National Cowboy Hall of Fame

Oklahoma City, OK



Winter Camp: Honoring the Legacy - Contemporary Expressions of Oklahoma Tribal Art


On January 15, 2000, a special exhibition and sale featuring Oklahoma Tribal Arts entitled "Winter Camp: Honoring the Legacy - Contemporary Expressions of Oklahoma Tribal Art," will open at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center. In 1998, in an effort to raise public awareness of Native Oklahoma artists, Richard Atison, Frank Sheridan, and Nancy Johnson brought together a group of artists for a small exhibition entitled Winter Camp. Following the successful endeavor, the artists approached the museum with a proposal to host this unique show on a larger scale. Thirty-one artists with an Oklahoma tribal connection will display their works for the first time as an organized group. (left: Barthell Little Chief, Eagle Vision)

For the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center, this exhibition is a natural extension of a program initiated in 1996 with the acquisition of the Arthur and Shifra Silberman Collection of Native American fine art. The goal of the museum is to continue to build upon the legacy of this exceptional collection with an associated exhibition and educational
programming, making it more inclusive of present and future artists.

T.C. Cannon, a Native American of Kiowa-Caddo ancestry who was born in Lawton, Oklahoma, could be considered the impetus for this unique exhibition. By the time Cannon was 16, he was studying at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. Although he was only 33 when he died in an automobile accident, he had already become widely recognized both nationally and internationally. Along with other contemporary artists such as Parker Boyiddle, Benjamin Buffalo, Doug Hyde, Sherman Chaddleson, Earl Eder, Linda Lamahaftewa, Kevin Red Star, and others, Cannon helped to revise and replace old paternalistic "craft" concepts with a new, vigorous doctrine of "art by artists who happen to be Indian."

2000 Winter Camp: Honoring the Legacy features Oklahoma Native American art as it has developed since the death of T.C. Cannon. For the organizers of this show, this seemed to be an appropriate starting point, since four of the artists, Sherman Chaddleson, Parker Boyiddle, Benjamin Harjo, Jr., and Karita Coffey began their careers as classmates of T.C. Cannon. Winter Camp is how they have chosen to honor Cannon's legacy. (left: Frank Sheridan, Beaded Mirror Bag)

Artists participating in the exhibition include Victoria Adams, Marcus Amerman, Richard Aitson, Parker Boyiddle, Bruce Caesar, Sherman Chaddleson, Karita Coffey, Mel Cornshucker, Tom Fields, Anita Fields, Bill Glass, Jr., Gina Gray, Keri Ataumbi Greeves, Teri Greeves, Benjamin Harjo, Jr., Nancy J. Johnson, Brent L. Learnerd, Barthell Little Chief, Merlin Little Thunder, Robby McMurtry, Raymond Curtis Nordwall, Jane Hitchcock Osti, Harvey Pratt, Austin Real Rider, Connie Seabourn, Norman F. Sheridan, Harvetta Big Bow Sheridan, Dana Tiger, Jim Van Deman, Tillier Wesley, and Richard Whitman.

A special symposium will take place on Saturday, January 15 in the S.B. "Burk" Burnett Board Room from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Featured guest artist speakers include Karita Coffey, Bruce Caesar, Benjamin Harjo, Jr., Tom and Anita Fields, and Frank Sheridan. Cost is $5 for Hall members and students, and $10 for non-members. (right: Jane Hitchcock Osti, Eastern Woodlands-style Vessel)

Today, Oklahoma is home to over 30 different federally recognized tribes, each with their own distinct heritage, culture, and artistic expression. Whether it is paint and palette, stone, clay, metal, bead, buckskin, or feather, each piece in the show somehow directly or indirectly, touches the artists' own tribal legacy. Items in the show will range from $200 to $25,000. Most will be available for purchase. A catalogue will be available for purchase in the museum store.

Read more about the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Resource Library Magazine


rev. 11/26/10

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