EXPO Chicago 2024

CfNF is Back at EXPO CHICAGO 2024

April 11-14th at Navy Pier
Booth #182


Hattie Lee Mendoza, Camille "Katahtu'ntha" Billie, Lydia Cheshewalla, and Chelsea Bighorn




Canvas, MX Dye, beads, brass sequins | 69" x 96" | 2024


Canvas, MX Dye, beads | 52" x 71" | 2024


Canvas, MX Dye, artificial sinew, glass beads | 64” x 68” | 2024


Chelsea Bighorn was born and raised in Tempe, Arizona.Her tribal affiliations are the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Siouxtribes from Montana and the Shoshone-Paiute from NorthernNevada. Bighorn’s work is the result of her combining traditionalNative American design with elements from her Irish Americanheritage. Using this process, she tells her personal historythrough her art. Bighorn has shown her work at the Museum ofContemporary Native Art, SITE Santa Fe, The Balzar Gallery andthe Center for Native Futures (Chicago, IL). She graduated withhonors from The Institute of American Indian Arts in 2021 with aBachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Arts. Bighorn currently resides inChicago where she is attending the School of The Art Instituteworking on her Master of Fine Arts in Fiber and Material Studies.

Artist Statement

I explore art and design in a way that merges natural and geometric elements through a variety of mediums, including fiber arts and cut paper works. My artistic practice is a celebration of my Native American heritage and the beauty that is found within it. Finding inspiration from the highly embellished outfits of Native American Powwow dancers, I create work using beads, fringe, and other forms of adornment to create pieces that allow the viewer moments of reflection and rest.

Rez Dog: Hounded  |  May  |  Rez Dog: Wary

Water based ink on Rives BFK, 18" x 24" | 2024


Camille “Katahtu’ntha” Billie is an Oneida & Diné artist andSpring 2023 graduate from the School of the Art Institute ofChicago. She has a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts with anemphasis in Designed Objects. She draws inspiration from hersurroundings and fractures grounding experiences into corecolors, sounds, and textures which become components to herworks. Billie’s favorite materials to work in are linocut printing,raised and flat beadwork, gouache paint, and oil pastel. She alsohas special interests in critical ecology, the interconnectednessof all beings in community, and how open conversations andspaces for creating can encourage healing.

What Kind of Love Aren’t You Looking For?

Ephemeral collaboration with time, place, and more-than-human kin | Dimensions Variable | 2024


Lydia Cheshewalla is an Osage ephemeral artist fromOklahoma, living and working in motion throughout the GreatPlains ecoregion. Through the creation of site-specific landart and ephemeral installations grounded in Indigenous landstewardship practices and kinship pedagogies, Cheshewallaengages in multivocal conversations about place andrelationship. Her work has been shown at Generator Space,the Union for Contemporary Art (Omaha, NE), Comfort Station,Harold Washington Library, and the Center for Native Futures(Chicago, IL), among others. She is currently filling the bucketwith water to see if it leaks and is often found standing in fields.

Artist Statement

Working with kin gathered from places called home, installations become multi-vocal sites of conversation that tell simultaneous stories of ecology, relationship, and self-location. Collaborating within the limitations of season, cycle, and change, the emergent work is always dictated by the needs and realities of time, place, and ecosystem. Every kin participating in the creation of the art has its own story, agency, and right to return. As such, every collaborator and its point of origin is logged, both in physical location for its post-install return, as well as in emotional memory which tells the stories of how relationship came to be.

Sovereign Spring

Ribbon, trim, bias tape, stretcher bars | 36” x 96”x 1.5” (when all 4 displayed together) | 2024

Brave Bonfire

Bias tape and ribbon on stretcher bars | 72” x 48” | 2021


Hattie Lee Mendoza (Cherokee Nation, mixed European) is amulti-disciplinary artist who grew up in Fowler, Kansas, and nowlives in Peoria, Illinois. She has an MFA from Bradley Universityin Peoria and a BA in graphic design from Tabor College.Mendoza is influenced by her namesake Great Grandmother’spride in her Cherokee heritage, desiring to revive and continuethat legacy within her family. Her maternal grandmother’s frugalvalues, stemming from a depression era childhood, are alsoreflected in her practice with the inclusion of repurposed andrecycled personal and family items, as well as thrifted and foundobjects. She views herself as a collage of cultures and reacts bycollaging materials from ancestors, contemporary community,and personal life experiences. Mendoza is the recipient ofmultiple awards and has been in exhibitions in ten states,including solo exhibitions in Illinois, Kansas, and Oklahoma.

Artist Statement

My work embodies the effects of the diaspora and displacement of peoples from their home cultures and histories. It’s a slow process of rebuilding knowledge of a larger family history, while learning about indigenous histories and how they have been shaped, lost, or muted.

Raised outside the Cherokee Nation, I was always intrigued and proud of my matrilineal heritage, but had no direct means of learning the culture. My Great-Grandmother would talk about life in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, but I was too young to know what that meant and ask questions before she passed. I also grew up seeing Cherokee-made baskets my Grandma owned and prized- telling us about her friend who made them, yet I never saw how they were made.

These fiber weavings were originally born out of an overabundance of bias tape given to me by various family members, or bundled at garage sales and thrift stores, that needed a purpose. I was reading a lot about Cherokee Basketry and thought…why can’t I weave in my own way? Figuring out a few patterns from photographs, I quoted them using ribbon, bias tape, and various other fibers on hand. I’ve since refined my process, though still using found and gifted materials; often drafting my own combinations of existing patterns or entirely designing my own. I approach these weavings as paintings with fiber, adding or subtracting color as I go and as the painting takes shape.

Skewing happens due to varying thicknesses of fabric, or I leave skips I made in the historical patterns I’m quoting instead of taking them out. These are my manifestation of life as someone in a diaspora who is proud of a heritage, yet left to reteach herself instead of sitting among elders or having family members passing down skills. Mixing contemporary materials and compositions, while including time-tested Cherokee aesthetics is a signature of my personal journey and identity.

Using Format