Wicanhpi Iyotan Win (Autumn Cavender)


May 12 – June 17, 2022

SMAC Gallery

509 W Main Street, Marshall, MN 56258
(Mailing address: PO Box 55)


Regular office hours are:
Monday-Friday 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm


If you would like to schedule a private viewing or coordinate a visit outside regular office hours, please contact us via email at: info@swmnarts.org

Wowicakekage: Dakota Art Encoded

Wowicakekage is a travelling exhibit of Wicanhpi Iyotan Win (Autumn Cavender)’s exploration and experimental applications of digital and generative art practices within a Dakota context. This exhibit highlights just one of the generative processes that Autumn has explored and developed.

Much of Autumn’s practice is rooted in an exploration of traditional Dakota artistic methodology, much of which centers around quillwork as a method of record-keeping and encoding through design. Traditional designs depict and encode cosmological concepts, personal events, and connections to land and ancestors.
Using this quillworking philosophy, Autumn explores innovative ways to generate Dakota geometrics and designs, encoding data into design. This exhibit highlights her process of “generative quillwork” as both a digital and ancestral technology.
At its most basic, generative quillwork is a culturally specific way of visualizing sound. From the perspective and principles of Dakota aesthetics, it is a way of depicting how the sounds of songs and stories reverberate through space and a Dakota sense of direction and design. And as a quillworking methodology, it is a way of encoding words, songs, and stories into color schemes, patterns, and designs.

Wicanhpi Iyotan Win (Autumn Cavender) is Wahpetunwan Dakota and a midwife from Pezihutazizi K’api Makoca (Upper Sioux Community). A natural-born book nerd with no sense of design or aesthetics or much interest in art, her older cousins considered her a hopeless case when it came to teaching her beadwork.
Knowing the importance of the cultural items surrounding new babies, it was during the pregnancy of her first child that Autumn south out her cousins and teachers in her community to prepare these items, among them Marisa Anywaush, Joyce LaBatte, Erin Griffin, Randilynn Boucher, and her quillworker mentors David and Merna Lewis.
Through her apprenticeships, and ongoing study and training, Autumn is finding new ways to see, visualize and encode designs using traditional Dakota aesthetic and design processes. Her current practice explores quillwork Dakota methodology and its applications through ancestral, digital, and generative technologies.
Her “generative quillwork” has been featured most recently in exhibits at Art Basel-Miami, Miami Art Week, and SXSW, and her work has featured internationally in exhibits on a range of topics including Indigenous motherhood, the art of gender and sexuality, and showcases of innovative digital and generative art.

Cavender has received two Artist Equity Grants from SMAC in 2020 & 2021.

© 2024 Southwest Minnesota Arts Council. All Rights Reserved.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. ACCEPT READ MORE

Privacy & Cookies Policy
Skip to content