Marie Shirley-Jones will talk about her fiber art panel celebrating Plains Indian women from noon - 1 p.m. Jan. 15 at the Cody library. Participants are welcome to bring a lunch to this free program.
Shirley-Jones is a retired art teacher from Red Lodge who has a passion for creating fiber art. She also loves Native American history and culture, which is often reflected in her art. Her panel has been displayed at the library since December.
A few years ago she was thrilled to find two pieces of ledger art from 1883 by New Bear depicting eight Gros Ventre women at a dance. Inspired by New Bear’s art, Shirley-Jones recreated his image using cloth and found objects. She knew that she could learn about the women best by creating a large piece, so Shirley-Jones totally immersed herself in bringing these eight honorable women to life.
“On the women’s skirts I’ve expressed, through my art, various important aspects of their culture that I have learned about,” Shirley-Jones said.
“In the background I’ve written Crow women’s names from history and words I found on-line in the Crow language, pertaining to these women.”
“I apologize for any mistakes I’ve made with these words and names.”
The chickadees represent spirit helpers. The beading and jewelry are mainly found objects, none of which are genuine Native American. Vertical lines in art represent strength, like pillars. She’s incorporated antique linens.
The hands are large because Shirley-Jones molded them from her own hands, which she feels emphasizes their skill.
Shirley-Jones became very connected to these women through the process and her thoughts were on them as she went about her daily routines. The outcome is her respect and honor for these incredible women in our history.
Visit mshirleyjones.wixsite.com/fiberartandmore for more information.