Artistic Statement and Goals
Since 1999 I began doing volunteer photography at the Indian Summer Festival in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for Beth Stafford, Editor and owner of Key Magazine and later for the Festival Administration itself. Year after year, I focused my attention on the Pow Wow dancers who came together to meet, to reconnect and to perform in dance competitions. As I was able to learn a little bit more each year about what this practice means to the participants, I realized how important it is to have a visual record of these dancers. As an educator, I know the value of seeing one’s color and one’s gender in positive visual images.
Beyond the positive image, is the need to preserve a visual history of these dancers. Not only do they represent their Nations and Tribes in the “hear and now,” but also they represent the past and the future of their vital, living culture. A former professor of mine once remarked that “Once out there, a photograph has a life of its’ own.” More and more I believe this to be true. In the next few years I will direct my efforts to getting these images out to the people through gifts, through exhibitions, and finally through a book.
Deb Generotzky is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin - Waukesha. In 1982, after a four-year stint as a U.S. Army Photographer, she enrolled as an undergraduate in Fine Arts to study Fine Arts Photography at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. Finding that she had just scratched the surface, she returned to UWM in 1986 to complete her M.F.A. degree. Her graduate research focused on feminist and social theory only to come full circle to work that is more spiritually directed.