Derek No-Sun Brown's family joins him for support at the signing celebration on January 26.
By ROSELYNN YAZZIE
FORT HALL — The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) hosted an honorary signing event with renowned Shoshone-Bannock artist Derek No-Sun Brown on Thursday, January 26.
Each year in honor of American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month in November, NRCS seeks Indigenous art to feature on the annual Heritage Month poster. Derek No-Sun Brown’s “Three Sisters” oil painting was selected for the 2022 AI/AN Heritage Month poster.
Curtis Elke, NRCS Idaho State Conservationist, thanked Brown for sharing his vision through his artwork and expressed his appreciation the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.
Brown talked about growing up in Fort Hall and was blessed to know the love of his grandparents and be submerged in the culture.
“It’s a strong hold here. We still hold on to our language, a lot of our beliefs and ceremonial ways,” he said, adding it was this strong foundation that made him who he is today.
Derek No-Sun Brown shows original "Three Sisters" oil painting.
He explained the “Three Sisters” painting represents corn, beans and squash to symbolize the agricultural practice. The women in the painting come from different areas. His inspiration in the way they’re sitting comes from an 1800s painting, which he took and reimagined by indigenizing them. He painted them looking out because they’re looking into the future.
“It’s a wonderful visual representation. It's good to see things like that as a human being. A lot of Native American people in their ways they see things as living things,” he explained.
He painted the women because they are the bringers of life.
“That’s what they're doing here, they’re sustaining the people,” he said.
NCRS's Curtis Elke and Sho-Ban tribal artist Derek No-Sun Brown.
Brown said that was his version of the essence of the painting, to capture the quiet, strength of women and to show them feeling good and blessed holding their bountiful harvest to give to the ones who need it.
Elke said the posters would go to every state in the nation, to all the NRCS and USDA offices and will be taken to outreach events.
“Derek No-Sun is going to be known nationwide with this and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes,” said Elke. “It’s a proud day.”
Brown signed the original painting and signed copies of the limited edition posters for those in attendance.
Brown gives a signed poster to tribal elder Velda Racehorse.
Derek No-Sun Brown is also the owner of War Medicine art and clothing company, for more information visit htttp://www.warmedicineempire.com