WEWOKA, OK – MVSKOKE VOICES Contemporary Native American Art, is open to the public at the Seminole Nation Museum in Wewoka following a delayed opening date due to COVID-19 concerns. The first-ever joint exhibition by the Seminole Nation Museum and Red Earth Art Center features seven of Oklahoma’s most talented Seminole and Muscogee (Creek) artists in an invitational art show open free to the public through August 22. An Artist’s Reception is scheduled Saturday, Aug 15 from 2-4 pm at the museum.
For over 40 years the Red Earth Art Center in Oklahoma City and the Seminole Nation Museum in Wewoka have worked to achieve their similar missions to share the history and traditions of American Indian arts and cultures through a combination of ethnological programming, educational outreach, art exhibitions and award-winning Festivals.
Both the Seminole Nation Museum and Red Earth Art Center have collaborated to create a contemporary art exhibition that celebrates artists of Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole origins. Those who share the MVSKOKE language also share a deep connection through their extraordinary history and cultural traditions.
MVSKOKE VOICES Contemporary Native American Art features beautiful examples of Seminole and Muscogee (Creek) paintings, screen prints, textiles and sculpture pieces. The invitation art show includes the original art of award-winning artists Leslie A. Deer (Muscogee Creek), Enoch Kelly Haney (Seminole), Benjamin Harjo, Jr (Absentee Shawnee/Seminole), Bobby C. Martin (Muscogee Creek), Dana Tiger (Muscogee Creek), Tony Tiger (Muscogee Creek/Sac & Fox/ Seminole), and the late Tillier Wesley (Muscogee Creek).
The Seminole Nation Museum was constructed in 1937 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to serve as the Wewoka Community Center. Today, the museum has hosted over a half-million visitors representing every US State and over 100 foreign countries since opening nearly five decades ago. It has more than doubled in size to include 4000 square feet of display space, a research library, and expanded arts and crafts center and an art gallery that regularly hosts special and national traveling exhibits.
Situated on the entire 500 block of South Wewoka Avenue (Main Street) near downtown Wewoka, this big time museum in a small town is just 69 miles east of Oklahoma City just south of I-40. The museum’s campus is situated on land located in both the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. All agree the Seminole Nation Museum is special to the 3,189 residents who call Wewoka home.
In June 2019, the Red Earth Art Center reached an agreement with BancFirst that relocated the small, yet active art center to the ground floor lobby of the BancFirst Tower in downtown Oklahoma City. BancFirst recently purchased the 36-story building formerly known as Cotter Ranch Tower and construction crews are currently working on extensive renovations to the downtown landmark.
Plans call for the Red Earth Art Center to reopen to the public in 2021 with a full schedule of art exhibitions featuring area artists in addition to the notable Red Earth permanent collection of fine art including paintings, sculpture, pottery, basketry and the renowned Deupree Cradleboard Collection – considered the largest collection of its kind in the southwest. T
A major component of the downtown Oklahoma City Red Earth Art Center will continue to be a sales gallery featuring both contemporary and traditional original Native artwork from local and regional artists. A mission of the non-profit organization is to provide Native artists a vehicle to sell their art to the public.
Both museums are noted for their award-winning marquis events. The Seminole Nation Museum founded and co-sponsors the annual Wewoka Sorghum Festival - swelling the population of the community tenfold on the fourth Saturday of October. The annual Red Earth Festival attracts thousands from throughout the globe each year, eager to experience the art and cultures that make Oklahoma unique. Both events have received the prestigious Redbud Award for Outstanding Event by the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department.
The Seminole Nation Museum is open Monday - Saturday 10-5 pm or by appointment. The museum is closed on federal holidays and admission is free, although donations are encouraged and accepted. Guided tours and special programs for groups are available.
MVSKOKE VOICES Contemporary Native American Art is funded in part by the Oklahoma Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Both the Seminole Nation Museum and Red Earth Art Center are recognized as the region’s premier organizations for advancing the understanding and continuation of Native American traditional and contemporary culture and arts. The Red Earth Art Center is an Allied Arts member agency.
The Oklahoma Arts Council is the official state agency for the support and development of the arts. The Council’s mission is to lead, cultivate and support a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education and economic vitality for all Oklahomans. The Council organizes professional development opportunities for the state’s arts and cultural industry, and manages hundreds of works of art in the public spaces of the State Capitol. For more information, visit www.arts.ok.gov.