Art Knows No Boundaries


Mallory Knox

In February, 2012 we received an email from Tammy Brown a/k/a “Mallory Knox” notifying us that a group of artists, collectively known as Art Knows No Boundaries, had voted online to auction their work for Lakota Children’s Enrichment (formerly, “Lakota Pine Ridge Children’s Enrichment Project (LPRCEP)”).
The Concept?
The artists set a minimum bid for each item auctioned, and every dollar raised over the minimum bid price would go to LCE. In order to participate, each artist was required to contribute at least one item as a 100% donation item (all proceeds from that one item would go to LCE). Thereby hangs a tale of how a group of artists raised over $2,700 for Lakota Children’s Enrichment in a two week period.
Sounds simple?
In concept, yes. In execution, however, Mallory Knox, the coordinator of this project, found herself with over 40 artists adding items to the auction while it was underway and as the word spread. Mallory collected payments, confirmed shipments, confirmed receipt of artwork and saw that everything ran smoothly as artists and bidders from all over the USA and Canada participated in the auction.
Why did she do this?

Mallory wanted to make a difference. What can we say other than thank you — for SO many reasons. Mallory’s example is inspirational, altruistic and a wonderful business model for the world.

As Mallory explains, it happened by accident, but what she created — Art Knows No Boundaries — is a social enterprise in its purest form and, hopefully, the way of the future for many businesses. Through this effort artists moved their inventory, showcased their talent, reached a different audience and — at the same time — agreed to share profits and/or donated all profits in order to help enrich the lives of children on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

We thank all of the artists who participated in this effort and we especially shout out a STANDING OVATION for Mallory Knox, who led the effort with good humor, patience and purpose. BRAVA to Mallory!Featured below are samplings of some of the works auctioned by the artists who participated in the auction. If you want a better look at any item, then just click on the photo and you will be able to view a larger version of the picture.

The stories of these artists and their generosity remind us that there are good people everywhere — some you already know and some you might not know…yet! We are honored that this collection of really good people found us!

Mallory Knox a/k/a/ Tammy Brown: An Accidental Visionary
Mallory is from Fort Frances Ontario but currently resides in Tillsonburg, She has been beading for about 4 years now and she sells her crafts at Create Beautiful Beads. In 2011, when Mallory learned of the crisis faced by the Attawapiskat First Nation in Canada, she felt the need to do something, but could not afford to send money. She possessed a large beaded piece that she had made, but she says, “it did not have a home.” Although Mallory had made the piece on a whim, she remembered a friend once told her that “you never make beadwork for no reason, sometimes it takes a while to find out the reason, but eventually you will figure it out.”

Wanting to do something constructive to help, Mallory decided to auction the beaded piece to raise enough money to purchase around 5 jackets to send to the Attawapiskat First Nation, but “the auction just took off!” Mallory’s large network of artist friends all felt the same way as she did — they wanted to help but were not financially able to do so — so they did what they know how to do — they made art!
The community of caring artists became known as Art Knows No Boundaries, a collection of native and non-native artists united to address the needs of others. After the successful completion of Mallory’s first online auction, the artists pretty much insisted that she run another, they discussed it online and they voted to support Lakota Children’s Enrichment, Inc.

Nathalie Bertin: Visual Artist Extraordinare

Chasse Nocturne by Nathalie Bertain

According to her website, “Nathalie Bertin originally hails from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. After working as a graphic designer for several years, Bertin began showing her art publicly in 2009. Bertin’s work is often described as luminescent, energetic, bold and colourful. She is also fond of strong shapes and textures. She recently began incorporating elements of her French and Algonquin heritage into her work, including beadwork, furs and other fiber objects, in an exploration of concepts based the Canadian fur trade and her role within it as a modern sustenance hunter.

In June 2010, Bertin was selected as an artist ambassador for the G20 Summit in Toronto, a volunteer position that garnered global media attention for Canadian artists from Muskoka. Her work can be found in collections of the Government of Manitoba, Government of Alberta, Métis Nation of Ontario, corporate organizations and private collectors across Canada, the US, Europe and Africa. She currently works from her home studio in Newmarket, ON and home-away-from-home in Muskoka, ON.” She maintains the Nathalie Bertin Website, which we urge you to explore!

