Louie Gong, Nooksack, from Seattle, Washington, embodies Indigenous identity and art entrepreneurship in feature piece
Today, Pow Wow Pitch, a non-profit organization that supports and celebrates Indigenous entrepreneurs, announced the selection of artist Louie Gong’s piece ‘Good Day Bad Day’ as the official art for the 2023 Pow Wow Pitch Box, a mailer box featuring quality products created by early-stage Indigenous entrepreneurs.
Pow Wow Pitch provides emerging Indigenous-owned businesses with the opportunity to gain exposure and recognition, and access support, mentorship and funding to take their business to the next level. The Pow Wow Pitch Box is a collaborative initiative of Pow Wow Pitch to procure products from the Indigenous entrepreneurs it supports and to provide a platform for the entrepreneurs to reach hundreds of new customers.
Each year, Pow Wow Pitch collaborates with leading Indigenous artists to feature their work on the design of the Box itself and this year, it approached Louie Gong for the collaboration following a longstanding admiration of his art and his entrepreneurial impact across Turtle Island.
Louie Gong (Nooksack) (M.Ed.) is a Coast Salish artist, activist and social entrepreneur with a knack for bringing people together. In 2008, he founded the iconic lifestyle brand Eighth Generation – the first Native-owned company to produce wool blankets. As a self-taught artist, Louie’s art merges traditional Coast Salish art with influences from his mixed heritage and urban environment to create work that resonates widely across communities and cultures.
About Louie’s Hummingbird Design
Louie hand-picked a variation of his ‘Good Day, Bad Day’ painting for this collaboration because the hummingbird theme is a fitting symbol for the Pow Wow Pitch Box initiative.
The contemporary Coast Salish design carries forward teachings from his Grandma (Squamish/Nooksack). “She would often say that hummingbirds are harbingers of good news brought to us by our ancestors,” he said. “That’s why you feel excited when you see them.” Louie’s wish is to ignite that similar feeling of excitement and good news when people receive their Pow wow Pitch Box and all of the Indigenous goods within it.
To view more of Louie’s work or to purchase a copy of your own, please visit louiegong.com for more information.
“I am proud to be collaborating with Pow Wow Pitch by contributing ‘Good Day, Bad Day,’ said Louie. “I’m committed to uplifting Native artists and entrepreneurs and Pow Wow Pitch is helping us grow. I think the art will carry these good intentions to everyone that buys or receives a box.”
“Pow Wow Pitch is incredibly proud to welcome Louie to this year’s Pow Wow Pitch Box,” said Sunshine Tenasco, Founder of Pow Wow Pitch. “Like everyone else, I have been following Louie for a long time and his work speaks so loudly, is so pointed, sometimes funny, but always with a story to tell. His artistry and entrepreneurship are truly inspirational and so important to our collective actualization and celebration. We cannot wait for everyone to receive a Pow Wow Box to have ‘Good Day, Bad Day’ and Louie in their space”
Pre-orders for the 2023 Pow Wow Pitch Box are open now at powwowpitch.org/box.