Published August 8, 2015
PHILADELPHIA — Residents of Philadelphia will be treated tonight to the unveiling of an American Indian piece of art called, “Little Cheyenne Girl,” that will be projected on a building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“Little Cheyenne Girl” is the work of American Indian artist J. Nicole Nahmi-A-Piah (Hatfield), who is Comanche and Kiowa. Nahmi-A-Piah, 32, lives in Norman, Oklahoma.
The artwork was selected after a national call for artwork portraying the theme of Native American health.
J. NiCole Nahmi-A-Piah (Hatfield)
As proud as she is of her art being unveiled tonight in Philadelphia, she is as proud that she was given her American Indian name last year, Nahmi-A-Piah, which means “Little Sister’s Mother.” That name was her great-grandmother’s name.
A self taught artist who refers to painting as ‘her voice,’ Nahmi-A-Piah uses her preferred medium of acrylic to translate her bold colors to canvas. She attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, which transcended her art into a range of different mediums.
“Painting is a form of storytelling. It takes in our traditions, ceremonies and youth,” Nahmi-A-Piah told Native News Online in a telephone interview on Saturday morning. “We have been storytelling for thousands of years. It is a tradition.”
While art is not her full-time job, Nahmi-A-Piah gets off her regular job at a tribe and paints during her evenings. “Sometimes, I am up until midnight painting,” Nahm-A-Piah said.
To other American Indians and particularly to Native Youth, she says:
“Find your purpose and never let go of it. Remember your ancestors. Ura aho.”
Tonight’s unveiling is part of Kauffman & Associates, Inc. effort to bring focus to the healthcare needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Kauffman & Associates, Inc. is a Native-owned, woman-owned firm working to conduct outreach regarding the Affordable Care Act to American Indians and Alaska Natives living in urban areas. The goal is to encourage American Indians and Alaska Natives to sign up for healthcare coverage.
Twenty-eight percent of tribal people report poor health, compared with just 16 percent of the U.S. population. Even so, around 30 percent are uninsured. In Philadelphia, there are nearly 43,000 American Indian and Alaska Natives, 14 percent of whom are uninsured.
“Little Cheyenne Girl,” a painting by American Indian artist J. Nicole Nahmi-A-Piah (Hatfield), will be digitally projected for the first time on a building in Philadelphia, PA. The artwork was selected after a national call for artwork portraying the theme of Native American health.
The digital projection will be unveiled at 9 p.m. — EDT on Saturday, August 8, and visible in Philadelphia from 9 to 11:30 p.m. each evening from August 8 to 14.
The Warehouse at EBE in Philadelphia’s Center City
1030 North Delaware Avenue
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102