Dakota Mace is a Diné (Navajo) artist from Albuquerque, NM. She received her MFA and MA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, WI and her BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM. She is currently pursuing a second MFA in Textile Design in the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, WI. Her work speaks about the dialogue between traditional vs. fine art and the way that the western world continues to perceive Diné weaving’s as utilitarian objects and not works of art.
“I have approached this conversation by subtly introducing western forms of weaving in combination with Diné beliefs. By doing so, I am creating an entirely new concept that translate the language of Diné weaving’s through the understanding of the fine art world. This serves not only as a different approach of cultural reclamation and preservation but also the importance of the meanings of the motifs used in my weaving’s.”
As an artist she feels that in order to understand a cultural history you must do so through design. Dakota has focused on researching other artistic mediums that have a unique cultural narrative in relation to her own Diné culture. This includes Shibori dyeing, block-printing on textiles, digital weaving, quill-work and many other techniques. She continues to look to other cultures as forms of inspiration and teaching others about the importance of cultural appropriation in relation to Native American design.