She says of her participation in this auction: “We are often inundated with requests from the popular charities and don’t often get to know the smaller ones, like LPRCEP, who also make a positive difference in the lives of the people they touch. Without Mallory’s hard work, we wouldn’t have known about your important group. And without your hard work, the children of Pine Ridge would certainly be at a significant loss. You all deserve respect and recognition for all that you do.”

Brava to you, Nathalie, your work is AMAZING and we are honored that you chose to participate in this auction!

Jennifer Wilson: College Student
Jennifer is a 21 year old college student and single mother, who is studying History and Native American Studies. Jennifer is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians who grew up in Washington D.C., but moved to the Qualla Boundary after the death of her grandfather. Jennifer says: “I hope to use my education to form inter-tribal bonds, as well as educating people on the truth of who Native Americans were, and what really happened to us.” We hear you Jennifer and we support your goals; we are honored that you chose to support ours! Go Girl!
Dave Johnson: Chalkmaster Dave!

Chief Bull Bear was donated to the auction at 100% donation!Chief Bull Bear: 100% Donation!

sitting bull

Sitting Bull



Dave is a Toronto born artist who is known for his specialty in doing chalk art, hence the screen name “Chalkmaster Dave.” Dave’s unique art form has earned him awards and has taken him near and far for festivals and special events. Dave also does murals and paintings on canvas, walls and ceilings. (Hmmmm… we were thinking of painting the ceiling to our living room!) Dave does work for private clients, small shops and multi-national corporations, including: Pedigree; Disney; Coca Cola; Pepsi (did they know that you did work for Coke?); Trend Custom Tailors; Halifax International Busker Festival; Just for Laughs Festival; Singapore Street Festival; Norway’s PITT Festival; St. John’s Busker Festival; the City of Toronto; and clients of the New Jersey Devils. Dave donated the first picture featured as a 100% donation. The other pictures were not part of the auction, but Dave sent us the pictures, we love them and we hope you enjoy the browse. Dave also does work for private clients and does portraits. He can be reached through his Facebook Page, where he says that he is pretty amazing and that you should hire him. WE AGREE!

Sonny Spade: Painted for a Cause


Sonny is from Deer Lake Ontario and started painting only 2 years ago but wants to start painting full time. Sonny says he donated his painting because he felt it was going to a good cause. Thank you Sonny, your picture is beautiful and the lucky purchaser will have the benefit of your work and the children of Pine Ridge will, too! The word “tranquility” comes to mind when viewing your painting. You can contact Sonny through his Facebook Page

Melissa Zelenak: Clay Artist, Youth Instructor & Educator

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMelissa is from Northern Michigan, a member of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. She is a Psychology major at Central Michigan University and received her Early Childhood Education AAS from North Central Michigan College. Melissa also runs a business called,, which teaches children the process of construction, firing and decorating clay. Melissa has seen the confidence that working with clay gives children, has observed cognitive skills develop and improve — and, of course, this work has led to a lot of smiles!

Melissa’s primary goal as an artist is to create artwork that is spirited and even primitive at times. She prefers working with porcelain and is particularly interested in alternative firing methods like raku and pit firing. Also a photographer, Melissa’s work has been featured in Indian Country Today, national, state, tribal and hometown local publications. Melissa, you are amazing!

Marie EshkibokTrudeau (Misko-Kii-Shigo-Kwe): Passing Along the Jingle Dress Dance Tradition

IMG_1276Marie EshkibokTrudeau, Odawa, is a band member from the Wikwemikong Unceded First Nation, Wikwemikong, Ontario, Canada. She is a mother, grandmother and one of the Founding Members of the Wikwemikong Heritage Organization. Dancing as a Jingle Dress Dancer at many traditional pow wows across Canada and the United States as well as a Grandmother of the Jingle Dress Lodge in Wikwemikong, has allowed her to teach the teachings of the Jingle Dress. Marie is also a designer of Jingle Dresses and Jingle Cones.Marie received her Bachelor of Education Degree from Nipissing University and continues to teach cultural education through the ceremonial lodges in Wikwemikong. Along with her husband, Wilfred, she has 2 beautiful daughters and a grandson. Marie is also a carrier of a WWII Veterans Eagle Staff, which was passed down to her by her father, the late Robert E. Eshkibok. She is also an 12 year member of Branch 177, Little Current Veterans Ladies Auxiliary.Marie is also an accomplished contributor to various publications:

