Jackie L. Bread
This gracious artist’s honoring of her Blackfeet ancestors and consummate use of beads to ‘paint’ their portraits reflects her patience and passion for an extremely time-consuming and challenging art medium. She continues to challenge herself with every piece, and her use of a traditional form to create intricate, contemporary art has not gone unnoticed. After 15 years of showing at the prestigious Santa Fe Indian Market, she won Best in Show in 2013. A wool blanket with a stunning beaded border highlighting four beaded portraits of her ancestors now resides in the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian.
Like many Blackfeet women, Jackie has been beading all her life, and studied her grandmother’s pieces for guidance and inspiration. She attended the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe to study painting and printmaking, and this background is reflected in her meticulous use of color and shading with beads. Jackie has evolved with confidence, pushing traditional designs in complex, bigger, and more complicated directions. She does not show ceremonial items in her work, but shares motifs of lodges, tipis and most of all, the story of her Blackfeet people. Her family-centered life has allowed her children to become talented artists in their own right, and Jackie continues to teach classes to children at the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, Montana, where she resides.