Justin Beatty

Artist / Creative (Individual)

Justin Beatty is a multi-disciplinary artist of Native American (Ojibwe, Saponi) & African-American descent. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Massachusetts with a concentration in Indigenous Policy, Culture, & Art, a self-created interdisciplinary curriculum through the University Without Walls degree program. As a visual artist, Justin's work includes digital art which he then prints onto canvas and museum-grade canvas paper, sculpting, drawing (pen & ink, marker, charcoal, pastels, and pencil), painting, & clothing. His current focus in visual art is primarily dedicated to taking a deeper look into the cultural, political, spiritual, and social issues affecting current Native American & First Nations people. Frequently alternating between challenging the stereotypes of Indigenous people as relics of the past and creating new images around traditional symbology, his work explores the tropes, misconceptions, and erroneous beliefs the general public often carries about Indigenous people in North America & the Caribbean. His work has been featured in the Town of Athol's "Windows on Main" installation. He was the sole artist featured at the grand opening of the Urbana Art Studio in Holyoke, MA. He also has two murals hanging on the Native American students' floor, "Kahnonsesne", in the Chadbourne dormitory at UMass-Amherst. While there are common threads in many of his works, they are also very different in many ways. Because of the common threads, they share some people may choose to view them as a collection, while because of their differences others view each piece as a standalone. Another portion of his art is an exploration of abstracts and landscapes. He chooses these genres as self-expression and a means of conveying mood and emotion. He wants his work to make people take a moment to pause and explore the feelings his art brings up for them when they engage with it.

Justin is also a well-known Native American intertribal powwow singer in New England. He is a founding member of Urban Thunder, an intertribal powwow drum group, and currently acts as drum keeper and lead singer. Urban Thunder has been host drum at various powwows in New England including Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the North American Indian Center of Boston (NAICOB), UMass-Boston, and various powwows for the Mass Center for Native American Awareness (MCNAA). Urban Thunder has been featured in the movie "Crooked Arrows" and in the video game "BioShock: Infinite". Justin also sings with the Iron River Singers, Rez Dogs, Storm Boyz, and has on occasion sung with the Mystic River Singers.

As a cultural educator, Justin has given lectures and for various schools and organizations across New England as well as acting as emcee for numerous powwows and cultural events. He as acted as emcee for events such as the Odenong Powwow, the Aquinnah Wampanoag powwow, UMass-Amherst & UMass-Boston powwows, Brown University's Spring Thaw Powwow, the University of New Hampshire powwow, & the Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum powwow among others. He has given talks & lectures as well as moderating and participating in panel discussions at Mt. Holyoke College, UMass-Amherst, Northfield-Mount Hermon, Smith College, Springfield College, Bridgewater State University, American International College, Connecticut College, Native American Lifelines, and most recently as a featured speaker for Connecticut River Conservancy's "Live Stream" series. 

As a maker of music, Justin previously worked at Truelements Music with DJ/Producer JPeriod where he worked on projects for The Roots, the Isley Brothers, Mary J. Blige, Game Rebellion, the Rock Steady Crew, Scion Radio, Tanqueray Gin, and others. He was the DJ and backing vocalist for NewMerika. He has had songs featured on tv shows, documentaries, and the sizzle reel of director Naheem Adio.     

Primary Discipline

Visual/Crafts - Painting

Additional Disciplines

Visual/Crafts - Sculpture


Art Sales

Additional Information

  • Year founded: 2015
  • Geographic Reach: City/Town-wide, County-wide, Surrounding Counties/Region, State-wide, Surrounding States/Region, Nationally, Internationally