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.

JARICA WALSH

 
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Description of Art

I make art that strives to provide healing and progress, and that examines our relationship with ourselves, our planet, and our universe. My sculptural ceramic artwork intends to strike a balance of strength and vulnerability. The Star Series reflects a connection to cosmic bodies. Inspired by a night sky and the notion that we are all made of star stuff, but beyond that, this work honors my Wahzhazhe ancestors and our origin in the stars. Each individual piece is meant to connect with the whole body of work and yet is unique in its improvised pattern. These vessels are infused with positivity and blessings to be shared with those that hold them, functioning as talismans. I believe that these objects hold meaning, transfer energy, and heal. The botanical works are a way to honor the beauty and importance of the plants and to create a timeless representation. I create photogram prints of my ceramic works as well as plant life, using the cyanotype process. This photographic process creates an outlined positive image of the work placed on the paper. The erasure of details, aside from outlines, allows for focus on the print of the ceramic piece and its unique pattern. The midnight blue background further reinforces the connection to the night sky. I am incorporating storytelling, recording both personal and global experiences, in the prints by means of careful composition and handwritten graphite additions to the backs of the works. The prints of my ceramic artworks capture a fleeting moment of the sun meeting the earth, honoring the sun that powers us and transforming the ceramic sculpture into another form, extending the life and impact of the piece. It presents an opportunity to collaborate with nature, and to experiment with pushing the ceramic artwork in a new direction as the subject of the print. The botanical materials collected for printing are shed naturally or gathered in routine pruning, striving to respect the important relationship of plants and humans to care for one another. I work to bring quiet introspection and vulnerability to my creative process, demonstrated in the meditative carving of patterns into the clay, the careful collection of botanicals, and the addition of handwritten thoughts. It is done with the intention of reflecting the contemplation and openness into the artwork and installations, inviting the same of the viewer with the goal of finding common ground and healing.

Artist Biography
 

Jarica Walsh is a graduate of The University of Oklahoma, receiving her BFA in Media Arts with an emphasis in Filmmaking. She is a multidisciplinary artist, motivated by the core principles of optimism, appreciation, and inclusion. Walsh is the Director of Art in Public Places for the Oklahoma Arts Council. She was born in Pawhuska of Osage and mixed European heritage. She lives and works in Oklahoma City, maintaining a studio in the Paseo Arts District.

NORMAN DUANE BIGEAGLE - Duane BigEagle

 
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Description of Art

"Grandpa's Meeting House" oil on canvas, 20"x24", painting of my grandfather's Native American meeting house, Bug Creek, Greyhorse, Oklahoma. 2. "Walking to Gangtey Gompa, Bhutan" oil on canvas, 24"x30". From my series: "Postcards for the Osage" paintings from my travels around the world for my Osage relatives in Oklahoma. This painting is of a monastery in the small country of Bhutan in the Himalyas.

Artist Biography
 

Of American Indian (Osage Nation) descent, I was born at Claremore, Oklahoma, in 1946. I have a B.A. Degree from the University of California at Berkeley and have been painting, writing, and publishing poetry since the early 1970s. I have also taught creative writing to young people with the California Poets In The Schools Program since 1976 and am a past President of the Board of Directors of that organization. I was awarded three California Arts Council Artist in Residence grants in the late 1980s and have received several awards for my poetry, including the W.A. Gerbode Poetry Award in 1993. I have also served on various local, state, and national grant and policy review panels for many agencies, including the California Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. I have been a college teacher since 1989 and a Lecturer in Native American Studies at San Francisco State University, Sonoma State University, and presently at College of Marin. I am a founding Board Member of the Northern California Osage and the American Indian Public Charter School in Oakland, CA. I have served as an educational reform consultant with the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. I am also a traditional American Indian singer and Osage Ilonschka Southern Straight Dancer. An extended biography is published in: "Here First: Autobiographical Essays by Native American Writers", edited by A. Krupat & B. Swann, Modern Library, New York, 2000. ISBN 0-375-75138-6. Personal Statement As an American Indian youth, I was taught to value a connection with the land that sustains our lives. I learned early that individuality, creativity, self-expression, and love of beauty are essential to the survival of a whole and healthy person. And I have experienced the roles that art and poetry play in the passing of culture from one generation to the next. These lessons and values have formed the person I have become -- poet, teacher, painter, traditional singer and dancer, artist in education, community organizer, and cultural activist.

