My mother has always encouraged my artistic side and taught me most of what I know…Native art and beadwork have been a sort of bridge for my culture for me.
My name is Holly Doll, my Lakota name is Anpao Wiŋ (First Light Woman), and I'm an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. I am a co-founder/co-owner and current President of Native Artists United/Five Nations Art and am currently serving a term on the National Advisory Board for Racial Reconciliation with the Episcopal Church.
I've been working in the nonprofit field and with Indigenous art for over 10 years. Not only do I do this as a career, but I'm a part time artist as well. I enjoy beading, quilling, and painting with watercolors. My mother has always encouraged my artistic side and taught me most of what I know. She started me off by stringing beads when I was two years old, and my love for creating has grown ever since.
I grew up off the reservation so I always sort of felt a bit disconnected from my culture, as there were never really any services provided to Urban Native youth when I was growing up. Native art and beadwork have been a sort of bridge for my culture for me. I specialize in brick and peyote stitch, both are methods that are done using one bead a time. I am currently learning from my mother how to work with porcupine quills.
I started NAU with the help of Sacred Pipe Resource Center and my board members in December of 2017. The nonprofit foundation I was working with oversaw operation of Five Nations Art, and had expressed an interest to me in returning its ownership to Native hands. Once NAU was established with the state, we assumed ownership of Five Nations Art.
Since NAU is a cooperative, we’re encouraging a sense of solidarity and community among local Native artists. One of the main reasons why I do the work I do is because I'd like to create something that I didn't have growing up. I also enjoy encouraging artists to find the value in the work they do and to create a sustainable, reliable, long term outlet for them.