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Pawnee Art of Oklahoma

Pawnee Art of Oklahoma

Red Cloud Opera House Art Gallery
September 10, 2020 to November 11, 2020

The Red Cloud Opera House is proud to host an exhibition of contemporary artwork from four Pawnee artists. 

Austin Real Rider 

Austin Real Rider grew up in Oklahoma City and Pawnee, Oklahoma, and he remembers drawing constantly as a child. In his forties, after a successful career in commercial printing, Real Rider moved to Santa Fe and enrolled at the Institute of American Indian Art. In one of his pottery classes, Real Rider’s professor asked the students to make a mask. He ended up selling the mask he made before the assignment was due and had to make another one to submit to his professor. Today, the Pawnee tribal member is one of Oklahoma’s few Plains Indian mask makers. In addition to making masks, the artist also creates ceramic horses, shields, and freestanding raku sculptures. Real Rider’s work has won numerous awards, including Best of Show at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, and his pieces are avidly collected by his fellow artists as well as the public. In 2008, he was named the Honored One by the Red Earth Indian Arts Festival in Oklahoma City.

Sonny Howell

Sonny Howell is a full blood Pawnee of the Skidi "Wolf" band. After serving in the U.S. Army from 1982–1990, Howell attended Cameron University and Oklahoma State University, receiving a Bachelor's of Fine Arts degree in 1997. He is inspired by the work of T.C. Cannon and Elias Rivera, and hopes to share his Pawnee heritage through his paintings of friends.

John Eaves

John Eaves hails from Stillwater, Oklahoma, and is a full blood Native American, of the Pawnee (Kitkehahki band) and Osage (Bear Clan) tribes. Eaves is a self-taught artist and a member of the Native American Church which inspires some of his work. 

Bunky Echo-Hawk

Bunky Echo-Hawk is an internationally known visual artist whose work is featured in galleries and museum exhibitions throughout the U.S. and the world. Widely collected, his paintings are held in numerous private, public, corporate, nonprofit, and tribal collections. 

As a live painter, Echo-Hawk has performed in major venues, including the Chesapeake Energy Arena, home of the NBA basketball team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. These live performances and strategic partnerships have raised much needed funding for indigenous educational and programming needs. He has worked with Nike, serving as the design consultant for the Nike N7 line since 2011 and has recently partnered with Pendleton Woolen Mills to create a blanket, the proceeds of which support the American Indian College Fund. Through these efforts, millions of dollars have been raised for Indian Country.

Echo-Hawk has served as artist-in-residence at a number of institutions, organization, and in tribal communities. He illustrates thier work and bolsters their mission through his art—giving voice to issues facing Indian Country and raising the funds to address those issues. His art presses forward, and gives back.