By Ramon Shiloh
I have been invited to contribute three colored pencil illustrated stories on archival atlas maps for Chris Morin of Raven Makes Gallery located in Sister’s Oregon (three hours southeast of Portland).
The gallery represents over thirty Indigenous Artists with
impressive growth trajectories over the next year. Chris is embarking on numerous scaled projects
representing Native creators from around the world. This initiative is titled “The Homelands
Collection” which focuses on illustrated stories on antique atlas, regional,
and territorial maps and was a revelation that came by accident. According to his
“On occasion during the past 30 years, some artists have used a
few antique maps rather than ledger paper, with these works occurring in the
spirit of contemporary ledger art. However, a show or exhibition featuring
antique maps as the singular medium has not occurred.
Last year’s pandemic caused many of us to come to a halt. As the
crisis unfolded, there wasn’t much we could do except restrict our activities.
Hunkered down, opportunities for more thorough reflection occurred. For the
owners of Raven Makes Gallery, a number of those moments concerned
contemplating the suddenly unforeseeable future of Native American art.
In early May 2020, while surfing the Internet as our gallery
stood closed by order of the Governor, we happened upon a fascinating 1860’s
map of the Upper Great Plains that identified several tribes. The thought
occurred, “Wouldn’t it be great if a ledger artist could make a work on this?”
With more time to reflect, the notion wasn’t pushed aside as it might normally
As a result, Chris has developed a profound collection of unique world maps, giving living Indigenous Artists a placeholder and platform to be seen and heard. Chris Morin and his wife, LaRita Chapman have lived in Chinle, Arizona and Alaska since 2016 and have developed lasting relationships with many Indigenous Artists, their families, and communities of people.
Their appreciation of First Nations Peoples’ awareness and deep cultural connections are represented with respect through Raven Makes Gallery. The space is intended to provide opportunities, support for Artists, as well as cultural, spiritual, and natural expressions.
To know more about Raven Makes Gallery and to see their extensive collection. Go to their Website