The ‘Defend’ Mural Debuts at the NDN Collective Headquarters

Brandy Calabaza · January 4, 2022

The ‘Defend’ Mural Debuts at the NDN Collective Headquarters

‘Defend’ mural project comes full circle as Artist Votan Henriquez completes large-scale mural painting outside of the NDN Collective Headquarters in Rapid City, South Dakota

A collaborative art project that has been in the works for a few years, the ‘Defend’ mural, is now available for travelers and locals to view on the front of the NDN Collective Headquarters at 408 Knollwood Drive in Rapid City. The mural was first designed by artist Votan Henriquez in 2019 in collaboration with the NDN Collective team, with plans of featuring the mural on the NDN Collective headquarters and also on a blanket design in collaboration with Eighth Generation, an Indigenous-owned and operated lifestyle brand. 

Completed ‘Defend’ Mural Outside of NDN Headquarters

The ‘Defend’ blanket was first to debut on International Women’s Day of 2021, and after much anticipation, the mural was finally completed at the new NDN Collective headquarters late in November.  The ‘Defend’ mural features an Indigenous woman and an Indigenous man protesting, led by a woman speaking into a bullhorn, followed by a man proudly holding a sign that reads ‘LANDBACK’. 

“The woman pictured represents the global shift of power towards the feminine,” says Votan. “The bullhorn is symbolic of amplifying Native voices and the winter count design in the background connects Native people to ancestral Indigenous traditions.”

Artist, activist, and co-creator of NSRGNTS, Votan travels Indian Country with his team of artists, creating murals that depict powerful and bold messages relating to identity, community, and lived realities impacting Indigenous Peoples. Each mural created by the NSRGNTS team is often built in collaboration with Indigenous organizations across Turtle Island.

NDN Collective is honored to feature one of Votan’s powerful designs with the debut of the ‘Defend’ Mural. The ‘Defend’ blanket can still be purchased at the NDN Collective store here.

Follow NSRGNTs on Social Media

Watch More About NDN Collective’s Collaboration with Votan:

Brandy Calabaza
by   Brandy Calabaza

Brandy Calabaza (She/Her), Communications Associate, is Jicarilla Apache and Kewa Pueblo from Northern New Mexico. Brandy supports the Communications and Narrative Team with all aspects of content creation, targeted outreach, copywriting, and overall management of internal communications systems. Throughout and following college, she continued to build on her professional development holding various positions in her Tribal community, including working with the Nations courts in the prosecutorial setting, teaching language classes to children, and working with and empowering Native Youth. Brandy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Native American and Indigenous Studies from Fort Lewis College and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Indigenous Peoples Law from the University of Oklahoma. 

 

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