Beyond the Art Beyond the Art is hosted by Cray Bauxmont-Flynn, who strives to highlight a diversity of roles and voices across the Native American art world, from artists to museum directors and everyone in between.
Beyond the Art

Beyond the Art


Beyond the Art is hosted by Cray Bauxmont-Flynn, who strives to highlight a diversity of roles and voices across the Native American art world, from artists to museum directors and everyone in between.

Most Recent Episodes

Elevating Native Narratives in Modern Media with Jhane Myers

Renowned producer and artist Jhane Myers, who is Comanche and Blackfeet, graces Beyond the Art to share her incredible journey in the entertainment industry. Jhane opens up about how her heritage shapes her work, the hurdles she faces as a Native American woman, and her unwavering commitment to authentic storytelling. Dive into her current projects, including a poignant documentary on Leonard Peltier, a cooking show, and diverse television endeavors, all designed to ensure accurate and meaningful representation of Native stories. We also have a fascinating conversation with another producer who transitioned from a high-profile marketing role at Ralph Lauren to producing powerful media campaigns. She shares the secrets behind maintaining professional relationships and selecting groundbreaking projects that highlight Native voices in underrepresented genres like sci-fi. The success of "Prey" serves as a testament to her vision, demonstrating how Native narratives captivate diverse audiences and redefine the media landscape. Finally, we celebrate the creative accomplishments of Jhane Myers' children and her own pivotal role in the film "Prey." This episode underscores the importance of fostering creativity across generations and the broader implications for Indigenous representation in media. We delve into the power of diverse collaboration, the challenges Native American filmmakers face, and the inspiring journey of using film to confront racism and authentically represent Native cultures. Join us for a compelling exploration of Native artistry and the evolving cultural narrative through the lens of dedicated storytellers.

The Art of Cultural Preservation with John Pepion

What if artwork could be a powerful tool to reclaim and preserve a culture? Join us in an engaging conversation with John Pepion, a distinguished artist from the Blackfeet Nation in Montana, as he shares his remarkable journey and the rich heritage that fuels his creativity. John's decision to embrace his art full-time in 2009 was more than a career move; it was a commitment to his roots and a declaration of the resilience of the Blackfeet people. We explore his utilization of traditional Blackfoot motifs and styles, including pictographic and ledger art, and discuss how his choice of mediums, from buffalo hides to antique ledger paper, ties him intimately to his ancestry and historical practices. The episode sheds light on the growing Native American Indigenous art movement, which stretches beyond the canvas to influence fashion, culinary arts, and more. We address the pressing issues of inclusion and representation in mainstream art, emphasizing the necessity of authentic indigenous voices over non-indigenous interpretations. Discover how elements of nature, traditional symbols, and personal experiences serve as profound inspirations in Native American art. John shares insights into how ceremonial practices, historical artifacts, and even museum collections play crucial roles in the storytelling and preservation of indigenous culture. Listen in as John opens up about the intense dedication required to be an artist, from balancing sleepless nights brimming with ideas to early morning work sessions. We delve into the transformative power of collaboration, the significance of prioritizing personal projects, and John's ambitious plans for upcoming exhibitions in Montana and a debut in New York City. Learn how art serves as a vital instrument in preserving Indigenous culture and identity, ensuring that the stories and traditions of the Blackfeet people are recorded and cherished for generations to come. Don't miss this inspiring episode filled with passion, creativity, and cultural enlightenment.

