Like her Dakota ancestors, fiber artist and poet Gwen Nell Westerman lives in southern Minnesota. Her roots are deep in the landscape of the tall grass prairie, and reveal themselves in her art and writing through the languages and traditions of her family. An enrolled member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota Oyate, she teaches at Minnesota State University in Mankato. Her award-winning quilts are part of many permanent collections.
More from Gwen:
To commemorate the bicentennial of Historic Fort Snelling in 2020, the Minnesota Historical Society is embarking on a major initiative to reintroduce this dramatic area to Minnesotans and history lovers worldwide. The site’s many stories — stories of American history told nowhere else — will be experienced in preserved historic buildings amid restored natural beauty. Gwen Westerman recently learned of an unexpected family connection to the fort. Dakota March photos courtesy of the Pioneer Press: Chris Cooper.
Ribbonwork artist Gwen Westerman shares her experiences as a Native American Artist-in-Residence (NAAIR) at the Minnesota Historical Society. NAAIR artists study collections items to better understand their respective art forms and then share their knowledge with the community.
Gwen Westerman reads selections including “School Days,” “Innocent Captives,” “Linear Process,” “This is All I am Going to Say,” “Journey,” and “Where the Buffalo Roam.”