Reuben Crow Feather is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation. The U.S. government gave his tribe the name Sioux, however they refer themselves as the Lakota Oyate. Akicita Tokaheya (First Warrior) is the Lakota name that he was honored with by his elders. The name First Warrior means so much to him and is a big name to fill. Their war today is to revitalize spirituality amongst the masses for the greater good of all of mankind. He believes we can do this through living a healthy, education-minded, drug-free lifestyle. Giving our youth a healthy model to strive for, he has been working in bringing spiritual awareness along with addiction prevention using nonwestern modalities. As a World Champion Traditional Dancer and Singer, he’s utilized his notoriety as a platform to educate our youth wherever and whenever. He has had the honor to perform and speak to many youth organizations, schools and Universities. Building bridges and breaking stereotypes is always one of his goals in order to educate our non-indigenous relatives to bring unity to the Human Race.
Irma Rodriguez is an artist from Oaxaca whose work began as a little girl. In her own words, "As long as I can remember I have been painting and creating alebrijes. When I was a little girl in Oaxaca, México I would go on long trips with my family to sell alebrijes in the market. I grew up with a sincere love and passion for the colors, design and beauty of the alebrije watching my parents and extended family create their own beautiful works of art. "
Since coming to the US her passion has grown as she launched her business Alebrijes Rodriguez full time to heal from the depression of working at a job that did not satisfy her creative spirit. She is a proud mother of two children and enjoys teaching the art of alebrije making. Creating alebrijes is then, not just an art rather a calling from the spiritual realm to transform endings into new beginnings.
Tattoo and Visual Artist
Lucero Vargas (Amanalli Lu) was born in Mexico City. Vargas migrated to Los Angeles, California at the age of 11. She then moved to Santa Rosa where she works as a Professional Tattoo Artist. Inspired by Mexican and Native American Culture, she employed a naïve folk art style to explore questions of identity, postcolonialism, gender, and race in American society. Art has transformed her life and has helped her heal her trauma. She hopes to use the same process to help young people. Vargas strongly believes art is one of the best activities for anyone to heal the body, mind and spirit.
Sculptural and Visual Artist
Martin Zuñiga was born in Mexico in 1967, the first of 11 siblings. His family moved to the U.S. in 1978, to Fresno. His parents worked in the fields, and as soon as he was old enough, he did, too. Though he was still learning the new language, he also translated the English-speaking world for his parents. His school counselors, not knowing how to deal with a dyslexic and artistic child in the small farming community of Caruthers, encouraged him to join the armed forces. Life was looking preordained and narrow. But he had a talent for art. After high school, he worked construction, learning skills that he would later apply to his art.
Edilia Mendez is a Sonoma County Chicana artist born and raised in Windsor, California with roots from Oaxaca from her maternal side and Leon Guanajuato from her paternal side. She graduated from Windsor High School and is currently doing Mural projects with the Raizes Collective. Edilia first became interested in art at a young age but recently started embracing it as a career. Edilia believes that art is a form of healing, of self-expression and a way to advocate for her community.