The Mosaic Gallery is an ongoing collaborative exhibit space that features a rotation of displays featuring the artistic talents of Seminole Tribal members of all ages including students from the Tribal schools, or work from artists closely associated with the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
Open through January 12th, 2020
Photography by: Drew Osceola
with curation by: Lorelei Matthews
Biography: Lorelei Matthews, Curator and Project Coordinator
Lorelei Matthews enjoyed her childhood on the Big Cypress reservation surrounded by friends, family, and nature. She has always pursued her interests in the arts, whether it be acting, analog photography, painting, or ceramics. She has won multiple awards for both her contemporary and traditional pieces. In 2010 she was crowned Jr. Miss Florida Seminole. When the time came to run Miss Seminole, she had already fallen in love with tattoos and was not exactly pageant material any more. Her current endeavor is creating one of a kind native crafts for her new business Piercing Eyes Designs.
Biography: Drew Osceola, Photographer
Drew Osceola (Panther Clan) graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Digital photography from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in 2018, and is a classically trained portrait photographer. As a student, Drew was required to curate an exhibit of his peers’ works of art. Today, Drew is an accomplished Freelance photographer who specializes in portraits, events, and weddings. It is Drew’s goal to capture the expressive nature of his models. Though Drew has exhibited his work once before, this is his first body of work to be exhibited in the Tribe’s museum.
About the Project: Skin Deep, Contrasts in Seminole Culture
As the Seminole tattoo project developed, it was very important to Lorelei Matthews that every aspect was reflective of the many talents of Seminole Tribe of Florida’s members. Everyone who participated in the exhibit’s development is an enrolled tribal member. Their combined efforts have made the exhibit a success. This included the energies of Lorelei Matthew’s art direction, the lens of Drew Osceola (Panther Clan), the openness of the eight models, right down to the make-up skills of Shelli Mae Osceola (Bear Clan). Each model’s tattoos are a matter of self-expression, but together the women and the project represent the varying contrasts of modern Seminole woman. Their occupations differ. Some have chosen to pursue their educational goals, are employed in travel, or the world of online gaming. Others are rooted in traditional Seminole ways, applying their talents to create Seminole patchwork clothing or beadwork. Motherhood remains an affirmation of the traditional cultural values and responsibilities shared by many of these Seminole women.
This exhibit is also an expression of the multi-cultural diversity of the Tribe today. Whether dressed mixing a traditional patchwork skirt with modern blouse or dressed in modern eveningwear and baring their tattoos, these eight women confidently identify as Seminole.
As a matrilineal-based society, family is at the center of the Seminole culture. The making of this project was not an exception. As Lorelei Matthew describes, “we brought our kids, it was like one giant family reunion.” As the photographer and the only Seminole male present, it was important to Drew the models felt comfortable. Drew wanted each woman’s overall experience to be one “that was fun and made her feel good.”
The intense contrasts of black and white photography, combined with strong compositions are nuanced, and bold, seemingly revealing the natural expression of each of his models.