Indigenous ancestral skills in Modern Hands with Joe Big Mountain

Growing up amidst the vibrant swirl of a powwow family, one can't help but be swept up in the creative current. That's precisely what happened to Joe Big Mountain, a Quill artist of Mohawk and Comanche heritage, who joins us to recount his fascinating journey into the art of porcupine quillwork. His story is not just about the personal revival of a painstaking craft, but also a heartwarming glimpse into how his heritage and family's artistic lineage played a pivotal role in shaping his path. We get intimate insights into the cultural significance of quillwork and how Joe is breathing new life into this ancient technique. The conversation with Joe then navigates the historical and contemporary landscapes of quillwork in art. It's a celebration of tradition, where animal quills and hides become more than materials; they're a connection to a rich past. Joe elaborates on how the art form serves as a bridge between expressing individuality and preserving cultural legacy. He shares anecdotes on the rarity of private commissions, the impact of his craft on family and special occasions, and the delicate balance of staying true to timeless methods while allowing for artistic evolution. In the final segment, we uncover the layers of inspiration behind Joe Big Mountain's work, from his grandmother's exquisite beadwork to his own trailblazing moments at New York Fashion Week with his brand Iron Horse Cool Work. We talk about the rigor of creating quillwork masterpieces, the familial bonds that support and challenge him, and the strategies he employs to keep his art form both fresh and faithful to its roots. Joe's tales are an open book to his creative world, offering wisdom to burgeoning artists and pulling back the curtain on the complex tapestry of a contemporary Native American artist's life.

Weaving Ancestral Threads into Modern Fashion with Kayla Lookinghorse

When the threads of heritage entwine with the pulse of modern fashion, the result is nothing short of mesmerizing. Kayla Lookinghorse, a Standing Rock Sioux Tribe member and visionary fashion designer, graced our podcast with the story of her brand, K Looking Horse. She paints a vivid picture of her design philosophy, where beadwork, quillwork, and bold geometric patterns from Lakota and Dakota cultures elegantly converge with contemporary aesthetics. Kayla's tale isn't just one of design; it's a narrative of empowerment and sustainable craftsmanship, embodied in her striking Empowerment Piece Collection. She takes us on her path of personal growth during the pandemic, harnessing 3D rendering to refine her artistry and share her indigenous luxury narrative with the world. The fashion runway can be as unpredictable as the designs it showcases, and Kayla's debut at New York Fashion Week was testament to that. We hear of the adrenaline-fueled moments leading up to her first show and how a formidable challenge, like a major hacking incident, became the impetus for a fresh start. Her commitment to authenticity shines through as she addresses the representation of indigenous art, her core values of integrity, and the right to cultural designs. As she looks to the future, Kayla offers insights into her projects aimed at uplifting Native American talent, such as the Reservation Economic Summit, and underscores the power of unity and collaboration in the fashion sector. Embarking on a creative journey with Kayla, we learn of her unique approach to fashion design, favoring the certainty of Sharpie over the impermanence of pencil. This risk-taking strategy is reflected in her candid tales of last-minute collection changes and the equilibrium between custom pieces and annual collections for brand exclusivity. From her transition from a medical career to the allure of the fashion world, Kayla's story is as intricate and captivating as her designs. Looking ahead, she reveals her plans to extend her label to men's wear and spa lines, inspired by her sons and the quest for balance. For those who draw from their roots to create, Kayla offers sage advice on integrity in design, and the balance of creative passion with the savvy understanding of fashion's business and financial sides.

The Artistic Odyssey of Cannupa Hanska Luger

Embark on an enthralling expedition through the ever-evolving world of Native American art with our esteemed guest, Cannupa Hanska Luger. A Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara artist whose creative roots were nurtured by his mother, Kathy Whitman Elk Woman, Cannupa guides us from the spoken cadences of poetry to the earthy intimacy of clay. His artistic odyssey is a testament to the power of medium exploration, as he shares how live painting with a hip-hop band and a transformative education at the Institute of American Indian Arts expanded his palette from the canvas to the captivating realm of sculpture. Cannupa's narrative arcs into the collaborative spirit of art, as he recalls the Mirror Shield project at Standing Rock—a pivotal moment that crystallized his understanding of art's social impact and the myth of solitary creation. He unwraps the layers of his journey with the Santa Fe art collective Humble, drawing us into a discourse on the synergy between individual creativity and collective expression. Through the lens of social media and material consciousness, Cannupa challenges us to reconsider our approach to the artistic process and the inherent collaboration it entails. As we traverse the intersecting pathways of art, science, and identity, Cannupa offers a profound reflection on how cultural heritage weaves through his work, disputing the oversimplification of cultural identity. Our conversation ventures into his engagement with Monument Lab and the University of Michigan Museum of Art, contemplating the narratives and contemporary relevance of monuments. Cannupa's "sovereignty suits" project from the Hammers exhibition "Breathe" and his upcoming installation at the San Diego New Children's Museum invite listeners to explore how art and science converge to ignite imagination and challenge our perceptions of learning and identity. Join us for an episode that not only showcases the multifaceted brilliance of Native American artistry but also the indelible impact of creative expression on shaping our collective future.

