Contemporary Native American Artists

Through the Photographer’s Eye:
Interview with photographer Kitty Leaken
by Tania Casselle

You’ve probably already seen the work of photographer Kitty Leaken, in magazines and in books including Cooking with Cafe Pasqual’s and Cooking with Johnny Vee.

When publisher Gibbs Smith asked her if she had any other book ideas, Leaken most certainly did. The result is Contemporary Native American Artists, with photography by Leaken and words by Suzanne Deats. It’s a colorful slab of a book, showcasing 18 outstanding artists, and portraying the artists’ work, the artists at work, and sometimes the artists at play. On a first flick through, you register that the production is gorgeous and the photography vibrant and powerful. But unlike so many lavish coffee table books that become a part of the furniture after an initial read (at least in my house) this one draws you back, draws you deeper, revealing new layers in the intimate visual and written portraits.

→ Full Clip of interview with Kitty Leaken about the making of Contemporary Native American Artists. For Local Flavor magazine, August 2012.

Movie Director Chris Eyre Exposes the Heart and Muscle beneath ‘Skins’

Movie fans awaiting the follow-up to director Chris Eyre’s hit feature Smoke Signals will not be disappointed by Skins. Filmed on location at the Pine Ridge Reservation, Skins tells the story of Rudy Yellow Lodge (Eric Schweig), a reservation cop whose job includes regular encounters with his unruly but endearing brother Mogie (Graham Greene). The climax of Skins presents a breathtaking moment of defiance at Mount Rushmore, involving a one-on-one showdown between Rudy Yellow Lodge and George Washington.

“Skins is a very patriotic movie,” says Chris Eyre. “Rudy as a trickster is making a statement. He’s counting coup. Patriotism isn’t about waving a flag. It’s about exercising your right to challenge, to question and improve and to open up dialogues about ways to make this country better.”

Read my full interview with Chris Eyre for Indian Country Today.

Images of Indians in Film: The Good, The Bad, and The Stereotype (for Indian Country Today)

“Those teepees need Viagra,”said comedian Drew Lacapa. He was watching an old black and white movie where a circle of whooping Indians hopped around Buster Keaton, tied to a stake in the center of a fire. “Do you know that dance?”

Story by Tania Casselle on images of Indians in film, and two movie premieres: Chris Eyre’s Skins and Sherman Alexie’s The Business of Fancydancing. Read the full article at Indian Country Today.


Mastering the Business World (for Indian Country Today)

Business story for Indian Country Today by Tania Casselle.

American Indians with a flair for business are invited to pick up their briefcases and head for Texas. Currently, only 0.5 percent of the nation’s students enrolled in Master of Business Administration (MBA) courses are American Indian, but a new initiative from The Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University in Dallas aims to boost those numbers.

Read the full Mastering the Business World story at Indian Country Today.