Profile: Natalie Ball (1980-)

Natalie Ball is a Klamath/Modoc interdisciplinary artist based in Chiloquin, Oregon.

Background

Born in Portland, Oregon, Ball is enrolled in the Klamath Tribes. She is also of African-American, Modoc, and Anglo-American descent. Ball is a descendant of Kientpaush, also known as Captain Jack (1837–1873), the chief who led the Modocs to fight the United States in the 1872 Modoc War. Her grandfather was a painter, and her aunt Peggy Ball, was a quiltmaker. Her family moved from Klamath lands to Portland, Oregon, after the Klamath Termination Act was passed in 1954. Ball has a daughter, Lofanitani Aisea.Ball earned her bachelor’s degree in art and ethnic studies from the University of Oregon, and her master’s degree in Maori Visual Arts from Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand. She earned her MFA from Yale University School of Art in painting and printmaking in 2018.

Artwork

Ball’s art practice includes installation art, performance art, mixed-media textile art, sculpture,  painting, and printmaking. Her textiles often combine stitched words with quilts and dolls that draw upon Modoc and Klamath history.

The artist writes that she “examines internal and external discourses that shape Indian identity.”

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