Remembering Artist Dee Sturgis

1960 – 2018

Artist Dee Sturgis

As a budding young artist growing up in Montana, Dee Sturgis fell in love with the Native people around her and dreamed of some day painting images of their culture and life ways. Then life took her away from her roots and she found herself raising her family far away in south-east Georgia. Like most people in Georgia, Dee had little knowledge of the generations of Native people who had populated that land before the Creek Indian Removal in 1830.

Then one day a local organization asked Dee if she would do some paintings depicting south Georgia’s Indian people for them. Dee’s response was, “What Indians?” So she did her research and her first painting of a Southeastern Native American, and thus began a whole new focus for Dee’s youthful dream.

Ghost Dancer, Wind Clan, Painting by Dee Sturgis

Ghost Dancer was most honored to be invited to share some of his ideas and create some artwork of his own to be included in a travelling Heritage Gathering Exhibit Dee and some of her friends put together to tell the story of the Creek Indian people of Georgia. Dee in turn honored Ghost in a couple of her paintings. This one tells his story as he might have looked 200 years ago, and recognizes him as a member of the Wind Clan. The painting features some of the animals he would have known and a trail marker tree so realistic people cannot believe it’s a painting.

All through these days,  Dee was already suffering from the illness that would take her life not long after. We thank Dee’s family for this opportunity to honor a great lady who left us too soon. Dee’s talent and determination contributed so much to the remembrance of a people, a way of life and brings honor to the many descendants of those who hid their identity to avoid the removal and have now reclaimed their heritage.

E.P.Dixon

Published by E.P.Dixon

I am an elder and a seeker. Many years ago I was given the honorary name, Sings Many Songs by a lifelong friend and leader of Creek, Shawnee, Cherokee, Métis descent. The name was a gift to honor my interest and prayers for his people and my work to help him restore and keep alive the rightful place of the Creek Peoples in the history and cultural fabric of the Southeastern homeland. I’m an outsider by nature, always looking through cracks in the fences of life, just trying to make sense of the world. Being an outsider can be lonely sometimes, but oh, what treasures can be found in most unexpected places. The name “Sings” began to take on a its purest meaning as I reached out for understanding and came to know some remarkable Native warriors hidden in a world of their own. As a writer and editor of sorts, my goal with Journeys of the Spirit is to give voice to two who have so enriched my life and my journey. My hope is more and more people will come to know, love, and understand these two kind and generous Native elders through their own stories, art, wisdom, knowledge, humor and insights into worlds few of us can even imagine as we follow their personal “Journeys of the Spirit.” I may also have a few worthwhile things to say from time to time, and I might even invite some other writers to share stories about their spiritual journeys.

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