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Darryl Montana
Past Artist In Residence

Darryl Montana

Darryl Montana, at the early age of six, knew what it was to string the pearls that don the stunningly majestic costumes of his father, Big Chief Allison “Tootie” Montana. Montana was taught to sing the songs the way the “old timers” sang them and to dance with emphasis on the swift movement of the feet. At the age of 11 he created his first Mardi Gras suit, all on his own. Now he is Chief of the Yellow Pocahontas “Hunters” Mardi Gras Indian Tribe, as his father was before him. This is an on-going African-American tradition and culture, which is uniquely New Orleans and began in Montana’s family in the late 1860s. Using sequins, beads, colored stones, poster board, canvas, feathers, and marabou he creates 10+ feet tall, three dimensional Mardi Gras Indian suits. In 2006, Montana had the ability to join 18th Street for a studio residency, that allowed him “to sew without distractions, and provided [him] with support by having people work on pieces for the Mardi Grad 2007 suit while [he] worked on new projects. The residency afforded him time and space to fully concentrate on his craft.”

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