Madrona Redhawk started wearing makeup in middle school, but it wasn’t until high school that she got into more avant garde and dramatic makeup looks. Now that she has 54,000 followers on Instagram, Redhawk’s art is similar to face paint and has a performance art aspect.
Redhawk, 18, just graduated from Silverado High School in Henderson and now has more time to experiment with art that she posts on her Instagram page.
Redhawk said she began wearing dramatic eye makeup to school and recently started finding inspiration from reading about the face paint and art used in Native American tribes, specifically the Choctaw, Creek and Shawnee. Redhawk is Native American and has ancestors from those tribes; lately she has been using handprints from paint on her face.
“In my research, I found a lot of handprints on the mouth and around the face and I’ve never seen anything like that before,” Redhawk said. “I thought that was cool, and I started doing hand prints in makeup, like putting lipstick on hand and then onto my face.”
She said she wanted it to be more obvious that there was a handprint on her face, so she started using paint on a dryer sheet cloth and putting it onto her face.
Redhawk said she doesn’t like to do “inspired looks” because she likes to be inspired from her own ideas, but she said her Native American culture “still impacts everything” she does.
In January, a representative from the official Instagram account asked, via direct message, if Redhawk was interested in being featured on the app’s page. She said yes and spent about five months filming videos and working on a special look for the featured post. She said she even compiled behind-the-scenes, explanatory videos.
“ I am doing it because I like it right now,” Redhawk said. “I just like what I do, but I didn’t plan on being a professional artist.”
Redhawk said she’d like to be a college professor one day, after getting her Ph.D. in history or social science.
Redhawk said her love of art really started after she enrolled late in an art class at Silverado. She said her teacher let her do whatever art she wanted, so she started experimenting with drawings, then makeup and then performance art.
“I became so excited to just come home and make my art,” Redhawk said.
Alicia Mejia, Redhawk’s family friend and a supporter of her work, describes her art as “innocent.”
“Not in a demeaning way, but I just think it is so cool that she does something unique every day,” Mejia said. “A lot of people call themselves artists but never produce art; she makes herself known just by making her art.”
Mejia said she is most impressed by Redhawk’s ability to make art out of anything.
“Art should make you think a different way or feel a way that you hadn’t before,” Mejia said, adding that Redhawk’s art has that effect.
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