Published on January 26, 2014 by Amy
“Weaving was the core of my creative expression. Guided by ancient hands and echoes of voices recently passed, I manipulate materials. The pieces determine their own dimension and form. I offer only the hands, while others were the heart and soul of my work. Printmaking is the documentation of my life experience, and that which I remember of my ancestors. Now, at this stage of my life, I know if I keep telling our story, someone will remember and we will not be forgotten.” –Lois Chichinoff Thadei
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Lois is an Aleut enrolled in Sealaska. Born into the Tlingit and Haida community in Ketchikan she is part of the Lauth family by both adoption and her father’s marriage.
Creativity is part of her family’s everyday life. Her Grandmother, Sophie Chichinoff Ford Thadei was a skin sewer and weaver. Her father, Louis Thadei, Jr. (Aleut-Sealaska) embellished found objects. Her Aunt, Johanna Paddock Snyder (Aleut – Sealaska) was a skin sewer. Her sister Sharon Lauth Brown (Haida – Sealaska) is a weaver and skin sewer and her brother Fred Lauth (Haida – Sealaska) has always been a totem carver and 2 D artist.
As an artist, Lois is working in fiber, paper, metal, wood and glass.
Lois’ art is routinely exhibited in western tribal and mainstream galleries. Recent group shows include:
•Stonington Gallery, Seattle, WA
•U.S. Department of the Interior Indian Arts & Crafts Board Sioux Indian Museum, Rapid City, S.D.
•Office of the Secretariat, United Nations, New York City and the National Centres of Contemporary Art, Yekaterinburg, Moscow, Russian Federation.
An award winning artist, Lois teaches Aleut weaving to a group of apprentices in Bellingham and Olympia, Washington. The apprentices are moving forward, now showing their weaving in museums and galleries. They are teaching a new generation of weavers, Native and non-Native alike. Some of the new weavers are under the age of 8. All are committed to carrying Aleut weaving forward. While they are frequently displaying contemporary works and bright colors, the traditional weaving skills learned from Lois, are the bedrock of the new works. Last winter, her weavers began and finished over 100 new Aleut baskets – traditional grass and bold contemporary materials. She is pleased and very proud of them all.
Lois’ art has awards from many organizations, including:
•Washington State Governor’s Master/Apprentice Award
•First People’s Fund (Rapid City, SD) Community Spirit, Cultural Capital and Creative Fellowship awards
•Artist Trust, Seattle, WA GAP Award
•Washington State Historical Museum, Tacoma, WA. Native Spirit Art Show, Artist Choice for Adhering Most to Tradition; Second in Class for Traditional Works for a collaborative piece
•Northwest Native Art Show and Sale, Portland, OR Traditional Weaving Best in Class