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April Branham

Monacan

“My brushstrokes mimic the movement of the fringe, and the strong lines and angles used are inspired by the mountains where I grew up. I prefer using acrylic paints for my works because of the vibrant colors available.”

April Hudson is an Indigenous Artist and member of the Monacan Indian Nation based in Amherst County, Virginia. She considers art a vital role in the community that helps to preserve our heritage and cultural traditions. April is inspired by the mountains where her family resides and the many colors of dancers’ regalia at Pow Wows. She believes that art gives a voice to those that no longer have one.  In 2021, she decided to bring awareness to the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women movement by exhibiting paintings of the iconic red handprint. The Ann White Academy Gallery in Lynchburg VA displayed one of the MMIW paintings and two others in August 2021. Madison House of the Arts requested to display the painting in October 2021 after their Atcuti Mahani art show to bring awareness to the cause. April attempts to convey emotions with the colors and patterns used that are designed to draw the observer closer to the piece both physically and mentally. Her pride and connection to her heritage show in every painting, and she hopes to create pieces that inspire others and bring awareness to various causes for many years to come.  

MMIW is a movement against the violence towards Native and Indigenous women. The number of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women was calculated to be 5,712 in 2016. However, there were only 116 cases logged into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. Native and Indigenous women across the US and Canada have started to wear a red hand print over their mouths to represent the voices of the missing sisters not being heard in an attempt to bring awareness to the cause.