Provided by Cheri M. Hyde, M.A.
This week’s cover art is by the late Apolonia Susana Santos (1954-2006) who spent 20 years of her life as a dedicated active organizer of environmental summits and cultural events. These public and intertribal events were educational and civic responses to legislation on Indigenous Peoples’ and broader civil liberties protections.
From her signature hats and contagious giggle to her Warrior like determination, Apolonia Susana Santos leaves us all with a call to action to do more, to be more and to find the Artist and Activist in all of us.
As a 2006 Honoree of the First Peoples Fund, it was said of Susana:
“Through sharing her skills and talents with others, especially the youth, she has assisted directly in the transformation of many lives through artistic expression, cultural teaching and by providing valuable information she has learned along her path about caring for our Mother Earth and all she provides.” —S. Balbos, nominator.
A Pacific Northwest Native American Artist, Activist, Art and Cultural Liaison, Indigenous Warrior, prolific painter, sculptor, serigrapher and writer, Apolonia leaves a legacy of creative vision for the Indigenous World and a call to action. Susana’s paintings and serigraphs often contain the dramatic and diverse landscape and sky of the High Desert, Snowstorms and the elements of wind, water, Sun and Moon appear with vigor. Her artistic interpretation of Salmon, Coyote and BigHorn Sheep express how strongly she was connected to her homelands. Interpretation of Native Women and Men in Traditional dress always has a contemporary flair. Her desire to preserve Indigenous ways and memory is apparent in her artwork and her activism.
Apolonia’s untimely passing at age 52, leaves a void in the world of Native American Art. Though small in stature, she stood large in life as she painted, sculpted and created strategies toward social change for Native Youth. She fought diligently to protect traditional fishing and sovereignty rights of her People.
A member of the Tygh Band and Yakama Nation, her ancestral homelands are located along the Des Chutes River at Tlxni (Falls of a Woman’s Hair) also called Shearers Bridge. She held great pride in her Traditional fishing family and encouraged all who fished to respect the River and the Salmon. She was an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.
After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, Oregon, Apolonia Susana Santos returned to the Reservation to help her community, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. Santos established the Kah-nee-ta Gallery of Art at the High Desert Resort and Casino encouraging local artists to not only present their work in this public forum but also to stretch and grow artistically.
She established a Native youth summer arts program coordinated with the Oregon College of Art and Craft (OCAC) for Warm Springs youth to study in Portland. This program, known as the A. Susana Santos Journeys in Creativity, has grown over time and now includes Native youth in the Portland area and from other Oregon Tribes.
As Art and Cultural Liaison for the Warm Springs Tribe, Susana authored Tribal Initiatives that included her vision for an Artists Village Complex with artist painting and printmaking studios, sound, film and video studios and an Indigenous Medicine Lodge. She inspired many people in Warm Springs and throughout the N.W. to come together and complete these projects.
How to Purchase a Giclee
The images in this Gallery are available in a variety of sizes on both archival paper and canvas.
Image sizes range from 11” x 14” to 54” x 81.” Purchase amounts start at $200.
For information and to purchase a giclee image seen in this gallery, contact C.M. Hyde.
Phone: 971-645-2585 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cover art details:
22″ x 30″. original Serigraph A/P available.
also available in Giclee prints.
Photo Captions: (Tlxni – Falls of a Woman’s Hair 60″ x 72″. Oil on Canvas; Gathering at Full Moons:30″ x 40″. acrylic on illustration board)