May 1 – July 3, 2015 • Textile Center Studio and Community Galleries
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 7 • 6 – 8 pm
with a Native American Drum Group featuring Grass Dancer Gavino Limón & an artist talk by Douglas K. Limón
Free and open to the public

Limón sews thousands of tiny glass beads onto a variety of materials to make a statement–not only as art–but also to preserve the history and culture of his Native American ancestors. His exquisite beadwork is a spiritual expression of traditions that have survived thousands of years. Turtle Voices includes Limón’s signature Turtle medallions, beaded cradleboards, and Bandolier bags.

Limón is the 2012 recipient of the Minnie Jackson Lifetime Achievement Award by the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways for demonstrating a lifetime of traditional art perpetuation. In 2014, the First Peoples Fund Jennifer Easton Community Spirit award was given to Limón for his commitment to sustaining the cultural values of Native people.

Textile Center exhibitions are supported in part with funds from the Joan Mondale Endowment.

Textile Center, in partnership with Douglas K. Limón, is a fiscal year 2015 recipient of a Cultural Community Partnership grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Artist Statement of Background

“My primary medium of art is traditional and contemporary beadwork. I learned to bead the traditional way. My mother taught me how to bead on a loom in 1965 when I was five years old. I eventually taught myself the appliqué style of beadwork. My work has evolved over the years from traditional functional beadwork starting with wristbands, headbands, belts, bags, moccasins, and medallions. My most recent work includes cradleboards and Bandolier Bags. I have experimented for over fifty years in beadwork traditions while transforming my creations into contemporary wall art. My signature design is a Turtle with a unique piece for the shell. Through the use of various contemporary materials I create one-of-a-kind pieces. I bead directly on to art paper. The finished work is matted and framed, ready to hang.

I also designed my son’s Grass Dance regalia when he was 14 months. I beaded his yoke, headband and belt. I also supervised my family members that worked together to bead his aprons. We completed his regalia in 7 days. In 2013, I completed another grass dance regalia for him to grow into. In 2009, I made my first cradleboard or dikinagan. My Cradleboard design is a traditional Anishisnabe style with the exception of the beaded inlay. I have incorporated my beadwork into the backboard of the dikinagan. I received a Folk and Traditional Arts grant from the Minnesota State Arts board in 2011 for the The Cradleboard Project. The major goal for this project was to revitalize the endangered tradition. I accomplished this by not only bringing light to this fading cultural tradition but by teaching four individuals how to make a cradleboard for their family. They pay for the materials and promise to teach someone else to make a cradleboard. I am also teaching a cradleboard workshop at the Leech Lake Tribal Community College. The beadwork on the cradleboards were the largest pieces I made at the time. They are ten inches in diameter.

The 2012 Bandolier Bag Project entailed making two bandolier bags. One was a Community Bandolier Bag, everyone in Minnesotans was invited to bead on the bag. We had over 400 people participate from 6 years old to 70+, male and female. The other bandolier bag I made by myself. I beaded the mirror image of the Community Bandolier Bag design. This is the largest single beadwork piece I have made to date.” –Douglas K. Limón