Weaving Indigenous Stories on Screen and Runway with Peshawn Bread

Celebrated Indigenous filmmaker and fashion designer Peshawn Bread graces our podcast with her powerful insights and inspiring journey. As we traverse the landscape of Peshawn's artistry, she unveils the rich tapestry woven by her Comanche, Kiowa, and Cherokee heritage into her creative work. From film to fashion, Peshawn champions the representation of Indigenous queer narratives, ensuring that joy and hope resonate with queer Indigenous youth. Her stories serve as a beacon, illuminating the path for the next generation seeking affirmation and a sense of belonging in their identity. Our dialogue takes us through the realms of mentorship and community, where figures like Sydney Freeland emerge as guiding lights for young Indigenous artists navigating the film industry. Peshawn's endeavors extend beyond her personal creative pursuits as she spearheads the compilation of a directory for Indigenous talent—an invaluable resource to foster collaborations and maintain the cultural integrity of Native American representation. This episode reveals how art can be a powerful tool for advocacy, and the delicate balance artists must strike when commercial interests meet cultural authenticity. As we wrap up, Peshawn shares her dreams for her fashion brand House of Sutai and reflects on the unexpected discovery of Indigenous connections in places from Hollywood to high fashion. It's a closing that leaves us inspired to support and seek out the richness of our own communities, encouraged by Peshawn's journey of creativity and cultural exploration.

Threads of Time: The Beadwork of Jori Brennon

When the threads of tradition intertwine with the vibrant beads of the present, remarkable stories unfold. This is precisely the experience we share with Jori Brennon, the extraordinary bead artist from Plains Creek nation, whose artistry dances between his heritage from Frog Lake First Nation and the pulsing energy of Toronto's diverse art scene. Through his skilled hands, pow-wow grass outfits blossom and arrowhead earrings emerge, each bead a testament to the enduring narratives of Indigenous cultures and Jori's personal journey. As the pandemic rewove the fabric of our lives, it also threaded new opportunities for Jori's creativity under the tutelage of his family, leading to mesmerizing works that honor past and embrace future. Our latest episode brings to light not just the beauty of Jori's beadwork, but the rich tapestry of identity and expression it represents. Woven into our discussion are the echoes of Amber Middunder's impactful commission and the cascading effect it had on social media, illustrating the far reach of Jori's craft. We also celebrate the fluidity of gender in art, where "anti-earrings" become a canvas for challenging norms and celebrating diversity. Jori's advice to emerging artists stirs the heart—start where you are, learn from your roots, and infuse your creations with intention. Balancing the delicate dance of full-time work with the drive to create, this episode is a tribute to all those who craft their passions into a life's work.

