Inspired by his culture and the natural world, multimedia artist Dallin Maybee creates contemporary narratives using traditional media including beadwork, dance, and carving.
Dallin Maybee (Seneca and Northern Arapaho) is a multimedia artist working in a variety of forms, including dance, beadwork, oil painting, jewelry, illustration/ledger art, and carving. Inspired by his culture and the natural world around him, his traditional media carry contemporary narratives.
“Beadwork has been an art form in the Americas for generations. With the introduction of seed beads from Europe, the tiny glass beads were highly desired for their color, ease of use, and many ways in which they could be painstakingly embroidered onto Native smoked, brain-tanned leather. As our cultures evolved, we also suffered from other things introduced to our lands, with devastating impact: viruses and disease.
I used Czech gas masks as a base for their functionality and silhouette. I hand-stitched—often one or two seed beads at a time—‘florals’ made from viruses and bacteria that we have collectively been asked to endure: Smallpox, Black Plague, and the Coronavirus. The stems and vines are DNA strands—despite race or location, we all have suffered and our resilience and ability to overcome these pandemics are due to our collective efforts at survival. Science, knowledge, and the diminishment of ego must all come together to create a foundation for humanity and our survival.”
Maybee’s artistic journey began with learning various beadwork, leatherwork, and feather-work techniques in the construction of his outfits and regalia for Iroquois social dancing and intertribal powwow competitions. He is an accomplished Northern Traditional and hoop dancer.
He has won numerous awards including best-of-show at Santa Fe Indian Market and Cherokee Art Market. His art can be found in private collections and museums such as the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, the Autry Museum, the Heard Museum, and the Portland Art Museum. Maybee has a JD from the Sandra Day O’Conner College of Law and a BA in Philosophy from Utah Valley University.