Lyncia Begay

Yá’át’ééh, shi éí Lyncia dashijini. Bį́į́hbitoo’nii nishli. Naakai DIné’é bashishchiin. Táchii’nii dashichei. Tsé Deeshgiizhnii dashinali. Hello, my name is Lyncia, and the aforementioned are my clans, each stemming from a clan belonging to my mother’s, father’s, maternal grandfather’s, and paternal grandfather’s mother’s clan. These clanships are known to contain specific traits. With regard to art, my paternal grandfather’s mother’s clan, Tsé Deeshgiishnii, are known for taking care of the land (specifically planting) and artistic pursuits. It is no small wonder that I am in accordance with this clan trait. Art, in my mind, includes one’s thoughts, experiences, and sense of self—the building blocks that collectively create ceremony, relation, community, history, and culture (Bį́į́hbitoo’niis are known for being teachers and philosophers, hence the explanation). It is the invisibility of the everything that surrounds and erupts from our lungs as voice. In these same broad strokes, art intersects with the traumas experienced across our communities as our most basic forms of expression were halted and altered among our parents and elders at an age of early development. These expressions that have been forcefully altered, form how we do (or don’t) receive ourselves as well as our place within communities. As an artist, I have trialed through many of these experiences while assisting and creating and curating art, upholding sacred sites, planting community gardens, learning and speaking our language to infants, and writing words that benefit communities—a small building block. A building block meant to redirect our imaginations to the possibilities we are often discouraged from discussing and living, even though they incite health, excitement, and joy upon singing, learning, writing, drawing, designing, etcetera. Such actions are the foretelling of prayers whispered and sung to fires held within our motherearth’s cupped hands. In no small way, art is a manifest of prayer. Even if it’s clumsy, even it’s imperfect, each step charts how much further each generation will become in successively and unabashedly expressing themselves. This small building block is my contribution on behalf of my clans, the struggles I came from, and the homelands I am a part of.

Grantee Information

Year(s) Awarded: 2023