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Express Yourself: The Beaded Medallion

In this week-long workshop, you will study the beadwork designs and techniques of Jennifer Ben, master Diné (Navajo) beadwork artist. Using quality materials such as Swarovski crystals and European glass cut beads, you will receive detailed hands-on instruction and demonstrations learning how to bead a circular medallion and embellish the medallion with ornamentation techniques such as beaded fringing. You will leave at the end of the week with a beaded expression of your personal style. 

Also known as rosettes, medallions are circular medallions created originally utilizing quillwork. Traditionally, rosettes and medallions embellished traditional clothing. Today this form of personal expression has evolved into a popular trend among all tribes who use beads and beadwork to express oneself. Students will have the opportunity to explore designs ranging from floral designs to pop art motifs and learn how to turn these beaded medallions into wearable art. 

To finish your piece, you are encouraged to continue beading in the evenings. With time permitting, Jennifer will instruct you on creating beading projects that you can take home to turn into earrings and other accessories. There will be ongoing informal critiques throughout the workshop to support completion and success for all students.


  • seat cushion  
  • clip on lamp for extra lighting 
  • Imagination! (not optional!)

Jennifer Ben (Diné) is from Shiprock, NM, and is a student at Arizona State University and Mesa Community College studying music theory and cello performance. Jennifer has worked extensively as an artist in residence and demonstrator at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, AZ, and has participated in the Heard Museum Indian Fair and Market. Her work reflects her various passions, such as music, food sovereignty, traditional farming methodologies, and Diné philosophy, and she takes inspiration from master artists worldwide.

Native American & Inland Empire Teacher Scholarships 

Generous donors have made scholarships and fellowships for adult workshops available on a limited basis for these specific groups:

1) Native American Community Leaders, Artists, Members, and Teachers

2) Inland Empire Teachers, Professors, and Graduate Students

Scholarships include tuition, dorm housing, and all meals provided by the campus dining service.

Scholarship Details: 

1) Native American Community Members, Leaders, Artists, and Teachers

For adults 19 and older with current tribal affiliation, the scholarship brings community leaders, artists, members, and teachers to workshops at Idyllwild Arts to benefit both the scholarship recipients themselves and those in their schools or tribal communities. Applicants with financial needs may receive priority. We also offer scholarships for Native American Teens for both the Summer Program and the Academy.

2) Inland Empire Teachers, Professors, and Graduate Students

For teachers and graduate students from the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino Counties and the adjacent areas), this scholarship brings teachers and graduate students to Idyllwild Arts to attend Native American Arts workshops. The Native American Arts Workshops benefit both recipients and their students and communities, providing culturally appropriate instruction and professional development to teachers and graduate students. Applicants with financial needs may receive priority. These scholarships are made possible through the generous support of the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians.

Click here for more information about adult scholarships.

Age: 19 years and above

Dates: June 20-24, 2022

One-week session 

Tuition, room, and board: $1,515

Day student tuition: $790

Lab Fee: $80, includes beads, beading thread, needles, beading mat, personal tools, leather backing and Pelon material, paper, pencil, marking pens. 

Skill Level: All level

Enrollment is limited to 12 students

Faculty: Jennifer Ben

circle floral medallion 2
egg medallion 2
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