Exhibit C Gallery, Oklahoma City’s premier First American art gallery, is welcoming three First American artists for a new exhibit beginning this July. “Women Warriors” will showcase the work of Shelby Rowe, Kindra Swafford and Karin Walkingstick. Three women artists whose diverse artistic skills span from beading to watercolor painting to pottery.
“While their artistic mastery is diverse, they all have one thing in common: they showcase the power of the warrior women of their nations,” Paige Williams Shepherd, Chickasaw Nation’s Director of Corporate Development and Tourism, said.
The participating artists draw influence from their personal lives and First American artwork. Rowe’s beading is an expression of mending brokenness. Swafford’s colorful and playful watercolors are inspired by pop culture. Walkingstick’s pottery echoes her Cherokee culture and background.
“Women Warriors” will be on display from July 1 to October 31, 2021. For more information about the artists, or other art at Exhibit C Gallery, visit www.exhibitcgallery.com.
A proud citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, Rowe is an inspirational speaker and nationally recognized suicide prevention expert, and mother of three sons. For Rowe, art is an expression of mending brokenness, with symbolism throughout the process: fragile beads become nearly indestructible when they have been lovingly woven together. This is reflective of Shelby’s work in suicide prevention and education, as she has over 20 years of experience in public health.
Recently, Shelby’s piece “21st Century Hatchet Woman” received both the People’s Choice Award and a Judge’s Award at the 2020 Southeast Art Show & Market (SEASAM) and was also featured in the exhibit “Stitched in Sovereignty” at the Couse-Sharp Historic Site. In 2016, Rowe was honored as the Chickasaw Nation’s Dynamic Woman of the Year. In 2019, her piece “Auntie Deb”, a beaded cuff bracelet featuring a portrait of then US Representative, now Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, was added to the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.
From doodling as a kid to finding early guidance from supportive teachers in Salina, OK, to honing her craft in Northeastern State University’s art program, Swafford finds regenerative joy in art. Kindra, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, drew her early inspirations from pop culture—Jim Lee’s comic work, Disney movies and video games.
Today, her art retains the exuberance of that early passion in her vivid colors and playful compositions, particularly in watercolor, a medium to which she finds herself increasingly drawn. An active member of Arts Council of Tahlequah, Inkslingers of Tulsa, OVAC and SEIAA, she hopes to continue refining her approach.
Kindra seeks to explore new subject matter and styles and share her art with an ever-expanding community of artists, indigenous artists and art enthusiasts.
A Cherokee potter from Claremore, Oklahoma, Walkingstick’s passion for art began at an early age. Throughout her life, she has explored many forms of creative expression, but since her introduction to clay in 2013, she has committed her time exclusively to creating one-of-a-kind works of pottery using techniques that echo her Cherokee culture. All of her pieces are hand coiled and stone burnished.
Karin participates in Native American art markets such as the Santa Fe Indian Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Heard Museum Indian Fair and Market in Phoenix, Arizona and Cherokee Art Market in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
About Chickasaw Country
Nestled in south-central Oklahoma, Chickasaw Country is a regional tourism organization representing 13 of Oklahoma’s 77 counties. As the official destination tourism organization, Chickasaw Country includes 7,648 square miles, 11 percent of Oklahoma’s total 68,597 square miles. Chickasaw Country, a division of the Chickasaw Nation, is a tourism source for visitors and communities within the region and promotes destinations, attractions and festivals. Chickasaw Country is a diverse and culturally-vested destination, with new adventures and experiences around every corner.
About Exhibit C Gallery
Exhibit C Gallery, Oklahoma City’s premier First American art gallery, is located in Bricktown. The gallery displays works of numerous artists from the Chickasaw and southeastern tribes, as well as artists from across Indian Country. Exhibit C Gallery continues the vision of raising awareness of the many cultural experiences in Oklahoma set forth by Chickasaw Nation Governor, Bill Anoatubby. Exhibit C Gallery is open daily from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. at 1 E. Sheridan, Bricktown.
All items located in Exhibit C Gallery are for purchase.Female artistIndigenous artKarin WalkingstickKindra SwaffordShelby Rowe