Earth Day 2022 Artwork by Alyssia Scott

Each year, The Environmental Center partners with a Central Oregon artist to bring to life their vision of what Earth Day represents. This year, we partnered with Alyssia Scott, a seventeen-year-old artist and Warm Springs tribal member.

Here’s a little more about Alyssia and this special piece of art.

I specialize in plenty of mediums and practice new skills almost always. The mediums include (but are not limited to): Acrylic painting, sketching, digital art. My most inspired themes almost always come with an indigenous flare, based on the experiences of the Native people, past and present. My main goal with my art is to make something meaningful or to create something that can make anybody feel seen. I’ve done community work in Warm Springs, Oregon by making and assisting with murals.

My art is something very personal to me and I want my art to be able to be personal to others as well. I like to specialize in a large amount of mediums so my work has the ability to be diverse and interchangeable. Even to be able to mix mediums and create something different from what I’m used to. I’m always looking for new ideas and experiences to further my skills and future work in art.

This particular piece was thought of rather quickly though it was difficult to execute. I’ve had to change and move things almost constantly and try to create depth in the art. But it’s something I thought of immediately when I heard ‘earth day.’ I’ve always seen most Native cultures to be more connected to their surroundings and life. I thought of a way to symbolize the animals in the photo. There’s more than one way to interpret it, It’s not meant to be difficult to analyze. But to me, it means that you can’t erase the Native culture; it means that we’re still here and that we will continue to occupy the land and thrive here.

Who else could’ve appreciated Earth more than those whose culture was based on it? The girl in the photo is in a cultural dance dress that dancers will wear during spiritual events. I’ve found the animals included all have a special meaning. Especially the buffalo. I don’t like to put labels on my art, I’ve already said what it meant to me but I don’t want to terminate any other meanings anyone could draw from it. But I also don’t want it to stray from the fact that it is an indigenous based artwork.

A lot of my art is rooted in the past, it’s not about holding on to it; but acknowledging it. I don’t think we should move on from something so terrible, not in a way that’ll erase the lives and culture lost. My indigenous art is rooted in power and peace.