Chickasaw Country shows off native women artists in ‘Women Warriors’ exhibit

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 6:48 PM CDT
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SULPHUR, Okla. (KXII) - The Chickasaw Nation’s tourism organization, Chickasaw Country, is celebrating native women artists with a new exhibit called Women Warriors.

The exhibit, which opened July 1st, features pottery and basket weaving by Eva Cantrell in Davis, and painting and jewelry by Kristen Gentry in Sulphur.

Stacey Williams-Duncan lives in Virginia, but she’s a member of the Chickasaw Nation. During the pandemic, she was able to view more of the art that the Chickasaw Nation promoted online.

“One of the things I really enjoyed during the pandemic shutdown is how much they transitioned online to do the artists shows online, and their Instagram was really great,” Williams-Duncan said. “So there were several artists in town that I’ve been watching from afar and wanted to come down and see.”

Williams-Duncan said she’s learned about her own heritage by viewing the art.

“All of the artists I know are taking images from our history and using them in creative new modern ways and for me it always prompts me to go learn something,” Williams-Duncan said.

Williams-Duncan said she’s fascinated by the contrast between those ancient images, and modern techniques like laser cutting and 3-d printing.

“That’s an incredible piece,” Williams-Duncan said. “I think that’s the story of native artists: ‘How do we combine ancient stories and ancient symbols with modern approaches to art,’ and so I think that’s the interesting thing. That native art continues to change and evolve and yet there is a consistency across generations too.”

The Oklahoma City museum, Exhibit C, features beaded work by Shelby Rowe, watercolor by Kindra Swafford, and pottery by Karin Walkingstick.

The art will be on display until October 31st.

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