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Indigenous Artist Spotlight: Rue Frida

Updated: Jun 27, 2022

June is PRIDE month, and we are delighted and honored to spotlight the very talented, Rue Frida. Read on to learn more about her inspiration, artistic style, accomplishments and where you can go to support/purchase/commission her work!

Name: Rue Frida

Preferred pronouns: She/Her

Please introduce yourself:

I’m an Indigenous trans woman born and raised on Tongva Territory. I am committed to cultural organizing and creating space for Natives in academia through intertribal collaboration. I am a beadworker, artist, wife, and pug mom.

Q: What does being a member of the LGBTQ2S+ community mean to you?

A: Being a part of our larger community allows us to experience what our Queer and Trans ancestors were kept from because of colonization. I see everyone in our community today as an extension of their love and hope for a better future, and I think the labor of our Queer & Trans activists today is doing that, even our daringness to be ourselves is creating that space.

Q: How has it shaped your art?

A: In this way I think my art is meant to be expressed and seen. It may not be representative of all of society’s realms, but it tells stories that I want everyone to be able to hear and learn from.

Q: What is your favorite medium?

A: My favorite medium will always remain beadwork and embroidery, because each stitch is a story, a prayer, an extension of myself.

Q: Who/what inspires you, your art?

A: The fierceness of women in all of our facets and all of our abilities. Femininity and Courage.

Q: What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of?

A: I am extremely proud of the work that I have accomplished within my small community at Cal State Puvungna because of the work that I put in to be a better community member, critical, and prepared for life. I think building those relationships can mean so much more for education than just a degree or an award.

Q: 2022-2032 is the official Decade of Indigenous Languages, what is your relationship with language? How has it shaped you?

A: Language has been a very difficult concept for me because as a field language learning can be so colonial when traditionally it has always been passed down through speaking. There’s so many barriers to being able to speak my indigenous languages Hñöhñö and Hñähñü, but being affirmed in my identity and safe in my culture are what make it worth it.

Where can people buy your art/follow & support you?

@fridakhalifa and @fridakhalifabeads on instagram

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