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LCO Artist’s beadwork to be displayed at Vatican

Minnesota artist Jessica Leigh Gokey is chosen to exhibit her Native American beadwork in the United States Embassy to the Holy See (Vatican) in Rome, Italy

The Management of Jessica Leigh Gokey, a Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Member, is proud to announce that Jessica has been chosen to display her piece “A Dance with Florals” as part of an exhibit at the United States Embassy to the Holy See (The Vatican) in Rome, Italy. This tremendous honor has been bestowed upon Jessica as part of the Art in Embassies program of the US Department of State. US Ambassador Joe Donnelly and Mrs. Donnelly chose Jessica’s work to be displayed in the Embassy in Rome for the duration of his tenure as US Ambassador to the Vatican.

Upon hearing the news, Jessica said, “I am incredibly honored to be a part of the Art in Embassies program. My goal while participating in this prestigious program is to show the world that traditional Native American arts should be viewed as fine art instead of craft or folk art. My people’s art forms take years to master and incredible discipline and skill; they should be acclaimed with mainstream art of today.”

“We are so excited for Jess as she is highly deserving of this honor, not only for herself but also for the Native American community as a whole as well as the entire country. She is an awesome representative for all American artists today”, said Robert Aiudi, Jessica’s representative.

Currently, Jessica’s piece “Native Food Table Accent” is on exhibit at the Minnesota

Historical Society, which acquired the piece as part of its permanent collection in 2015.

Jessica has been working as a traditional beadwork artist for over 10 years and is fast becoming an artist of renown, selling pieces to collectors and institutions. She combines her knowledge of Ojibwe traditions and skill as an artist to produce pieces that reflect the values of her people. Her work is on display on her website and is also available for purchase, both original pieces and high-quality prints.


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