By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Shan Goshorn, noted EBCI artist, has been named one of the 37 new United States Artists (USA) Fellows and will receive an unrestricted $50,000 grant. USA tasks the artists with “opening up exciting creative possibilities through the transformative power of unrestricted financial support.”
The artists were chosen in nine various disciplines including: architecture and design, crafts, dance, literature, media, music, theater and performance, traditional arts, and visual arts.
“USA Fellowships are awarded to innovative artists of all ages and at all stages in their careers,” Carolina Garcia Jayaram, United States Artists chief executive officer, said in a statement. “What continues to set the USA Fellowship apart is the unrestricted nature of our award. USA’s mission is to put artists first as they are the core of our organization.”
Goshorn, who was named a USA Fellow in the traditional arts category, commented, “It is an unbelievable thrill to receive this award. Each USA artist – whether within the genre of visual arts, dance architecture, etc. – is nominated anonymously by an ‘authority’ in the field. So, in my case, it was probably someone from within a museum setting or a master artist. This feels especially gratifying because I look around the art world and know that someone out there has honored me in this way.”
She is also excited that the Fellowship does not limit her scope of work or theme. “It validates that a prestigious, national organization has elevated me to the level of top artists in this country. It validates to me and others that the work I am doing to educate audiences about the issues of Native America are legitimate.”
Over the years, Goshorn has won awards at many art competitions and shows including winning the AT&T Grand Prize at the 25th Annual Red Earth Festival, and in 2014, she received a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Artist Fellowship in the traditional arts category.
She is grateful for her successes and for those who have helped her gain them. “Although I did not learn weaving the traditional way of sitting at a relative’s knee to learn this skill by observation, I acknowledge and thank all the people whose work I have examined to understand the math and rhythm of basketweaving.”
“The Cherokee are known for their exquisite basketry,” she added. “These baskets have fascinated me ever since I worked at the Qualla Co-Op as a teenager and learned the lengthy process of gathering and preparing supplies as well as identifying the variety of intricate patterns. I am grateful to all the ancestors who aided and literally directed my research in museum archives. They continue to inspire me. I would also like to thank my family and friends who also inspire me daily. The work I do is for the entire tribe.”
As for the USA Fellowship, Goshorn noted, “Receiving this award has not changed my plans nor lightened my intensive work schedule. I will keep making baskets as long as I can challenge myself artistically and intellectually, and as long as they continue to inspire others to learn about issues affecting us in Indian Country.”