multidisciplinary visual artist
my practice traverses traditional Indigenous knowledge systems. Questions I investigate are: how Indigenous knowledge systems connect our identity, culture, life practice to our surroundings? within these investigations I pose questions of our continuous cultural evolvement through material-reality.
is at the forefront of these investigations. connecting me to my past, helping me find meaning in my presence as I look towards the future generations. I create art through these traditional art practices, thru meditation and spiritual material imbuement of my art, this brings me a sense of bringing power back into my own being.
Interweaving these various types of crafts I want to create a new visual language. A language which preserves tradition and creates a discourse, which is for people question their own preconceptions of native american art & craft.
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 futurism. Past/Presence/Future is ongoing work in which Cliff creates new forms of regalia by applying Beadwork & sewing applique which are forms that 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. 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. Mona has recently been awarded and concluded a year long public art grant through Art Place America and the Lawrence Arts Center in which she focused on community public art. her public art focused on bringing visibility to the local Indigenous community. through art & celebration of Native American culture and community.
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 10, 11& 13 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