Starry Night

Osage Nation Registered Artists

NANETTE KELLEY

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Description of Art

Mentors such as Chinese artist Hung Liu (social realism), Lucienne Bloch and Stephen Pope Dimitroff (Diego Rivera’s fresco paint mixer and wall plaster engineer), and watercolorist Robert Benson (Tsnungwe Tribe), although ethnically and politically diverse, gave Nanette Kelley an appreciation for works of art as language, and not mere aesthetics. With a focus on social systems, Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), and art curriculum development for schools, Nanette focuses on regional themed and community-based social practice art. She interprets the natural environment including representational wildlife and cultural themed painting with the use of wax and water-based, non-toxic multimedia works on paper, leather crafts, woodworking design, and stained glass.

Artist Biography

A lifelong traveler on the roads in-between, Nanette Kelley divides her time between her Osage and Cherokee homelands in Oklahoma and unceded Wiyot territory on the Redwood Coast. As she says, “My family never stopped migrating.” She is a first daughter of the Wahzhazhe Nikashe (Osage Nation), Eagle Clan, and has dual Osage and Cherokee enrollment. Both a professional artist and a journalist, she comes from generations of hidecrafters and metalsmiths. To ensure access to regional culture, language, and traditional arts in education, Nanette builds cultural bridges among peoples and organizations and hosts cultural art events in both CA and OK: Nanette is the 2021 California Arts Council Administrators of Color Fellow for the north state region. A professional member of the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA), she is a contributing writer to various Indigenous publications including First American Art Magazine. Her media is primary research, both traditional and western materials, and the natural environment. Her method is historical interpretation through a Traditional Ecological Knowledge lens. With an appreciation for works of art as language and not mere aesthetics. She believes art and the environment are catalysts for underrepresented peoples to tell their own cultural histories. A first-generation college student, she earned a B.A. in Art from Humboldt State University, CA, a B.A. in Corporate Communications from Rogers State University, OK, and has a 2022 completion date for her M.A. in Indigenous Education & Policy through Arizona State University, School of Social Transformation with emphasis in regional art, cultural, and natural history community-based curriculum.

MATT JARVIS

Description of Art

Painting, Photography, Graphic Design, Graphic Novels, Commercial, Portraiture, Journalism / Documentary, Fine Art, Media Art

Artist Biography

I started out drawing when my parents gave me a Star Wars "design" book for Christmas back in 1977. My grandparents gave me a pastel chalk set for my birthday in 1979 and this introduced color into my artistic toolbox. In high school I was introduced to acrylic and oil paints plus pen and ink drawings (had a pen and ink drawing in an Oregon State University Land Grant University calendar and had my paintings exhibited for the first time). When I went off to college my parents told me not to take any art courses but to study something that would become a career. I took one water color painting course and kept painting on the side but my studies were something else completely. I ended up dropping out of college one quarter away from my bachelor's degree because when traveling I took some photographs I thought I would use to paint from but they ended up getting sold to a magazine in late 1990. Thus began my career as a commercial / editorial photographer. At one point I went back to school and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography from the University of Washington (1996). Later, I would earn my Master of Fine Arts in Media Arts from the University of Oklahoma (2003). Like I said, I went into commercial / editorial photography (learning photography as I had assignments, real on the job training using what I was reading in library books to do professional assignments). I would later get a Fine Arts education and also work as professional photojournalist (images were work-for-hire) and commercial graphic designer. I produced one graphic novel in 2012 that sold about half of the copies printed, but have been inspired this last semester (Spring 2021) to create the sequel. Yes, I teach art at Bacone College half-time.

 
 

JOE DON BRAVE

 
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Description of Art

Description of Art: Joe Don Brave, Osage/Cherokee, nationally known artist, celebrated for his use of color and texture as he paints images of Native and Prairie life. “My artwork revolves around my heritage, emotions, environment and expressions that I have picked up through my adventures along the road, and while listening to the elders tell the stories of their experiences. I am a citizen of the world, as such, seek to define my identity and place within in this world, via art.”

Artist Biography

I was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1965 and soon after, my father (a successful artist and graphic designer and a major influence on my art,) nicknamed me Joe Don, after Oklahoma football legend Joe Don Looney. At age 9, my parents relocated our family to Osage County, Oklahoma, home to my Osage people, where I remained until I left for college. I grew up, immersed within the traditions and customs of the Osages and for 40 years, actively participate in our annual traditional ceremonial dances. I studied art at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I learned the fundamentals of art and museum studies. I began my career as a Museum Technician, at the Osage Nation Museum, in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, in the early 1980’s and continued at the National Museum of the American Indian; Smithsonian Institute in New York City, where I was an integral member of the move team, moving the collection from Harlem to the Bronx and then to Maryland. My artwork revolves around my heritage, emotions, environment and expressions that I have picked up through my adventures along the road, and while listening to the elders tell the stories of their experiences. I am the son of the Osage, part of its history and a product of its many changes, endured over time. I am a citizen of the world, as such, seek to define my identity and place within these two worlds, which are but one.

CHELSEA T. HICKS - 𐓸𐓶𐓟𐓰𐓫͘ / LookingtoEagle

 
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Description of Art

Hicks multi-genre writing work includes short stories, poems, essays, and novels as well as traditional Wahzhazhe crafting to keep her grounded. Ancestral stories and veneration are recurrent themes in her writing, as well as generational trauma and the methods by which generations heal and also fail to heal. She has also lead the band Museums in San Francisco, and studies traditional Wazhazhe craft practices such as shawl-making and moccasin-making as a method of grounding and support for her writing work. Her first book is a collection of short stories incorporating poems in Wahzhazhe ie, forthcoming in 2022 from Unnamed Press in Los Angeles. Hicks’ writing has also been published in McSweeney’s, Indian Country Today, Yellow Medicine Review, the Rumpus, the Believer, the LA Review of Books, the Paris Review, and elsewhere.

Artist Biography
 

Hicks is a writer living in the Bay Area in California after she earned an MA at UC Davis and an MFA at the Institute of American Indian Arts in creative writing. She began studying Wazhazhe ie for her iko, or “grandmother,” and will return to Oklahoma as a Tulsa Artist Fellow in 2022, to offer creative writing workshops for writers using indigenous languages. Hicks studies Wazhazhe ie with mentors of her tribal district, Waxakaoli^, and has worked at the Osage Nation’s language-focused school Daposka Ahnkodapi. She belongs to the Tsizho Washtake, through her father Brian Hicks, and in Wazhazhe ie she is Xhuedoi^ or “Looking to the Eagle.” Centering language study in her writing has allowed her to address trends of healing and cultural revitalization for modern day Natives in her writing. She was raised in Suffolk, Virginia and during the summers in Bartlesville, Oklahoma with her iko.

MEGHAN KATHLEEN NORTON - Prairie Tale

 
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Description of Art

Fine photographic art: studies of ordinary, forgotten, ancient, broken objects have become muses for the artist. Rusty car parts, under-appreciated neon signs from businesses long closed, and aged, stone buildings fill Meghan's viewfinder. On occasion, she takes a portrait commission.

Artist Biography
 

Meghan developed her artistic abilities as a child in Pawhuska and Bartlesville. Her father, Gary Jack Willis, was a journalist expected to shoot his own photographs, and it was him that opened the door for her. The artist is a classically trained portrait photographer with over 25 years of experience both in studio and out. Now, fine art photography occupies her heart. Capturing the ordinary to find the extraordinary is Meghan's passion.