  • Voice of the Drum, “Circular Vision Through Native Eyes,” Kingfisher Publications, 2000, Brandon, Manitoba
  • Sacred Gift, “Residential Schools The Stolen Years,” University of Extension Press University of Saskatchewan, 1993
  • Wikwemikong Heritage Organization:7 Stages of Life – Nursery School to High School” (2006); and “Creation Story– Young Parents Curriculum” (2012)
Kathryn Tracy: Beadworker and Educator

Kathryn Tracy: Signature Beaded TurtleKathryn Tracy, a New England Native of Abenaki decent has been doing beadwork since her high school days. She attended the Franklin County Technical School in Turners Falls, Massachusetts, and then the University of South Dakota in Vermillion South Dakota, where in 2008 she obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Kathryn is a freelance artist, mother of two and is in the process of obtaining certification to teach K-12 Art in the State of South Dakota. Both of Kathryn’s children are enrolled members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and inspire her love for art. She is a long time supporter of the Oscar Howe Summer Art Institute, both as a student and an assistant.Kathryn also runs an online art site through Facebook called “Starboy Art” named after her son Wicahpi Hoksila (Starboy). One of her signature art pieces is a beaded turtle stuffed with sage and soft buffalo fur. Kathryn reports that some of her customers use the turtles for traditional use, storing a baby’s umbilical cord stump inside. Beautiful!

Rebecca G. Howie: Rediscovering the Red Road
Rebecca G. Howie: Beaded Needle Case

Rebecca is of Shawnee-Lenape heritage and maintains an Etsy Shop. She says of her journey and work: “So much has been lost, I am rediscovering the red road and the path back to my people of the Appalachian Mountains and Ohio Valley. Each piece is beaded from the heart and an experience of discovery for me. I hope that each work will bring happiness to another person, also.”

Rebecca, your work is beautiful and your heart shows!

Kathleen McIntyre: Beading and Rediscovering her Heritage – Inspirational

Kathleen’s story is set forth in the annexed clip from the April 2012 edition of Canadian Living Magazine. Kathleen was removed from her family at the Chippewas of the Thames reserve in southern Ontario at the age of 4 and, ultimately, found herself drawn back to her heritage and traditions. Kathleen’s work reflects her passion and was recently showcased at Fashion Week in Toronto. The necklace she is wearing in the picture in the magazine was one of the items she auctioned for LPRCEP. Kathleen is proud to see young people wearing her work and says “If they’re inspired, they’ll keep those traditions.” Kathleen, you inspire us!

Wendy Clem: Beads and Mirrors Lead the Way

Wendy Clem: Dance SetWendy Clem is part Cherokee and part Irish and English. She makes intricate beadwork, which she often combines with mirrors – and which she displays on Facebook as PowWow Boutique. Wendy works on these pieces with her husband, who engraves the backs of mirrors, and then repaints them so that the designs will “pop.” Wendy hopes that her use of mirrors and beads, with the modern twist of engraving, will encourage more people to return to the tradition of wearing mirrors. Featured is a dance set that Wendy auctioned for LPRCEP. Simply beautiful.

Diane Munton: Rising Dove
Diane Munton: Turtle Shell and Feather Rattle

Diane says she takes artistic inspiration and influences “from what I know, what resonates within me and finally, with what I love. Many of my pieces reflect the beauty and simplicity of the Native American culture as well as the Australian Aboriginal, and the Siberian cultures. I create these pieces of art for those who are not able to make them for themselves. To have my artwork find a new home is one of my greatest joys.” If you would like to see more of Diane’s work or learn more about her, please visit Diane says that “all who come in a good way are always welcome.” Diane, your work will always be a welcome addition to any collection!

