Miskwanakwad-quay (Red Cloud Woman)
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Born on the Hannahville Potawatomi Reservation in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Carol Babcock-Elder cannot remember a time when she didn't paint or draw. She was exposed to a variety of traditional art forms early in her life and eventually studied art at the Toledo Museum of Art. She holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from Northern Michigan University. A former curator of the Marquette County Historical Museum, Babcock-Elder now works full-time at her painting. She is a member and curator of the Oasis Fine Arts Gallery in Marquette, where she lives in a log cabin home on ten acres of woodlands. She remains firmly connected to and active within her Hannahville home reservation community.
Although Babcock-Elder acknowledges that she would probably be considered an "urban Indian," she states firmly that her spiritual beliefs and practices have always been traditional. Her paintings, usually executed on large canvases and sometimes on raw silk, incorporate stylized images drawn from her heritage. "My paintings are a composite impression of places I have imagined," she states. "They are expressions of feelings about nature's moods without being literal. I paint images in an abstract format, drawing from the natural and Native American world."
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