We acknowledge that we are situated on the unceded and ancestral homelands of the Muh-he-con-ne-ok, the Peoples of the Waters that Are Never Still.

We recognize that there is a history to this land that is older than we are and pay honor and respect to this history and to the Elders, past, present, and future.

A dark-haired person wearing a skirt and hold a violin performs onstage with green and red lights and a brick background, with silhouettes of people watching in the audience in the foreground

2022 Forge Project Fellow Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache) performing at Jupiter Nights, a collaboration between Forge Project and Basilica Hudson. Courtesy Thatcher Keats.

Two light-brown-skinned people with dark-brown short hair smiling. One is holding a microphone.

2021 Forge Project Fellows Chris T Cornelius (Oneida) and Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk Nation/Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians). Courtesy Thatcher Keats.

A light-brown-skinned person with brown hair and beard wearing glasses and a plaid shirt sitting in front a large photographic print with the words INDIAN LAND in the background

2021 Forge Project Fellow Brock Schreiber (Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans). Courtesy Thatcher Keats.

A light-brown-skinned person with dark-brown hair and glasses sitting at a desk with a laptop, notebook, and pencil

2021 Forge Project Fellow Jasmine Neosh (Menominee). Courtesy Thatcher Keats.



2022 Forge Project Fellowship

Forge Project is pleased to announce the six winners of the 2022 Forge Fellowship: Catherine Blackburn (Dene); Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache); Rainer Posselt (Stockbridge Munsee Band of Mohicans); Sara Siestreem (Hanis Coos of The Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians); Tania Willard (Secwepemc Nation); and Ilegvak, Peter Williams (Yup'ik).

“As we move into the second year of our Forge Fellowship, we’re thrilled to honor this incredible group of changemakers, whose practices champion those aims central to our mission at Forge,” said Executive Director Candice Hopkins (Carcross/Tagish First Nation). “This year’s Fellows represent the breadth and complexity of contemporary Native artistic practices, activism, and culture bearing.”

Forge Project’s 2022 cohort of six Indigenous individuals represents a broad diversity of cultural practices, participatory research, organizing models, and geographic contexts that honor Indigenous pasts as well as build Native futures. Each Forge Project Fellow will receive a total of $25,000 toward their practice and will have full access to the Forge Project site, libraries, and collection of contemporary art by Indigenous artists during a three-week fellowship at Forge. Fellows will have the opportunity to present their work at on-site events, as well as online via social media and live-streamed programs.

This year’s Fellows are a widely accomplished group working in a range of fields: 

Catherine Blackburn is an artist and jeweler, who uses personal narrative to speak back to colonial histories; Laura Ortman is an experimental musician and vocalist working with everything from the electric guitar and piano to the Apache violin; public and mental health worker Rainer Posselt, whose background in youth work and food-sovereignty initiatives inform explorations of historical trauma; the artistic and pedagogical visions of multi-disciplinary artist Sara Siestreem who combines painting, photography, printmaking, weaving, and large-scale installation with work in education and institutional reform; Tania Willard’s notions of the contemporary and traditional as applied to Indigenous art, probing intersections between Indigenous practices and land-based pedagogies; and culture bearer, artist, designer, and filmmaker Ilegvak, Peter Williams, whose hand-sewn works repurpose hide and skin from self-harvested traditional foods, bridging worlds of Indigenous art, fashion, and subsistence.

The Forge Project Fellowship 2022 applications were reviewed by a juried panel of six distinguished Native scholars, artists, writers, and former Fellows: Misty Cook, Sky Hopinka, Dr. Rose Miron, Dr. Jolene Rickard, Dr. Meranda Roberts, and Dr. Anton Treuer.

  • Catherine Blackburn

    Catherine Blackburn was born in Patuanak, Saskatchewan, of Dene and European ancestry and is a member of the English River First Nation. She is a multidisciplinary artist and jeweler, whose common themes address Canada's colonial past that are often prompted by personal narratives. Inspired by her late Setsuné’s (grandmother) incredible talent of garment making, hide-tanning, and adornment, her work grounds itself in the Indigenous feminine and is bound through the ancestral love that stitching suggests. Through stitchwork, she honors her cultural history, using these techniques and materials as “storiers” while challenging perspectives of contemporary Indigenous experience.

