Chataya Holy Singer

Featured:  November 9, 2023

Blackfoot Interdisciplinary Artist

  • Who are your influences?

    Inspirationally, our local Blackfoot artists such as Marjie and Star Crop Eared Wolf, John Chief Calf, Hali Heavy Shields, Faye Heavy Shields, Rudy Black Plume, Terrance Houle even artists from around the confederacy such as Adrian Stimson from Siksika, John Pepion from the Blackfeet community, and contemporary Indigenous artists, Rebecca Belmore, Wendy Red Star and so many more. I must credit a lot of my influences toward the community of local Indigenous artists whose talent often goes unrecognized within the academic institutions or mainstream art community. I’d like to also acknowledge our students here at the University whose creativity and art never ceases to amaze me. We truly have some incredible talent here on campus.
  • Describe your artistic style?

    As an interdisciplinary artist, my style has different forms, but the overall themes involve spirituality, identity, and the Blackfoot language using symbolism, bright colors, traditional mediums such as beading and sewing, photography and painting often combining and/or challenging these materials and concepts into one work. Sometimes, my previous works takes on inspiration for another project and will be re-purposed into another art piece.
  • In your free time, what do you like to do?

    I usually like to relax by watching tv, eating some good food and do some self-care. Leisurely, I like to read, go for walks, spend time with my loved ones, and I love to drive and listen to music while travelling far as I’m always up for an adventure.
  • What advice would you give aspiring artists?

    Document your work! Every step of the process. Even if it’s just an idea, always have the process recorded in some visual form. Save these pictures/records somewhere organized in a hard drive file. I cannot stress enough how strong organizational skills and record-keeping are vital in this field of work as down the road you will be asked to provide some documentation of your previous works in a form of a portfolio or CV. Having everything in one place is extremely important for grant-writing, award or residency applications for the future. It’s just overall a great skill for any kind of contract-work or if you’re going to create a website, blog or any type of online presence for people to contact you regarding any opportunities. Another follow-up advice for this, is it’s okay to not take up every opportunity that comes your way. Prioritize your time, energy and what’s possible to complete projects in a timely and efficient manner to build strong relationships with external partners. Having a contract outlining your abilities and limitations that clearly demonstrates your boundaries sets the tone for your work. Lastly, never underestimate your worth – be firm in your set rates and over time it will get easier to determine prices for your work and your time.