Maddie Sanders is a Mvskoke & Mojave artist skilled in various mediums such as graphic design, painting, photography, mural work, and beadwork. Originally from Tahlequah, Oklahoma, Maddie now lives in Durango, Colorado. She completed her Bachelors of Art in Communication Design in May 2021 at Fort Lewis College. Maddie is a Colorado Art & Science Fellow, Soul of Nations Fellow, Cobell & American Indian College Fund scholarship recipient, United National Indian Tribal Youth 25 Under 25 recipient, and Mvnettvlke Onaya (Youth Visionary) awardee. She is the CEO of an Indigenous contemporary jewelry line - Wotko Moon. She is also a muralist and painter with works that have been exhibited in various museums in the United States and Europe.
Sanders has also been in various fashion shows and photoshoots across the country modeling for Indigenous artists such as Orlando Dugi, Jamie Okuma, ACONAV, Sky-Eagle Collection, ShyNatives, Beyond Buckskin, Sage Wildflower, IAmAnishinaabe, Adrian Standing Elk Pinnecoose, & Mvskoke Media.
Maddie's contributions to uplifting her community have not gone unnoticed. She avidly purses opportunities that can help her and the life of future generations and continuously focuses on the revitalization and renewal of Indigenous arts.
"Through my artwork, I am able to express myself and connect to my roots. I hope to inspire others and encourage them to see the importance of preserving culture through art."
To see more of Maddie's work:
Small Business: wotko-moon.com
Instagram: @wotko.moon & @holatte
Colorado Art Science Environment Fellow (2023)
CASE Fellows are artists from all corners of Colorado and CU Boulder scientists who will work in teams to produce artworks that will be exhibited at the Colorado State Capitol as part of the Colorado Creative Industries Creative Capital program, May-September 2023. The exhibition, tentatively titled Coloradans and Our Shared Environment in Times of Challenge and Change, will tell the story of how Coloradans are experiencing interrelated challenges of fire, drought, and water and air quality in their communities. The CASE Fellows aim to build a sense of connection around Colorado environmental issues by co-ideating artwork with input from communities.Durango Lodger's Tax: Arts and Culture Funding (2022)
This funding project is a historic move for the creative community of Durango, Colorado. Selected artists and cultural organizations received funding opportunities to develop projects, programs, and experiences to better the city of Durango. Maddie was selected out of over 35 applicants to create a mural in downtown Durango to bring more Indigenous art to the community.Soul of Nations Indigenous Green Architecture Project: Lead Artist: (2021)
Connecting young designers from American and Africa to create art installations that highlight environmental stability, architecture, and history. Maddie's project focuses on the importance of sustainable environments, Indigenous knowledge, and reclaiming our roots.
Fort Lewis Brand Ambassador: (2019)
Promoted the Fort Lewis College brand through social media.
Digital Natives Participant: (2018-2019)
This project helped bridge the digital gap that exists among Native American and Belgian migrant communities, and expands on notions of displacement, cultural identity, roots, community and multiculturalism through Communities Connecting Heritage funded by the U.S Department of States.
Cobell Scholarship Recipient: (2016 – 2021)
The Cobell Scholarship is administered by Indigenous Education, Inc. and awards Indigenous students who maintain at least a 3.5 GPA.
American Indian College Fund Full Circle Scholarship Recipient: (2017 – 2021)
The American Indian College Fund provides scholarships to American Indian and Alaska Native college students seeking a degree.
United National Indian Tribal Youth 25 Under 25 Recipient: (2018)
The awards program celebrates the achievements of Native American and Alaskan Native youth ages 14 to 24 who embody UNITY’s core mission and exude living a balanced life developing their spiritual, mental, physical and social well-being.
Generation Indigenous Ambassador: (2017 – 2020)
The Generation Indigenous initiative was launched by President Obama to help provide a sustainable platform to connect, engage, and provide opportunities for Native youth. Being an ambassador enables the exchange of resources, professional network-building, and community initiative development. It also provides a platform to elevate Native youth voices into the national dialogue.
WeRNative Ambassador: (2017 – 2019)
As an Ambassador, I help create positive change in my community by promoting positive health behaviors, hosting outreach and awareness events, and represented We R Native at youth conferences.
Mvnettvlke Onaya (Youth Visionary) Award: (2016)
This award recognizes Mvskoke Youth ages 12 - 24 making an impact and inspiring their community.
Huffington Post: Recognizing The Cherokee Nation’s Sequoyah High School For Its Unparalleled Track Record Of Success, Spearheaded By One Young Lady