  • Laura Ortman

    A soloist musician, composer and vibrant collaborator, Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache) creates across multiple platforms, including recorded albums, live performances, and filmic and artistic soundtracks. She has collaborated with artists such as Tony Conrad, Jock Soto, Raven Chacon, Nanobah Becker, Okkyung Lee, Martin Bisi, Jeffrey Gibson, Caroline Monnet, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Martha Colburn, and In Defense of Memory. An inquisitive and exquisite violinist, Ortman is versed in Apache violin, piano, electric guitar, keyboards, and amplified violin, often sings through a megaphone, and is a producer of capacious field recordings.

    She has performed at The Whitney Museum of American Art and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, The Stone residency, The New Museum, imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, The Toronto Biennial, and the Centre Pompidou, Paris, among countless established and DIY venues in the US, Canada, and Europe. In 2008 Ortman founded the Coast Orchestra, an all-Native American orchestral ensemble that performed a live soundtrack to Edward Curtis’s film In the Land of the Head Hunters (1914), the first silent feature film to star an all-Native American cast. Ortman is the recipient of the 2022 United States Artists Fellowship, 2022 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists, 2020 Jerome@Camargo Residency in Cassis, France, 2017 Jerome Foundation Composer and Sound Artist Fellowship, 2016 Art Matters Grant, 2016 Native Arts and Culture Foundation Fellowship, 2015 IAIA’s Museum of Contemporary Native Arts Social Engagement Residency, 2014-15 Rauschenberg Residency, and 2010 Artist-in-Residence at Issue Project Room. She was also a participating artist in the 2019 Whitney Biennial. Ortman lives in Brooklyn, New York.

  • Rainer Posselt

    Rainer Posselt (Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians) has worked with Native youth, food-sovereignty initiatives, and currently works in public and mental health, including conducting various community needs assessments for the Menominee tribal epidemiology department and for the urban Indian community in Milwaukee. He designs and administers surveys, conducts focus groups, and examines epidemiological data to identify current mental health services needs for Native people in Milwaukee. Posselt's Master’s thesis will examine how historic trauma has affected the attachment patterns of Native American adults. This theoretical relationship has never been quantitatively examined with regards to Native American historical trauma. His study aims to elucidate some of the relationships between historical trauma and how it is transmitted by demonstrating that a high burden of historical trauma cognitions and related symptoms result in the development of anxiety or avoidant attachment within members of Indigenous communities.

  • Sara Siestreem

    Sara Siestreem (Hanis Coos) is a multi-disciplinary artist from the South Coast of Oregon, whose practice includes painting, photography, printmaking, weaving, and large-scale installation. Her work also branches into education and institutional reform. Siestreem created a weaving program for the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw people and teaches collegiate studio arts and theory at PNCA and MFA program at the Institute for American Indian Art.

    Her work has been exhibited at Museum of Northwest Art, Missoula Art Museum, Hallie Ford Museum, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, The Whatcom Museum of Arts, The University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History, the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, The Evergreen Longhouse, Spaceworks Gallery, Crossroads Carnegie Arts Center and many others. Her work figures in public and private collections internationally.

  • Tania Willard

    Tania Willard (Secwepemc Nation and settler heritage) works within the shifting ideas around contemporary and traditional as it relates to Indigenous art, often working with bodies of knowledge and skills that are conceptually linked to her interest in intersections between Indigenous and other cultures. Willard has worked as an artist in residence with Gallery Gachet in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, the Banff Centre's visual arts residencies, fiction and Trading Post, and as a curator in residence with grunt gallery and Kamloops Art Gallery. Willard’s curatorial work includes Beat Nation: Art Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture (2012-2014), co-curated with Kathleen Ritter, Vancouver Art Gallery (and national tour), featuring 27 contemporary Indigenous artists. Most recently she was one of a team of co-curators for Exposure: Native Art and Political Ecology at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe, NM (2021). In 2016 Willard received the Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art from the Hanatyshyn Foundation as well as a City of Vancouver Book Award for the catalogue for the exhibition, Unceded Territories: Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. Willard's ongoing collaborative project BUSH gallery, is a conceptual land-based gallery grounded in Indigenous knowledges and relational art practices. Willard is an Assistant Professor at University of British Columbia Okanagan in Syilx territories (Kelowna, BC).

