Mona Cliff is a multidisciplinary indigenous visual artist, she explores the subject of contemporary Native American identity and culture through her use of traditional Native crafting methods such as seed bead embroidery and fabric applique. Mona has embarked on a new series of regalia which explores the concept of native futurisms by creating “tech regalia”. Beadwork & sewing applique have been a primary foundation of her artist practice.
Mona acquired a B.F.A in Printmaking from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA. After graduating Mona pursued beadwork as a way to Re-indigenize her art practice after a European based art education. She learned bead embroidery and sewing from her grandmother and continued creating regalia for ceremonial purposes for the past 20 years. Honoring native culture, She has continued to work on her art combining contemporary subject matters with indigenous methods of crafting. Her art also focuses on how traditional arts are passed down between generations of women, thus influencing culture.
Mona pursues the concepts of generational knowledge while exploring other topics such as native futurism and identity. Her beadwork is included in the traveling exhibit The World of Frida, exhibited in the U.S for the next 3 years. Her recent work of a beaded QR code was included in an exhibit at the Abrons Art Center in NYC. Her work was at the renowned Santa Fe art show in NM. Mona art was selected for an art exhibit and awarded travel to Cape Town, South Africa. Mona has recently been awarded a public art grant through Art Place America and the Lawrence Arts Center in which she will focus on community public art. The grant comprises murals developed with Native American students of Lawrence, KS. The mural will have elements of traditional native regalia overlayed with botanical renderings of indigenous fruits of the Kansas area. She will also be planting indigenous fruiting trees such as Paw-Paw and persimmon trees that will take place spring 2020.
Mona Cliff was born in Prescott, AZ and raised partially in Portland, OR. She then lived with her father & brother for 10 years in Eastern Washington . Mona is married and has 3 children ages 9, 10& 12 years old. She currently resides in Lawrence, Kansas. Mona is an enrolled member of the Gros Ventre tribe (A'aninin/Nakota Nations) of Ft. Belknap, MT