Tonya Locklear is creative and has a clear talent for writing. While her "day" job as Administrative Professional for the Department of Biology is important and demanding, outside the office, Tonya is pursuing her love of the written word -- especially the experiences and histories of American Indians -- and her love of the visual arts. Tonya and Prof. Margie Labadie of the Art Department have partnered to form Earth Women Arts. Margie's skills in digital design have transformed Tonya's poems into intriguing visual works of art.
Tonya's poetry and their collaborative works of art were exhibited on 6 April 2017, during the 13th annual Southeast Indian Studies Conference (SISC), which was held in UNC Pembroke's Museum of the Southeast American Indian. Their exhibit was featured during the third session of the all-day conference. Dr. Mary Ann Jacobs, Chair of UNCP American Indian Studies, introduced the conference, Chancellor Robin Cummings welcomed the participants, and Dr. Craig Womack of Emory University gave the keynote address. The SISC is the only conference in the United States that is dedicated exclusively to the unique cultures and history of American Indians of the Southeast.
Tonya exhibited their poster "Creative Collaboration Exhibition & Book: A view through the Indigenous lens" on 10 April 2017, during the first annual UNCP Research and Creativity Showcase in the Livermore Library. Works from across the disciplines and from both faculty and staff were featured during the afternoon showcase. The program and abstracts of the presentations can be viewed by clicking here. Earth Women Arts will be displayed this summer in the Imperial Arts Center in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
Tonya and her family ("Lakota John & Kin") are well known locally for their musical talents and community connections. They have given numerous live concerts, in state and out of state, including a recent performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Tonya helps other people foster their writing skills through workshops in creative writing. Look for her writings online in the Journal of Creative Arts and Minds.