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03/01/2023 with Liz Wallace

Nativescape interviews artist Liz Wallace ((Navajo/Washoe/Nisenan Maidu) who is in a new Wheelwright Museum exhibition called, California Stars: Huivaniūs Pütsiv opening February 11, 2023 through January 14, 2024. Exploring the impact of multiple generations of First California artists, Huivaniūs Pütsiv loosely translates from Chemehuevi as “stars with us or around us.” California Stars: Huivaniūs Pütsiv highlights those landmark First Californian artists whose work across varied media combines to speak about personal experiences, mythology and traditions and speak to questions of resilience, identity, and social justice. With iconic works from the Wheelwright’s permanent collection and important loans and pieces not previously seen beyond the artists’ studios, California Stars gives insight into the work of stellar artists who have influenced the Native American contemporary art field for more than six decades.

Liz Wallace began working in jewelry in the later part of the 1990s while living and working in Santa Fe. As a child of successful jewelers, she was nurtured by her family’s artistic environment, watching her parents’ working styles and linking creatively to her grandmother. Wallace’s jewelry is inspired by the natural world and expressed in her multiple representations of butterflies, katydids, dragonflies, and spiders. Her mastery of jewelry techniques ranges from blacksmithing to the delicate plique-à-jour. Plique-à-jour is an exacting enameling technique where a metal armature is filled with vitreous colors. It is a signature technique of Art Nouveau and Art Deco jewelry, found in the work of the French master René Lalique.

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