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A Youngbird in the hand

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Looking for something other than the bombs bursting in air on July 4th this year? How about spending it at the corner of Locust and 18th at the Vulpes Bastille Studios with Jillian Youngbird.

Youngbird is an artist who creates drawings, sculptures and paintings that mold her Native American heritage with her Missouri upbringing. 6 Inches of Progress, a show in which Youngbird explores "my understanding and ideas about the world in which I live, by restructuring my experiences and cultural references" is on display at the Vulpes Bastille Studios beginning July 4th.

The works created by Youngbird show that much of her inspiration comes from the natural world. "Trees, rivers and animals are all very important for my motivation and content," says Youngbird. She is also greatly inspired by the Native American world and iconography, looking to "add to the cultural conversation." In an ideal setting, Youngbird would choose to create in a tree house-space atop a mountain looking out of a large window "with nothing but landscape as my view." Her current space has been made to come as close as she can by being surrounded by second floor windows and including pieces of the natural world such as feather and animal bones within her studio.

When asked what legacy Jillian Youngbird would like to leave, she centered it in her Native American heritage. Youngbird would like for her work "to help enrich Native American culture." She would like to see a separation between being a Native American artist and the Native American stereotype allowing for the artist to not be pigeon-holed into being expected to make items typically found in the American Southwest such as woven baskets and bead work. Another part of her legacy would be to "comment on the way in which we interact with the world, and question always whether what we are doing is helping the planet or hurting it."

6 Inches of Progress runs from July 4th through July 18th. Two opening receptions will be held with the first being on the 4th from 6:00pm - 9:00pm and the second on July 11th from 6:00pm - 9:00pm. See more of Jillian Youngbird and her creations on her blog and Facebook page.

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