Owashtanong -- The Grand River

Edward Riojas's avatar Edward Riojas

Owashtanong -- literally meaning "Far-flowing river" -- was the name given by native Americans to the river that makes its way through what is now Grand Rapids. This work is as much an homage to those early inhabitants -- the Odawa, Ojibwa and Potowatomi -- as it is an allegory of the Grand River itself. A native American figure dressed in traditional dress emerges from a primeval forest and dares to touch water that will flow westward. No photographs were copied for this work. What you see is the product of research, studio drawing, natural observation and artistic experience. Thousands of beads and elk teeth were painted in painstaking detail, as were countless blades of grass and a small variety of local fauna. Look closely, enjoy the visual textures and explore all that surrounds the graceful Owashtanong. Accurate dimensions for the piece are 65" wide by 110" tall, framed.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth: 1
  • Medium: Alkyd oil on wood
  • Width: 6
  • Year created: 2011
  • Height: 10