Jessica Howe: The Beading Diva
Necklace, bracelet and earrings
Jessica grew up in Northfield, Massachusetts, and now lives in Florida. Jessica’s husband made the Navy his career and over the years they traveled to Puerto Rico, Ethiopia and other parts of the world. Jessica has 5 children, 8 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren — and two more due in Summer 2012.
Using the collection of resources on a site like Genealogy Bank, Jessica was able to discover her husband has native ancestry and Jessica and her youngest daughter were “adopted” by a Lakota woman who brought them into the circle and taught them to dance properly. Jessica dances women’s Southern Cloth style and her regalia is a Cherokee tear dress. Jessica and her daughter belong to a drum in Florida, (The Red Bird Jr.s), and they also belong to a group of dancers, (The Eagle Pipe Dancers).
Jessica does not ordinarily sell her jewelry — instead, she makes it for herself, her family and friends. She does, however, often donate some of her beautiful creations to charities. Jessica has been beading for about 5 years and also teaches some beading classes. She describes herself as a “beading nut” who is “hooked” on “the beading bug.” She meets weekly with a close circle of 9 ladies (who are similarly hooked on beading) and they call themselves “The Bead Divas.” Brava to our friendly star, Jessica the Beading Diva!
Mary Whisenhunt: 5 Items Donated!

Mary is a retired professional with a wonderful husband, three lovely children and a beautiful granddaughter who she spoils rotten! Mary has a deep love for all things Cowboy and Native American, as she comes from both worlds: her father was a champion rodeo Cowboy in the 1940’s; her maternal grandfather was Native American who was adopted by a family in Texas as a small child. Mary’s Grandfather lived with her family until his death and she remembers he always carried a medicine pouch, prayed, danced and sang in his native language.
Mary is a multifaced artist and, among other things, she loves to sew. She maintains an online Etsy store, Petite Boutique Of Paris. Among other talents, Mary is a seamstress and makes reproduction antique doll clothing which has been sold all over the world. Mary also does beading, makes jewelry, and other Native American inspired items. The photo below is a talking stick which she made from a very old grapevine.Mary Whisenhunt: Grandfather Spirit Stick

Anthony Matzke: Disabled Vet Makes Native Inspired Art
Anthony is a 48 year old disabled vet from Minnesota and a self-taught artist of Native American-style artwork and beadwork. Anthony maintains a website, Turtle Island Mandellas and Beadwork ( where you can see more of his work.
Tony Matzke: Red Jasper Snowflake Obsidian Choker
Debbie Lazaris: BeadLady61

Debbie is 51 yrs old and part Lakota, although her family is not enrolled. Debbie is a self taught beader and has been beading for over 17 years! She says it was a pleasure to participate in the auction and hopes that her work can make a difference for the children of Pine Ridge. Debbie sells her bead work at several places on the web:

designer:Debbie Lazaris of Deb’s visions

Online store website:
Artfire store
Rae Anne M. Simmons: Mixes it Up!

Rae Anne makes custom, unique handmade beadwork, clothing, jewelry and other accessories. Her artwork and accessories were a hit in the auction and brighten any location! Rae Anne maintains a and can be contacted by email for further information @

Beth Barnes: Mitakuye Oyasin
Beth is 36 years old and has lived in Wynne, Arkansas her whole life. She has been married to her “wonderful, supportive husband” for nearly 10 years, and has three stepchildren and three grandchildren. Beth loves history, reading, and travel and has a passion for animals; in fact, she has four precious dogs, all of which were rescues!
When Beth is not walking her dogs 🙂 she explores her passion for learning about and supporting Native cultures. All of Beth’s work is labeled “Native inspired,” as she is not a member of a federally recognized tribe, although both of her maternal grandparents had Native ancestry.
Beth likes to support efforts that highlight Native artwork, and those that help Native communities and causes. Beth sells some of her own handiwork at an Two Feathers Etsy Shop. She not only makes wonderful bracelets but all sorts of jewelry, so CHECK IT OUT! Her store is her business, so it would be extremely helpful if people could help her out and visit her store. Currently, she’s been thinking about using search engine optimization to help her get more website traffic. This would increase her brand awareness and help her to find new customers. She’s considering finding out more info on SEO before she uses it, but it’s always an option she could use to try and increase her sales. Hopefully, some of you reading this will support her business too!

It seems appropriate to feature this entry in closing, because the message is so important. MITAKUYE OYASIN, Lakota for “All My Relations” or “We Are All Related.”
Beth Barnes: Mitakuye Oyasin Bracelet (We Are All Related)
LEARN. CARE. ENGAGE. The children are the future!
The Lakota Children’s Team

To the remaining artists: It is not too late to be included in this post — just shoot us an email at with a photo of an item auctioned and a brief bio and we will add your work to this post. Share

One Comment on “Art Knows No Boundaries

  1. It was very uplifting to read about this project and hear how these artists created a great act of kindness along with absolutely beautiful work!

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