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Serivce-learning through printmaking in the Roaring Fork Valley, CO since 2015.


Indigenous Family Strengths and support:

Funding home visiting services across reservations through art.

Raising funds for Family Spirit : SHOP THE STORE 

May 2024, Jacob Sam, CRMS High School Senior, 3 Week Intensive Senior Project

Service-Learning Print Projects raise awareness and funds for a cause and empowers student-artists to share their voices on critical issues, fostering conversation and community engagement. This Community Service Project is made possible by a Arts in Society grant supporting cross sector arts projects addressing social justice.

The Project

For many, being born on the reservation is being born into a world of poverty, generational trauma, and physical isolation. The general awareness surrounding mental health has been largely ignored because community resources are exhausted from providing basic necessities like clean water access, steady food supplies and electricity, so although there are organizations that do amazing work in these areas, the recognition for mindfulness and healthy coping mechanisms is years behind on reservations.

Through my work at the project shop I wanted to...
  1. Highlight the struggles and perseverance of Indigenous Peoples.
  2. Raise funds for and celebrate Family Spirit, a Native-led, community-based home visiting program that supports caregivers through education and support.
  3. Create a product that empowers the wearer, draping them in symbols and mantras that promote positive growth.


limited inventory available

  • Heavyweight Sweatshirts

  • Heavyweight T-Shirts

  • Toddler Tees

  • Artist Prints

including an in-depth interview coming soon.
100% of Proceeds will be donated this native-led program. The Family Spirit Program is an evidence-based and culturally tailored home visiting intervention delivered by community-based Health Educators as an Indigenous solution to supporting caregivers during pregnancy and early childhood.

About the Design

In Navajo stories, the hummingbird taught the First People how to harvest pollen for ceremonial purposes, and it is now seen as a prominent symbol for beauty and cultural teachings in Navajo art. Similar to the hummingbird, Family Spirit is teaching families how to begin their own ways of healing through a blend of homeopathic/modern techniques. In my prints the hummingbird lays on a geometric design depicting dreamcatchers, which have been used across Native cultures as heavy symbols, holding the weight of nightmares, allowing good dreams to flow through the center. It’s a spiritual symbol that isn’t often recognized for its purpose, but I wanted to draw the attention back to its meaning: mental protection.

Hozho, the word sprawling down the side of these prints, is the base of all Navajo philosophy, and arguably the most important word in the entire language. It’s loosely translated to a state where someone’s mind, body, and spirit are working perfectly together in harmony. It is comparable to the Buddhist concepts of Nirvana, both being the place you spend your life working towards. A huge component of therapy, parenting, and any mental work is positive reinforcement, either through affirmations or personal care, and I wanted the wearer to be reminded of these values every time they put it on their body.

The other large print shows a mother and baby growing together out of emetics used in Navajo ceremony. Emetics are agents that induce sickness and vomiting, used today to rid the body of toxins and hazardous materials. Traditionally though, Navajos believed that trauma could line your stomach, and harboring it without purging would continue bad thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. The flowers pictured in these prints would be taken under guidance of spiritual leaders, often alongside healing rituals and practices. The boy pictured in the painting is my baby brother.

About the Artist

Hello America. My name is Jacob Sam and I’m a highschool artist hailing from the Navajo Reservation. I’m about to graduate from CRMS in June 2024 and carry on to Hamilton College in upstate New York. From middle school I’ve loved art, spending lunches in the studio, watching weird artsy films, and using it in my personal life to cope with adversity. In Navajo culture, art is a healing process, and I’ve experienced that in real time. Art is most beneficial to the artist in my opinion, because it can be used as a way of documenting thoughts, experiences, and emotions that might’ve not otherwise seen the light of day. It’s a way of venting between you and the design. If you look back on artwork from deeply charged, emotional time-periods, it’s almost as if you feel the energy radiating off of it. It’s like visual journaling, and I have art that documents the dichotomies of growing up Navajo and White, Mormon and Gay, Rural and Urban. I have art from my best and worst days, and having these documents allows me the space to reflect and recollect.

about the process

“Being able to hone in on my creative process, creating something that I’m deeply proud of, for an issue that is so personal to me was invaluable.”

The mentorship and support I received was unwavering and integral to the journey, start to finish. Starting my design as a painting was also just very interesting, being able to engage in its life from canvas, to photoshop, to film, to screen, to fabric. Carrying something that you’ve made with your hands through so many different stages delivers a sense of accomplishment that isn’t easy to articulate. - Jacob Sam


This Community Service Project is made possible in part by the 2022/2023 Arts in Society grant supporting cross sector arts projects that illustrate artistic excellence, broaden the understanding of the role arts play in society, demonstrate cross-sector work, exhibit cultural relevancy, foster community engagement, and present opportunities for shared learning.

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Your support allows us to empower these young, emerging and curious artists to share their voices through high-quality limited edition print goods.