing illustrations and amazing graphs.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Magic by Betty MacDonald

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle uses magic to engage young children to behave. The books are filled with interesting things like her house being upside down. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is an interesting character because she owns a well-mannered pig and she loves kids.

Baby Mouse Cupcake Tycoon by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm

Great book for young girls because it is about a girl mouse. Baby Mouse is very sassy, loves cupcakes, and has a wild imagination and a homework-eating locker. It’s awesome because every page is pink.

 

Comments

Thanks for your list! Also, I love when people read Mrs. Pigglewiggle with their children. Everybody wins!

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