Jennie Kappenman
Traditional Materials + Media

Artist Statement:  My work is greatly inspired by the beauty of nature. The works that I am submitting consist of a birch bark quilled box, a velvet tobacco pouch, a floral beaded mirror and jingle dress. The birch bark was harvested in the forest located on the Leech Lake reservation in northern Minnesota. Birch is in dire need of reforestation to keep its legacy thriving. The velvet tobacco pouch represents the care we put into the first gift we were given as Anishinaabe people, asemaa. Using our sacred items was illegal up until 1978, my grandmother was 33 years old. My floral beaded mirror was created during the first year of the corona virus pandemic. Its title Waabandizo-izhitwaawin “Reflections of Ourselves” was created to allow audience members to view their reflections and pay homage to our ancestors and their journeys that made it possible for us to exist. The jingle dress was made for Women's Empowerment summit. The prayers sewn into this dress are for all womankind and our safety and wellness.


Artist Bio:  Jennie Kappenman is an enrolled member of the Red Lake band of Chippewa. She has been in close proximity to traditional arts her entire life. From kitchen table observation, community regalia making classes, and the passing of tobacco to learn beading techniques. Jennie has created pieces for permanent collections at the Science Museum of Minnesota, The Textile Centre in Leiden Netherlands, and private collections throughout the United States and Canada. Jennie is a 2021 Native America Artist in Residence at the Minnesota Historical Society.

See Jennie Kappenman's stunning pieces at:

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