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The Reflection

‘The Search for Resistance and Reconciliation’ in Kalamazoo

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     Thursday, September 28, The Kalamazoo Institute of Art hosted an evening artists’ talk, showcasing Erica Lord, mixed media artist of “Our Land, Our People, Our Images.”

One of Erica Lord’s more famous pieces, “I Tan to Look More Native,” is apart of her Tanning Series. Photo courtesy of Erica Lord.

     After a brief introduction, the mic was turned over to Lord. As a Native American artist who portrays a bold, deep meaning to her pieces, it was a surprise when she was nervous about talking in front of an audience. However, as she got further into her presentation, a sense of confidence grew in her voice.

     Giving a little background about herself and the Native community she grew up in, she talked about her journey to finding her identity in a world where she was a “Half Breed” and “Not tan enough” to be a Native American. At the beginning of her artist career, her love of photography blended into mask making, symbolizing hiding behind the mask of being a Native American. Her first, as she calls them, “mask pieces” lead her further into discovering her own unique art technique.

     As she continued to improve her photography skills, she also enhanced her 3D object skills, finding the middle path of being bold and stating her feelings out loud, but at the same time being respectful to those who view her art.

She started using the American flag, mirrors and herself to make a statement to others in ways that no one has done.

“Art isn’t always suppose to give answers, sometimes it’s to give questions,”said Lord, stating  the reasoning behind her art.

     Lord said that through her art she has found her identity, or identities, and as accepted herself as a whole, instead of a percentage of this and that. She hopes her art will start a dialogue and be relatable to all who view it.

Lainie Scott

I am a junior at Gull Lake High School, and this is my first year writing for The Reflection. I enjoy writing, reading and music. This year I hope to further my writing skills and better develop my ability to report and review.


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