Gonzales uses art to raise funds for local organizations
Cherokee Nation citizen and artist Keli Gonzales paints a mural on the side of a building. Gonzales has been raising funds via an online apparel company. The photo was taken as part of an upcoming season 6 episode of OsiyoTV. COURTESY
Shown is the front of Cherokee Nation citizen and artist Keli Gonzales’ T-shirt, which was designed to raise money for the Cherokee Children’s Home in North Carolina. COURTESY
Shown is the back display for Gonzales’ T-shirt. The design depicts Cherokee social stickball. COURTESY
TAHLEQUAH – While many businesses and organizations shut down early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Cherokee Nation citizen and artist Keli Gonzales decided to do her part in helping local communities and organizations through online fundraising.
Earlier this year, she launched a fundraising campaign through Bonfire, an online apparel company, to sell T-shirts and raise money for the organization Tri-City Collective in Tulsa.
“I was like ‘how can I help?’ You feel helpless when you can’t go protest things you don’t agree with or you want to show support,” she said. “I had a friend who has just launched a campaign through Bonfire, and I went to look at it and you can send funds directly to a nonprofit organization, and I thought that’s perfect, that way I don’t have to physically go anywhere or mail shirts out.”
Gonzales said she raised money for TCC with a “Black Lives Are Sacred” design, written in the Cherokee syllabary. She was prompted to recently re-launch the campaign.
Gonzales has also been approached to help the Cherokee Children’s Home in North Carolina for her next fundraising venture.
“They’re an organization that’s been there for 50 years and they help Cherokee kids who have come from an abusive background and they don’t have anywhere else to go so they take care of them there. A lot of their stuff is funded by donations, so I thought that’s perfect. Anything for kids or language or art or anything like that I’m up for helping,” she said.
Gonzales said her goal is to sell at least 50 shirts.
“I set a goal for 50 shirts. That’s how it works is like the company gets paid for the product but the design money comes to me, but that money is going to the organization (instead),” she said. “The last one I did raised over $1,100, which was really exciting so I thought I can keep doing this even smaller organizations. It’s active for 15 days and after that they’ll ship out.”
The design she used for the Cherokee Children’s Home fundraiser is titled “Ball Play” and portrays a game of social stickball with a woman’s hand reaching up for the ball with stickball sticks in the background, on the back of the shirt, with a stickball image in the top left corner on the front.
“It’s depicting the Cherokee social game,” she said. “In a lot of my work I like to center women, and that’s just showing a female person grabbing the ball and everyone else has sticks, and I thought it would be really neat to have female hands coming up and grasping.”
Her campaigns can be found at https://www.bonfire.com/store/adananv/
She said she is looking for the next organization or community to help. “I’m still trying to find other organizations to donate. I thought it would be really good to just use what I’m best at, which is just drawing and putting that on a shirt. I was like people would want this I think. A lot of Native communities have been hit pretty hard by COVID and they still need help with supplies and things like that and I’m trying to find Native groups who would need that money.”
To contact Gonzales, email email@example.com
ᏓᎵᏆ -- ᏱᎪᎯᏓᏃ ᎤᎪᏗ ᏗᎦᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗᎢ ᏚᏙᏢᏩᏗᏒᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏚᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᎩᎳᎯ ᏚᏂᏍᏚᏅᎢ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᎲ COVID-19 ᎥᏳᎩ ᎠᎯᎵᏙᎲᎢ, ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎨᎳ ᎠᎴ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏗᏍᎩ Keli Gonzales ᏚᏭᎪᏔᏁᎢ ᏧᏍᏕᎸᎯᏓᏍᏗᎢ ᎡᏍᎦᏂ ᏗᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏚᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᎥᎿᎾ ᎠᏏᎳᏕᏫᏒᎢ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ ᎦᏟᏏᏍᎬᎢ.
ᎩᎳᎯᏃ ᎯᎠ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ, ᎤᏬᎷᏩᏛᎮᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ ᎤᏩᏟᏐᏗᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎬᏗᎲᎢ Bonfire, ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᎠᏏᎳᏕᏫᏒᎢ ᏗᎿᏬᎢ ᏗᎬᏗ ᎤᏙᏢᏒᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᎿᏬᎢ ᏗᎦᎾᏗᏅᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎤᏙᎷᏩᏛᏗᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏙᏧᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᏦᎢ-ᎢᏗᎦᏚᎯ ᏚᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᎥᎿ ᏛᎵᏏᎢ.
