Traditional Cheyenne artist Named 2010 Red Earth Honored One

Posted by Eric Oesch on 05/18/2010

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Gordon Yellowman Sr., of El Reno, OK, wears many hats.  He is a father, husband, tribal chief, administrator, artist, educator, historian and community leader.  Yellowman will be recognized as the 2010 Red Earth Festival Honored One during the 24th annual Red Earth Native American Cultural Festival scheduled June 18-20 at the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City.

            Since its inception in 1987, Red Earth, Inc, the non-profit organization with a mission to promote the rich traditions of American Indian arts and cultures through education, a premier festival, museum and fine art markets, has selected a Native American master visual artist whose support of Indian art has been substantial throughout his or her life for this annual recognition. 

Gordon Yellowman, Sr., a member of the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, joins an impressive list of 29 Native American artists recognized with the prestigious award including Jereldine Redcorn, Allan Houser, Archie Blackowl, Mildred Cleghorn, Doc Tate Nevequaya, Mavis Doering, Enoch Kelly Haney, Mike Larsen, Harvey Pratt and Benjamin Harjo, Jr.

“Gordon is an outstanding artist, citizen, and an Oklahoma role model for all people,” said Dr. Mary Jo Watson, director of the School of Art and Art History at the University of Oklahoma.  “One of the most important aspects of his life is his service to his tribe, and the greater Oklahoma Indian community.

“It is through color and art that Gordon has made significant artistic contributions to enrich the culture of the Cheyenne & Arapaho tribe, through Red Earth and many other museums across the nation,” said Watson.  “He seamlessly follows the role of Cheyenne artists of the past 100 years, and is an expert at drawing, graphic design and painting – many times presenting scenes of Cheyenne life composed in a ledger style of his ancestors.”

Yellowman has a vast knowledge of tribal history.  His late father, Everett H. Yellowman, was a principal chief of the traditional peacemakers of the Cheyenne known as the Council of Forty-Four.  Yellowman was honored at the age of 16 by his selection to be a Cheyenne Peace Chief.  He now serves as one of the Four Principal Chiefs of his Tribe.

Yellowman is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Art at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and has lectured at the University of Oklahoma in art history classes.  He shares his knowledge with students inside and outside of the classrooms. 

Yellowman has received awards in the Red Earth juried art competition in 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2008.  He is a recipient of the Native American Cultural Heritage Award presented by the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and has been a guest curator of art exhibits at the Denver Art Museum and the Field Museum in Chicago.  His community service includes being a member of the Smithsonian Repatriation Review Committee at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., and as is a consultant for the Pamplin Museum in Portland Oregon.  His is also a member of the Native American Advisory Committee at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History at the University of Oklahoma.

Yellowman will display his art during the 24th Annual Red Earth Festival June 18-20 at the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City.  The organization will present him with the 2010 Red Earth Honored One award during special 7 pm ceremonies on Saturday, June 19 in the Cox Convention Center Arena. 

The 24th Annual Red Earth Native American Cultural Festival is sponsored in part by the Oklahoma Arts Council, Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department, Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau, Chickasaw Nation, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Devon Energy, Phillips Murrah LLC, Chesapeake Energy, AT&T, Tinker Federal Credit Union, James H. & Madalynne Norick Foundation, The Kerr Foundation, Great Plains Coca Cola Bottling Company and Bank 2.            Tickets to attend the Red Earth Festival are $10 for adults, $7.50 for seniors and youth and free for children under five. Three day passes and group rates are available. Tickets can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com or in person at the Cox Convention Center box Office.  Active U.S. Military and U.S. Military veterans receive an admission discount with a valid Military I.D. 

For more than 30 years, the 501 (c) 3 non-profit Red Earth, Inc has been recognized as the region’s premier organization for advancing the understanding and continuation of Native American traditional and contemporary culture and arts.  The Red Earth Museum & Gallery, at 6 Santa Fe Plaza in downtown Oklahoma City, hosts a diverse and changing schedule of traveling exhibitions and is custodian of a permanent collection of more than 1,400 items of fine art, pottery, basketry, textiles and beadwork – including the Deupree Cradleboard Collection, one of the finest individual collections of its kind in North America.

Visit www.redearth.org for additional information.

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