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Cherice Harrison-Nelson

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Cherice Harrison-Nelson
Contemporary Performance, textile
(New Orleans, LA, 1959 - )

Cherice Harrison-Nelson (b. 1959, New Orleans, LA; based in New Orleans, LA) is a leader of the African-American Carnival dress art tradition which uses narrative beadwork, dance, featherwork and chanting with percussive instrumentation. She is the third of five generations in her family to participate in this authentic New Orleans art form, a ritual handed down from her late father, Big Chief Donald Harrison, Sr. She is perhaps best known locally as Maroon Queen “Reesie” of the Mardi Gras Indian Tribe Guardians of the Flame. A co-founder and curator of the Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame, Harrison-Nelson has published four books and coordinated numerous exhibitions focused on our region’s West African-inspired cultural expressions. Her work is part of the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Museum and has also been recognized by a 2016 USA Artist Fellowship, a Fulbright scholarship and an award from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.

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