By Stephen Kloosterman
“Growing up on the rez, there were a lot of strong women in leadership positions and so on,” Quigno, a member of the Anishinaabe Native American tribe, said of life on an Indian reservation. “My mother was one of those. I didn’t ever want to go to a sculpture class, but she made me go.”
“I made it for women of all ethnicities, to honor them,” he said.
This sculpture is reminiscent of Allan Houser's work. To me, it's much superior to statues such as Oh Great Spirit or Black Hawk.
Obviously, it doesn't present a standard Native woman with the usual stereotypes. Rather, the curving lines suggest the idea of flowing. This sense of fluidity and cyclicity--forces flowing in circles, connecting things--is central to the traditional Native worldview.
For more examples of good Native sculptures, see Cherokee Nation Unveils Resurgence Statue and Tonantzin Recognizes Trail of Death.
Below: "The Brooks family arranged for stone sculptor Jason Quigno to exhibit his sculpture Zoondige-Kwe: Strong Hearted Woman on Eighth Street across from Citizens Bank." (Stephen Kloosterman/The Holland Sentinel)