GAYLE DOWELL

 
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Blue Moon Necklace, Prairie grass, ticklegrass, Sterling silver with Apatite Gemstone by G

Description of Art

Artisan jewelry textured with the plants of the prairie in fine silver, sterling silver, and 22k gold.

Artist Biography
 

My passion for nature was influenced first by my Osage grandmother, Lily Peace Patterson. When I moved to the ancestral lands of the Osage in Kansas, I found a deeper connection with the plants of the tallgrass prairie. With only 4% of our tallgrass prairie remaining, I set out to save our prairies by highlighting in my art the biodiversity that the prairie provides. I create molds of these plants and create my unique pieces in fine silver, sterling silver, and 22k gold. It's my way of taking something that is vanishing and giving it a glimpse of eternity by creating its likeness in metal. I've become an advocate for planting native plants to help our pollinators thrive. We are all connected as creation and we need to be caretakers of our natural resources. This is my small way as an artist to help bring attention to our beloved lands.

JAKE WALLER II - Opan Tonka

 
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Description of Art

The Big Drum- Is the first piece of artwork I created after the loss of my father, Meen-kon-shee (spot on elks neck), Jake Waller. The picture represents the first place you go on the other side after you die. The Big Drum is the first place that you meet with your ancestors to sing the ancient songs of our Osage people. This painting represents the first song my father sang with his Osage Ancestors. Connected-This picture represents an artistic expression of photography from the many years of life my wife and I spent on the prairie working with a bison herd. The connection between the land, bison, and our relationship with the herd.

Artist Biography
 

Born into the Wah-Tian-Kah band of Blackdog Osages from the Zon-Zo-Li Village and the Opan (Elk Clan). I grew up in the Osage ways and teachings of my Father, Uncle and Osage Elders. I was named into the Big Moon East Moon Native American Church within my first year of life. I was inducted into the E-Lon-Ska society at three and a half years old where I have participated for the last 34 years as much as my travels all over in life have allowed me. I create art and express myself artistically for my wife, children, family and Osage decendants. These things are one way that I work to be a part of an eternal line of decendants, the Original Osage Prayer.

Lou W. Brock

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Description of Art

Wahzhazhe: An Osage Ballet - Composer ("Royalty of the Plains," "Pawhuska Oil," and "Reign of Terror") The Osage Timeline - 1st ed. (2013) and 2nd ed. (2014) including short synopsis of Osage historical facts. (out of print)