  • Ilegvak, Peter Williams

    Ilegvak, Peter Williams (Yup’ik) is a culture bearer, artist, designer, filmmaker, and educator based in Sheet'ká (Sitka), Alaska. His hand-sewn works repurpose skin from self-harvested traditional foods, bridging worlds of Indigenous art, fashion, and subsistence. Ilegvak completed artist residencies at Santa Fe Art Institute and Institute of American Indian Arts, and has guest lectured and/or taught skin sewing at Yale University, Stanford University, UCLA, Portland Art Museum, and Alaska State Museum, among others. His art has been shown at museums and galleries across North America. His presentations at New York Fashion Week and Fashion Week Brooklyn in 2015 and 2016 led to profiles in The Guardian and The New York Times. He produced the documentary Harvest:Quyurciq, which received a Native Peoples Action project grant. In 2018-2020 Ilegvak became a Cultural Capital Fellow, a Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow, and received an Individual Artist Award Project Grant from Rasmuson Foundation. In 2021 he received an NDN Collective Radical Imagination Grant and, in 2022, United States Artists Fellowship. Ilegvak's professional and personal work is increasingly focused on climate change and its disproportionate effects on Indigenous peoples.

2021 Forge Project Fellowship

Forge Project's annual fellowship launched with a cohort of four individuals selected by Heather Bruegl (Oneida/Stockbridge-Munsee). In addition to direct financial support, fellows will make use of the Forge Project property to devote time to their practice. The inaugural Forge Project Fellows are Chris T Cornelius (Oneida), Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk Nation/Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians), Jasmine Neosh (Menominee), and Brock Schreiber (Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans).

  • Jasmine Neosh

    Jasmine Neosh (Menominee), is a writer, student researcher, and advocate for environmental justice, Indigenous sovereignty, climate change education and culturally-informed, place-based sustainability. She is currently working on a field guide to restore knowledge loss surrounding food systems and native plants.

  • Brock Schreiber

    Brock Schreiber is a member of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans. He’s a student and teacher of Mã’eekuneeweexthowãakun. He writes books for children to inspire their imaginations. When he's not trekking in the wilderness with his family, he’s fulfilling his responsibilities as a Tribal Council Member. He grew up on the Stockbridge-Munsee Reservation in rural Wisconsin, where he and his wife are now raising their beautiful children.

  • Sky Hopinka

    Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk Nation/Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians) was born and raised in Ferndale, Washington and spent a number of years in Palm Springs and Riverside, CA, Portland, OR, and Milwaukee, WI. In Portland he studied and taught chinuk wawa, a language indigenous to the Lower Columbia River Basin. His video, photo, and text work centers around personal positions of Indigenous homeland and landscape, designs of language as containers of culture expressed through personal, documentary, and non-fictional forms of media. He received his BA from Portland State University in Liberal Arts and his MFA in Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and teaches at Bard College.

    His work has played at various festivals including ImagineNATIVE Media + Arts Festival, Images, Wavelengths, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Sundance, and Projections. His work was a part of the 2016 Wisconsin Triennial and the 2017 Whitney Biennial and the 2018 FRONT Triennial. He was a guest curator at the 2019 Whitney Biennial and was a part of Cosmopolis #2 at the Centre Pompidou. He was awarded jury prizes at the Onion City Film Festival, the More with Less Award at the 2016 Images Festival, the Tom Berman Award for Most Promising Filmmaker at the 54th Ann Arbor Film Festival, the New Cinema Award at the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival and the Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowship for Individual Artists in the Emerging artist category for 2018. He was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University in 2018–2019 and Sundance Art of Nonfiction Fellow for 2019, and is a 2020 Guggenheim Fellow.

  • Chris Cornelius

    Chris Cornelius is a citizen of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is the founding principal of studio:indigenous, a design practice serving Indigenous clients. Cornelius was a collaborating designer with Antoine Predock on the Indian Community School of Milwaukee. Chris is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. Including the inaugural Miller Prize from Exhibit Columbus, a 2018 Architect’s Newspaper Best of Design Award, and an Artist residency from the National Museum of the American Indian. Chris has been exhibited widely including the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. Cornelius is the Spring 2021, Louis I. Kahn Visiting Assistant Professor at Yale University.