“ᎾᏍᎩ ‘ᎦᏙ ᎬᎿᎢ ᏱᎦᎵᏍᏕᎳ? ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎬᏛᏁᏗ ᏅᏫᏍᏙᏗᎢ ᎬᏩᎵᏨᎢ ᎡᏅᏍᏗᎢ ᎬᏂᎨᏒᎢ ᏫᏂᎬᏁᏗᎢ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏃᏩᎫᏍᏓᎥᎾ ᏱᎩ ᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᎬᏂᎨᏒᎢ ᎢᎬᏁᏗᎢ ᏄᏍᏛᎢ ᎣᏩᎫᏍᏓᎥᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
“ᎣᎩᎾᎵᏃ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎬᏂᎨᏒᎢ ᏂᏚᏮᏁᎳ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ Bonfire, ᎠᎴ ᎠᎩᎪᎵᏰᎥᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩᏊ ᎥᎿ ᏥᏳᎪᏗ ᏱᏂᏕᎲᏅᏓ ᎥᎿ ᎨᏒ ᏚᏩᏙᏢᏒᎢ, ᎣᏏᏃ ᎠᎩᏰᎸᏅᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩᏍᎩᏂ ᎥᏝ ᎠᏎ ᎢᎸᏂᏢ ᎠᏪᏅᏍᏗ ᏱᎬᎦᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏫᏓᎩᏅᏗᎢ ᏗᎿᏬᎢ.”
Gonzales’Z ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎤᏟᏌᏅᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ TTC ᎤᎾᎵᏍᏕᎸᏙᏗ “ᎠᏂᎬᎿᎨ ᏓᏅᏅᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᎵᏍᎨᏗᏳ” ᏓᏟᎶᏍᏓ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏗᎪᏪᎵ ᏗᎬᏔᏅᎢ ᏕᎪᏪᎳ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏥᏌᎳᏛᎢ ᎾᏞᎬᏭ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ ᎠᏏᏊ ᎬᏂᎨᏒᎢ ᎢᏳᏛᏁᏗᎢ.
Gonzales’Z ᎾᏍᎩᏊ ᎠᎦᏛᏛᏅᎢ ᎦᏳᎵᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᎤᏁᏅᏒᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎤᏪᏘᎢ ᏔᎵᏁ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ ᎠᏂᏟᏌᏅᎢ.
“ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏧᏙᏢᎭ ᎯᏍᎩ ᏍᎪᎯ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ ᎾᎯᏳ ᏂᏗᎬᏩᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᏓᏂᏍᏕᎵᏍᎪᎢ ᏛᎵᎢ ᎠᎾᏛᏁᎯ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᎤᏅᏌ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏣᏘᏂ ᏄᏙᏢᏒᎾ ᏱᎩ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎥᎿᎾ ᏫᏓᏂᎧᎲᏍᎪᎢ. ᏭᎪᏛᏃ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎬᏮᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᏢᏃ ᏂᏗᏳᏂᏯᏙᏢᎢ ᎨᏐᎢ, ᎣᏏᏃ ᎠᎩᏰᎸᏅᎢ. ᏂᎦᎥᏊ ᎬᎬᏥᏍᏕᎸᎡᏗ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᎠᎴᎢᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᏅᎢ ᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᎥᏍᎩ ᏳᏍᏗ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏂᎦᎥᏭ ᎠᏆᏛᏅᎢᏍᏗ ᎠᏩᎵᏍᏕᎸᎯᏓᏍᏗᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
Gonzales’Z ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᏄᏍᏛᎢ ᏚᏭᎪᏛᎢ 50 ᏱᎦᎢ ᏧᏂᏗᏅᏗᎢ.
“ᏄᏍᏛᏃ ᏓᏭᎪᏛᎢ 50 ᏗᎿᏬ ᏗᎩᎾᏗᏅᏗᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᎭ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᎠᎾᏈᏴᎡᎰᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏂ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎢ ᎠᎶᎳ ᎤᏙᏢᏅᎢ ᎠᏯ ᎠᎩᎷᏤᎰᎢ, ᎠᏎᏍᎩᏂ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎤᏙᏢᏅᎢ ᎤᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᎥᎿᏗᏜ ᏫᏗᎦᎶᏍᎩ ᎨᏎᏍᏗ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᎾᏍᎩ ᏬᏂᏴᎢ ᏥᎨᏒ $1,100, ᎠᏕᎳ ᎠᎩᏟᏌᏅᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎣᏏ ᎠᎩᏰᎸᏅᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎾᏇᎵᏒᏃ ᏂᎬᏥᎯᎵᏎᏍᏗ ᎢᏯᏆᏛᏁᏗ ᏥᎩ ᎬᏥᏍᏕᎸᎡᏗ ᎠᏲᏟᎨ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᏒᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ 15 ᏧᏙᏓᏋᏓ ᎢᎦ ᏂᎬᏂᏰᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᎶᏌᏅ ᏱᎩ ᎢᎸᏂᏢᎢ ᏱᎾᏅᎾᏛ.”
