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Sioux Indian Museum, Rapid City, South Dakota

Previous Exhibition:

Tactile Memories by Jessie Knight Palczewski

Traditionally women have made quilts as functional objects that can be passed down from generation to generation, as well as objects of gifts for graduations, memorials, or to honor a particular person. This personal attraction to quilts, led Palczewski to investigate the feminine ritual through a different lens while exploring her inner self.

Palczewski began experimenting with creating quilts and wall hangings from paper during her last year while attending the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota where she earned her Masters of Fine Arts degree in 2006. Interested in symbolic importance that is placed on American Indian quilts, she began to illustrate important moments in her life. The stories that lie within the quilts are communicated through personal narrative that explains the internal purpose of the quilt’s existence.

Paper makes the quilts completely non-functional objects, but functional as a communicator of emotion. The quilts illustrate new beginnings, which parallel her American Indian heritage where the primary inspiration for quilts is the transcendence of life. While holding on to the tradition of fine art she explores the sentimental qualities that exist in the craft of quilting. Consequently, she decided to investigate the idea further by using an unlikely material thus communicating a level of fragility that relates to her feelings by drawing upon the transparent-look of paper. This allows her to work within the areas of painting and printmaking, and appliqué which give a three dimensional and sculptural quality.

Palczewski, an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the Black Hills State University, Spearfish, SD in 2003, and Masters of Fine Arts degree from the University of North Dakota in 2006. She has exhibited her work in group exhibitions from 2001-2006 in South Dakota, North Dakota, and was a part of a group show in Oradea, Romania in 2005, and has been the recipient for many honors and awards.

The Sioux Indian Museum, managed by the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, U.S. Department of the Interior, is located in the Journey Museum at 222 New York Street, Rapid City, South Dakota. For admission fees and hours of operation call 605-394-6923. For more information on the artist featured on this page, please contact Sioux Indian Museum SIM@journeymuseum.org.

Jessie Knight Palczewski

Jessie Knight Palczewski

Jessie Knight Palczewski

Jessie Knight Palczewski

Jessie Knight Palczewski



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- Sioux Indian Museum

- Museum of the Plains Indian

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Indian Arts and Crafts Board
U.S. Department of Interior
1849 C. Street, N.W.
MS 2528-MIB
Washington, DC 20240
Telephone: (202) 208-3773
Toll Free: (888) ART-FAKE
Fax: (202) 208-5196
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Director: Meridith Z. Stanton