Jamie Zane Smith

Courtois, Missouri
Craft, Ecological Art

Ngya’awish Daomentsa or Turtle Earth re-imagines a reciprocal cycle that engages sustainability in arts production and forest interaction. The program builds reciprocal relationships with the environment that can sustain culture for generations to come, utilizing ecological design along with ancestral imagery and cultural research to sustain indigenous culture. The process involves drafting and implementing permaculture land use designs that focus on reestablishing native plantings and life-ways, culminating in an exhibition of sculptural clay vessels and a group of large format images. An off-grid studio will be constructed, finished with a solar power system and walls made from natural materials from the forest, to house an apprentice program for knowledge sharing. The physical and spatial design of the land will be distilled down in symbols and visualized on the surface of the Wendat pottery vessels. Implementation of the program strengthens the solidarity of Wyandot cultural arts, demonstrating indigenous sensibilities to the local community and promoting a reciprocal relationship with the land.

Jamie Zane Smith is a Wyandot ceramic artist who lives in the Missouri Ozarks. His building style explores the language of symbol and design as expressed through surface textures. The imagery he references are from traditional sources. His research and practice deepen his relationship to his own indigenous heritage. Jamie lives with his wife and three daughters in a historic schoolhouse building converted into a cabin. He is currently building a cob house and pottery studio. While the majority of his work is in native, slip painted terra-cotta, he is currently building a cross-draft wood-fired kiln.