Bright, colorful paintings and sacred totems by Rose Powhatan, a local artist whose roots run deep in this capital city, are on display through the holidays in a little gallery on R Street NW, the first solo show by a native Powhatan Indian, according to the gallery's curator.
She is the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-granddaughter
She wears silver bracelets and earrings crafted by Indians and ties her long, black hair back from her face
And her works on display at Fondo del Sol gallery are infused with the stories of her people, focused on th
For she is a proud member of the Pamunkey tribe of the Powhatan Confederacy, a people who, according to leg
The confederacy was formed from 32 tribes in the late 16th century by the father of Pocahontas. Its territo
Rose Powhatan is the product of an extended family of 29 artists and musicians, including her mother, who i
From traditional Powhatan art, she took the use of clean decorative lines and flat color, without naturalis
"Vivid colors denote the spiritual," she said.
Her images come from dreams, clearly and without the need for sketches, she said. The method got her in tro
Having grown up in the District, she is quick to remind you that the city is on Powhatan land. Although som
"This is my home. My people have been here for 12,000 years," she said.
Injured in a car accident five years ago and unable to use her right hand for several months, Powhatan made
This is her first exhibition since the accident, although the totems stood at the Vienna Metro Station for
"My ancestors lived there. It was good to have the Indian presence visible again."
Powhatan, who teaches art at Eastern High School, has become the family historian and is working with a gra
Her art, she said, is designed to develop her people's self-awareness and to carry on their traditions: On
The show at Fondo del Sol, 2112 R St. NW, continues through Jan. 26. The gallery is open from noon to 5:30