Artist/activist Shan Goshorn has died and she will be missed. She was a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and, although her basket work received a lot of attention, she was an accomplished multi-media artist. I admired her work and her way of being an artist on her own terms.
In her own words from her website, http://www.shangoshorn.net, she says this about her work and her ideals:
My intention is to present historical and contemporary issues that continue to be relevant to Indian people today, to a world that still relies on Hollywood as a reliable informant about Indian life.
It was a thrilling accident to discover that the vessel shapes of baskets are a non-threatening vehicle to educate audiences. But even more exciting, I am observing viewers literally leaning into my work, eager to learn more about the history of this country’s First People which can lead to the next wonderful step of engaging in honest dialogue about the issues that still plague Indian people today. America has believed a one-sided history for too long. Acknowledging and addressing these past atrocities is movement towards true racial healing… which has always been the goal of my work as an artist.