Karen Ann Hoffman (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin)
2020 NEA National Heritage Fellow and Iroquois Raised Beadworker, Karen Ann Hoffman (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin) creates contemporary art that is deeply rooted in the past. Iroquois raised beadwork is unique to the six nations of the Iroquois confederacy, which includes the Oneida. Its hallmark is beads sewn in a such a way that they arch above the fabric creating stunning dimensionality. Hoffman has taken this art to new literal and figurative heights—creating large beaded urns for example. But while her work is deeply connected to the traditions and culture of the Iroquois, her interest is in taking the form and “exploring, expanding and reimagining it against contemporary life.” Hoffman is not just an extraordinarily talented artist, she’s also, as you’ll hear, a passionate advocate for the art form and a fabulous storyteller.