Great Lakes Girls
Arts of the Americas
On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, Beyond Borders and Boundaries, 20th and 21st Centuries
Teri Greeves created this piece by hand-sewing beads, Swarovski crystals, silver conchos, and spiny-oyster shell cabochons on a pair of high-heeled tennis shoes designed by Steve Madden. The inner panels are inspired by Great Lakes tribes’ floral designs. The outside panels depict contemporary jingle dress dancers swaying to the drumming during a powwow. Each woman depicted on the shoes wears full regalia, including a beaded dress, moccasins, and a belt with real silver conchos. Greeves’s detailed beadwork melds traditional technique with modern fashion in a lively contemporary tour de force.
Glass beads, bugle beads, Swarovski crystals, sterling silver stamped conchae, spiny oyster shell cabochons, canvas high-heeled sneakers
each: 11 1/2 x 9 x 3 in. (29.2 x 22.9 x 7.6 cm) (show scale)
Gift of Stanley J. Love, by exchange
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Teri Greeves (Kiowa, born 1970). Great Lakes Girls, 2008. Glass beads, bugle beads, Swarovski crystals, sterling silver stamped conchae, spiny oyster shell cabochons, canvas high-heeled sneakers, each: 11 1/2 x 9 x 3 in. (29.2 x 22.9 x 7.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Stanley J. Love, by exchange, 2009.1a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2009.1a-b_side1_PS2.jpg)
side, 2009.1a-b_side1_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
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The high heeled tennis shoes, size 6, used for the base are made by shoe designer Steve Madden. Then the artist, Teri Greeves, hand sews all the beads and original design elements onto the canvas base. The design is inspired by the Great Lakes tribes’ designs, as Teri's husband, furniture designer, Dennis Esquival, is Anishinabe and she wanted to do something that reflects his region. Floral motifs, in complimentary colors are on the inside panel of each shoe with a coral, spiny oyster shell cabochon forming the center of each flower. The outside panels depict contemporary jingle dress dancers swaying to the throbbing drums and singing that accompanies these popular dances performed during powwows. During these dances each woman competes not only in dance performance but in over-all quality and beauty of their dance regalia. Before the 1830s the jingles on these dresses would have been made from porcupine quills but this material changed sometime in the mid-1800s to commercially traded tobacco can lids, rolled into cones. When prolifically sewn on to the dresses every movement would make them jingle. Each woman depicted on these shoes wears full regalia, inclusive of beaded dress, moccasins, and a belt with real silver conchos. This detailed beadwork melds traditional technique with modern day commerce into a lively, fun and remarkable sense of contemporary aesthetics. The shoes can stand alone as aesthetic sculptural works or as examples of creative change over time.
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