March 4, 2011

Melissa Cody: Weaving Street Art

I'm in Arizona now, gearing up for the 53rd Annual Heard Indian Market and I came across this article about awesome Navajo weaver Melissa Cody:

("The Edge of No Water" by Melissa Cody. Image courtesy of Melissa Cody)

Weaver Melissa Cody on Native Rugs, New Style, and the Heard's 53rd Annual Indian Market
By Jessica VanZalen

​This Saturday and Sunday, the Heard Museum will host it's 53rd Annual Guild Indian Fair and Market, which showcases modern and traditional forms of American Indian art and culture.

The event features work from more than 700 of the nation's upcoming and established artists who create one-of-a-kind jewelry, pottery, textiles, and more.

Flagstaff artist Melissa Cody, previous winner of the event's Conrad House Award, will be in attendance this year with her bright woven rugs.

Cody says participating at the Heard's events with her woven rugs is a family tradition and allows her to celebrate a passion she's had since grade school.

Now 27, Cody is more comfortable experimenting with new color and designs that she says pushes the definition of what "traditional" native art means.

With her youth and eye for design, Cody hopes to change stereotypes attached to the art of weaving. "There has always been a cliché about who Navajo weavers are," Cody says. "A lot of people think it's just elders who produce it."

("Dopamine Regression" by Melissa Cody. Image courtesy of Melissa Cody)

Cody bends traditional weaving aesthetics by using street art as an inspiration, which is demonstrated in both the bold palette and subject."I put more contemporary art into my work and because I'm so much younger, I can get away with it more," she says.

Cody has participated in the Heard's annual event since she was 18 and praises it as a unique venue to showcase all that is happening in the native art world by "bridging the gap between traditional and contemporary."

The market and fair is on March 5 and 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m at The Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave. in Phoenix. For more information, visit the Heard Museum website.