Art as Dialogue Nani Chacon's Murals and the Power of Storytelling

The brushstrokes of Nani Chacon, a visionary artist with roots in the Diné Navajo tradition, color our latest podcast episode with stories of transformation—from urban graffiti to grand murals. Her artistry takes us on a journey that transcends mere aesthetics, crafting spaces that echo with community voices and cultural dialogue. As Nani shares her process of intertwining personal and cultural narratives, we're reminded of the power art wields in not only shaping landscapes but also in empowering those who inhabit them. Venture with us through the creative labyrinth of Nani's mind, where art is a conversation starter, a question raised without words, challenging viewers to engage with deeper issues. Our discussion branches into the complexities of her collaborative work, revealing how murals can become tapestries of communal history and identity, especially when interlaced with the wisdom of elders. The colors Nani chooses speak volumes, imbued with symbolism and intentionality, transforming public spaces into an immersive experience that prompts reflection and connection. We conclude on an introspective note, acknowledging the societal ripples caused by public art and the delicate dance with bureaucracy that often accompanies it. Nani opens up about the personal interplay between her art and motherhood, and the upcoming sculpture project with the Navajo Nation Museum that promises to invigorate cultural pride and heritage. This episode paints a portrait of an artist who sees the canvas of our world and dares to imagine it brighter, bolder, and steeped with meaning. Join us to witness how one painter's vision can change the way we see our communities and ourselves.

Exploring the Intersection of Indigenous Roots and Contemporary Art with Nicholas Galanin

When the raw emotion of our heritage bleeds into the canvas of our present, the art that emerges is nothing short of mesmerizing. That's what we discovered as we sat down with Nicholas Galanin, an artist whose Tlingit and Unanga roots are as integral to his work as the paint on his palette. His story, a testament to the enduring spirit of indigenous peoples, weaves through his art, capturing hearts and minds along the way. Nicholas delves into the profound relationship between his cultural identity and his artistic expression, offering listeners a window into his soul-stirring project, "In Every Language there's Land." His perspective on material selection, not just as a choice but as a statement, lays bare the entangled history of colonialism and the resilience of native narratives. The podcast's rhythm changes as we explore the multifaceted life of Nicholas, a man juggling the callings of both artist and father. With his children as his muse, he shares the delicate dance of managing various creative pursuits while maintaining the sacred essence of his family's artistic lineage. Whether he's crafting visual masterpieces, composing music with his band the Outseen, or dreaming up scores for the silver screen, Nicholas's journey is a testament to the power of evolution in art. And as he looks to the future with plans for exhibitions and a yearning for new mediums that speak to him, we're reminded that every stroke, every note, is a chapter in his ongoing story, one that continues to unfold with passion and purpose. Join us for this intimate exploration of art, family, and the enduring echo of ancestral voices.

Exploring the Intersection of Indigenous Roots and Contemporary Art with Nicholas Galanin

Exploring the Sonic Landscape of Identity, Culture, and Connection with KP of Black Belt Eagle Scout

When KP from Black Belt Eagle Scout graced us with her presence, we were struck by the serendipity behind the band's name—a tale woven from spontaneity rather than premeditation. She enchanted us with stories of how her Indigenous roots and personal voyage infuse her music with both healing and understanding—a soundscape where love is the enduring motif. As we conversed, KP unfolded the narrative of her artistic progression, casting light on the themes that pulse through her albums: a heartfelt connection to her homeland, the fortitude of friendship, and the layered experiences of queer identity. Navigating the music industry is no quiet ballad, and KP shared the complexities of her journey with the candidness of a true solo artist. From the sanctuary she creates for songwriting to her stance on inclusivity and representation for Indigenous artists, our discussion delved into the nuanced realities behind the melodies. KP's voice carried tales of cultural influences, from the Swinomish Indian Tribal community to the pulsing beats of local music scenes, underscoring the potent role musicians play in championing environmental and social causes through the evocative power of sound. The crescendo of our time with KP highlighted her aspirations and the exhilaration of live performances—how capturing the electric atmosphere of concerts can forge a deep resonance with audiences, both in person and online. With talks of setting up her studio, recording independently, and the spirited dance of collaboration, KP's narrative is one of ambition and the relentless pursuit of artistic fulfillment. As we wrapped, there was a sense of gratitude for the rich tapestry of insights KP provided, and an invitation to explore further with our partners at The American Art Collective podcast, shining a spotlight on the vibrant world of Native American artistry.

Exploring the Sonic Landscape of Identity, Culture, and Connection with KP of Black Belt Eagle Scout