So far during National American Indian Heritage month we have shared blog posts about native authors and books to read, as well as a couple of musician bios and our new Spotify playlist of indigenous music. Now we are excited to delve into the art world with a couple of bios of artists we love. If you have been into our restaurants, you may have noticed the various art we are proud to hang and share. From the varied, community-driven sticker collection on our soda machines, to the fine art and art prints on our walls, we love showcasing contemporary artists and introducing guests to art that we enjoy. And don’t worry, after National American Indian Heritage month is over we plan to continue adding more bios and keeping this great conversation going.
We will start this one off with Steven Paul Judd, who is a very talented artist whose work you have definitely seen if you’ve been into either of our restaurants in the past two years. We have several of his fun and slightly subversive prints up on the walls in both of our locations. We are particularly fond of his native take on popular childhood literature and pop-culture, like the Fox in Mocs (by “Dr. Sioux”) and Indian Minions prints that get a lot of laughs in the shop. Here is a bit more about Judd.
Steven Paul Judd
Pop art like that of Steven Paul Judd has been, well, popular, for decades now. However, it never was given a native twist until Judd began making his art into beautiful and satirical prints, t-shirts and stickers. Judd is Kiowa-Choctaw and was born in Oklahoma and grew up on the reservation in Mississippi. He takes popular culture and infuses it with native imagery, showing how some of our most iconic characters and images have “borrowed” from indigenous culture. Take, for example, his juxtaposition of Princess Leia and her iconic side buns with images of traditional Hopi women who have been wearing the hairstyle for centuries. His art combines wit and humor to make people think about representation.
Judd also has a clothing company, The NTVS, which takes his art and makes it wearable. Limited edition t-shirt designs often sell out very quickly, so if you’re interested in snagging one, we suggest getting on the mailing list. The company is made up of natives from several tribes, and is a great way to support native owned business and sporting stylish clothes while you’re at it!
Kristina Bad Hand
Kristina is a local Colorado artist and Lakota/Cherokee woman who we are excited to feature here. She’s not only a very talented and multi-faceted artist, but she was actually a part of the Tocabe crew for a time. We are proud to have had Kristina on our team, along with the many talented and interesting people we’ve been able to work with over the years.
Kristina is a comic creator and has been very involved in publishing and bringing native and indigenous stories to life. Her own comic book, Kaui, A Tale of Beauty and the Beast, is a beautiful retelling of the classic fairy tale with a Polynesian indigenous twist. Bad Hand is the Chief Creative Director of ayA Studios, a small media and publishing company here in Denver. Thanks to Kristina, we have had a chance to participate as a host to kick off native events for Denver’s Comic Con, (now the Denver Pop Culture Con). We look forward to continuing to watch her career and work take off!