Lost Birds Found

Oil on Canvas
  |  
  |   $3,500

This painting depicts a friend of Paige Pettibon’s and Quileute jewelry maker, Amanda Chavira. Pettibon chose Chavira as her model for this painting because Chavira and her mother have recently been reconnecting and unmasking their Indigenous heritage. Chavira’s maternal side of the family (mother and grandmother) were both adoptees. Her mother was a part of the 1960’s scoop of Indigenous youth that was taken from their tribes and put into foster homes to be adopted by non-Indigenous families. This practice has been happening for decades and often severs the child’s connection to their heritage, lineage, and Native culture. The children taken in this particular incident in the 60’s are referred to as Lost Birds. Chavira and her mother have since rediscovered their heritage and, as their tribe changed their affiliation policy from the Blood Quantum to Descendancy, they are now officially able to be a part of their tribe. Pettibon found their story inspiring and hopeful as more people are now uncovering their Indigenous roots and are able to reconnect with their communities. 

Pettibon also integrated Chavira’s personal connection to birds by including her posing with crow wings. Corvids are an important symbol for Chavira and she chose to be photographed with them as a symbol of her heritage and her power. She looks up and over the wings towards the sky, ready to take flight as a Lost Bird Found.