ᎾᏍᎩ ᏓᏟᎶᏍᏛᎢ ᎤᏛᏅᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᎤᏁᏅᏒᎢ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ ᎠᏂᏟᏏᎲᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎯᎠ ᏂᎦᏪᏎᎭ “ᎠᏁᏦᏗ” ᎠᎴ ᎬᏂᎨᏒᎢ ᏂᎬᏁᎭ ᎢᎩ ᎠᎾᏁᏦᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎨᏯ ᎠᏙᏯᏅᎯᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᏱᏗᎢ ᎠᎳᏍᎦᏟᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᎳᏍᎦᏟᏗ ᎣᏂᏗᏢᎢ ᏓᏟᎶᏍᏛᎢ, ᎣᏂᏗᏢᎢᏃ ᎠᎿᏬᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎦᏍᎦᏂ ᎢᏗᏜ ᎦᎸᎳᏗᏢ ᎠᎿᏬᎢ ᏗᎳᏍᎦᏟᏗ ᏧᏓᎿᏩᏗ ᏓᏟᎶᏍᏓ ᎢᎬᏱᏗᏢᎢ.
ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏓᏟᎶᏍᏗᎭ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᎾᏁᏦᏍᎬᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᏭᎪᏛᏃ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏕᎦᏟᎶᏍᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᎩᎸᏉᏙᎢ ᎠᏂᎨᏯ ᏗᏩᏟᎶᏍᏙᏗᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎬᏂᎨᏒᎢ ᏂᎬᏁᎭ ᎠᎨᏯ ᎦᏂᏱᎲᎢ ᎠᎳᏍᎦᏟᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏭᏅᎬᏛᎢ ᏗᎳᏍᎦᏟᏗ ᏓᏂᏁᎲᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎾᏇᎵᏒᎢ ᎣᏍᏓᏃ ᏱᎩ ᏱᏓᏟᎶᏍᏔᎾ ᎠᎨᏯ ᏓᏙᏯᏅᎯᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎦᏂᏱᎲᎢ.”
ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏄᏍᏗᏓᏅᎢ ᏴᏩᏘ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ https:/www.bonfire.com/store/adananv/.
ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎦᏖᏃᎲᎢ Ꮎ ᏔᎵᏁᎢ ᎤᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎤᎾᎵᏕᎸᏗᎢ. “ᎠᏏᏉ ᎦᏁᏟᏗᎭ ᎦᏥᏩᏛᏗᎢ ᏂᏚᏓᎴ ᏚᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᏕᎸᏗᎢ. ᏂᎨᎵᏍᎬᏃ ᎣᏏᏃ ᏱᎩ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏋᏙᏗᎢ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏥᎦᏔᎲᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏗᏮᏟᎶᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎿᏬᎢ ᏯᏋᏅᏙᏗᎢ. ᏧᎾᏓᎴᏅᏓᏃ ᏴᏫ ᏳᎾᏚᎡ ᎨᎵᏍᎬᎢ. ᎤᏂᎪᏗᏃ ᎬᏁᎯᏯ ᏗᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎤᏅᏂᎭ ᎯᎠ ᎾᏍᎩ COVID ᏣᎯᎵᏙᎠ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏏᏉ ᎤᏚᏟᏓ ᏗᏍᏕᎸᏗᎢ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎤᏂᏂᎬᎬᎢ ᎤᏅᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏍᎩᏳᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎦᏁᏟᏗᎭ ᎬᏥᏩᏛᏗᎢ ᎬᏁᎯᏯ ᏚᎾᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎬᏮᏅᏙᏗ ᎠᏕᎳ.”
ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏩᏟᏃᎮᏙᏗᎢ Gonzales, ᎠᎾᎦᎵᏍᎩ ᎪᏪᎵ ᎬᏗ, keladi.artist.@gmail.com.