Averi Iris is a Montana native, a self-taught teen artist, and a 3-sport athlete living in Bozeman, attending high school.
As many kids do, Averi loved to paint as a young child. It wasn’t until 2015, at the age of 10 that her painting began to look more like art. As her parents took notice, so did others and she sold her first pieces.
Mona Lisa Two Eagle was a member of the Rosebud Sioux, and one of 14 children. She was kind, caring and athletic. In the winter of 1979, Phil Two Eagle saw his sister Mona Lisa, who was in her early 20s, leave their sibling’s house and get in a red and white pick-up with a couple of guys. Mona Lisa never returned.
In the days that followed, the family and local law enforcement searched for her on horseback. About two weeks after she went missing, Mona Lisa’s father and brother found her frozen stiff in the pasture near their home. She had been beaten, possibly raped, and left out alone in a blizzard.
Rumors ran wild as family and law enforcement tried to solve the crime but even to this day, no one was convicted or even charged. And the two men who were last seen with Mona Lisa all those years ago - they’re still running free while the family lives each day with grief and a lack of justice.
- Senator Heidi Heitkamp
This painting had been in my head for far too long. It was inspired by a conversation with a friend’s mom and a MSU basketball game where everyone wore read to raise awareness of MMIW. I began to talk with more and more people about the concept and the idea solidified.
I began my search to find a representative to paint. The first thing that stuck it out about Mona Lisa to Eagle was her name. It was by itself a mix of art and culture. Then I looked at her story…
Her murder happened over 43 years ago but it’s still happening all around the US. FACTS ⬇️
- Native Women face murder rates 10 times the national average
- 56.1% of Indigenous women experience sexual violence
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Native American women under the age of 35 experienced a higher murder risk than many other
This original is officially sold and because of the sale 5k has been donated to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women USA ( MMIW USA).If you would like to donate to this cause please click the link below.
Thank you for reading!