Growing up in her mother’s trading post on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, Teri Greeves—whose father was a sculptor and whose family tree includes the renowned Kiowa artist Silver Horn—absorbed a deep knowledge of a full range of Native American art forms. She was especially drawn to the intricate beadwork of various tribal traditions. By the age of eight, Greeves was beading her own works (under the tutelage of her grandmother) and selling them to pay for her materials.
Blending the abstract, geometric tradition of Kiowa beadwork with the more pictorial style of the Shoshone, Greeves has developed her own visual language. She stitches beaded imagery to two- dimensional surfaces (as “paintings”) and to everyday objects from the non-Native world. On the outer sides of a pair of high-heeled shoes, Greeves beaded the images of two contemporary Kiowa women in ceremonial clothing. On the inner sides, abstract patterns appear, symbolizing the inspiration these Native designs provided for modernist abstraction in American art—an influence rarely acknowledged in art history.