Rev. Houston R. Cypress is a Two-Spirit, Indigiqueer Artist and Environmentalist from the Otter Clan of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida.
He grew up in the River of Grass region of the Greater Everglades – a place of refuge for his ancestors, and the source of traditional plant medicines. Early on, he appreciated art as a form of knowledge production by learning woodcarving from his grandfather, and collaborating with his mother to produce her Miccosukee fashion shows. He embraces poetry as a foundation of his artistic and spiritual practices, including his audiovisual work.
Houston believes that when it comes to environmental conservation, indigenous rights are everyone’s rights, and that creative solidarity with nature means expanding our praxis of “chosen family.” He in-joys bringing communities together through art and technology. He serves on the Miccosukee Tribe’s Environmental Advisory Committee, and also their Festival Committee. He’s been serving the Love The Everglades Movement for 10 years – an environmental nonprofit concerned with indigenous solidarity, action, art, multifaith coalition-building, and reciprocity with nature. He presented at Institute of Contemporary Art Miami’s Art + Research Center, and contributed to their Digital Commissions. He also recently co-created a short film, executive produced by Superblue and Nowness. Recent artist residencies include the Heat Exchange, the Thread Residency, the Oolite Arts Studio Residency, and the HAT Residency. Houston received the 2022 Grassroots Activism Award and the 2022 Marjory Stoneman Douglas Poetry Award. He also helped to produce the first 2LGBTQ+ Pride Festival on Miccosukee homelands.
About The Ellies Social Justice Award
Created by Oolite Arts to honor visual artists who have made a commitment to working for equality in their daily lives and artistic practice.
2022 Social Justice Award Winner