Artist Biography
 

Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, Lou Brock (Osage/Omaha) has lived in many locations including Lake Charles, Louisiana, Dacca, East Pakistan, Stillwater, Ralston, Oklahoma City and currently residing in Pawnee. He retired from Southwestern Bell Telephone Company/SBC Communications, Inc. with 30 years’ service and has worked with the Osage Nation for 16 years, now currently works part-time as a Sergeant-at-Arms for the Osage Nation Congress in Pawhuska and as Town Clerk/Treasurer for the Town of Ralston. Mr. Brock has been playing piano, organ and keyboard for over 60 years. First trained in his first hometown of Lake Charles, Louisiana, at the age of four, with Virginia Fontana-Raftery, using his late grandmother's Cable upright piano for practicing, which he still practices on, and then finishing up his musical education and association with the late Loretta Hale Lantz-Porter of Pawnee. He has played at weddings, funerals, and raised money for the Fairfax Senior Citizens group back in the mid-1980's, as well as fundraising for Stage Right Productions beginning in 2017. He and his wife have awarded several year-long scholarships to the late Mrs. Porter’s chosen top students. In 2009, Lou wrote a score of music for a new exhibit (“We Walk in Two Worlds”) at the Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock, which became the inspiration for a ballet, which premiered in 2012, entitled, “Wahzhazhe: An Osage Ballet”, giving the audience a look at the Osage history through the art of ballet dance. Along with Dr. Joseph Rivers of the University of Tulsa, and Scott George on traditional songs, he composed three important parts of the music, and Dr. Rivers arranged the entire set. The ballet company performed at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. in March, 2013. As well as several cities in Oklahoma (2013), Santa Fe, New Mexico (2016), Rolla, Missouri (2017). The opening scene of the ballet was chosen for the Papal Visit in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 2015, as the only American Indian Tribe to do this for him. He is also credited as the author of "The Osage Timeline" (1st ed. 2013 and 2nd ed. 2014) and is currently working on a 3rd edition. He also is looking to publish a book that his late father, Wheeler Eagle Brock, a former Osage Tribal Councilman, had written of short stories, some of which included some amazing Osage history.

 

Under the guidance of his mentor and former director of the Osage Tribal Museum, he is listed as a reference on numerous books, including: • 2007 – “Bootheel Man,” Swingle, Morley • 2010 – “The Osage Indian Reign of Terror: The Violence of Bill Hale 1921-1923,” Underhill, Lonnie • 2012 – “The Red Land to the South: American Indian Writers and Indigenous Mexico,” Cox, James Howard • 2015 – “Osage and Settler: Reconstructing Shared History through an Oklahoma Family Archive,” Berry-Hess, Janet • 2017 – “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Grann, David • 2017 – “John Joseph Mathews: Life of an Osage Writer,” Snyder, Michael • 2019 – “Wedding Clothes and the Osage Community: A Giving Heritage,” Swan, Daniel C. and Cooley, Jim Lou is currently the principal organist for Sunday Morning Mass at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Pawhuska, as well as principal pianist and organist at the First Baptist Church in Fairfax, and has served as a pianist and organist for Ralston First Baptist Church (1971-75, 2000-11, 2014-17), and the Osage Indian Baptist Church in Pawhuska (2011-14). He gave a 90-minute concert on the pipe organ and grand piano at the First Osage Baptist Church in Fairfax on April 30, 2017, where over a hundred people attended. There, he performed, live, his composition from the Osage Ballet, entitled “Reign of Terror” which received a standing ovation from the audience. On October 22, 2017, he set a record for himself by playing at three different churches (Immaculate Conception Catholic in Pawhuska, First Osage Baptist in Fairfax and Osage Indian Baptist Church in Pawhuska) on the same day. December 24-25, 2017, he performed five different services (three at ICCC and two at First Osage Baptist), including a Midnight Mass and a Monday Mass service. Mr. Brock is a cheerleader and philanthropist with Stage Right Productions, LLC, located at Pawnee High School, where he accompanies youngsters on piano of all ages in their singing talents on and off stage, and performs background music for the Skiatook Art Center’s art exhibitions. Lou met and married his wife, Rosalie, in 1979, and have two wonderful schnauzer fur babies.

BRAD PULLEN

 
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Description of Art

The first piece is mixed media on glass. I used spray paint, paint markers, and permanent markers. I also used an exacto blade to carve the fine details. I really enjoyed using a lot of bright colors on this piece. The second piece is a commission for my friends barbershop. Royalty Barbershop. I used permanent marker and paint markers.

Artist Biography
 

Im a lover of all things art. I try to be well rounded with my disciplines. I find myself bouncing around from one medium to the next. The is why I go by "Menace Mediums". I do graffiti work, lettering, logos, realism, abstract, wood burning, screen printing, block printing, etc. and I have plenty more photos of my work I can share as well. Thank you