Bacone College reinstates Indian art program

11/20/2018 08:30 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Timothy Tate Nevaquaya, left, Sterlin Harjo, Bacone President Dr. Ferlin Clark and Gerald Cournoyer are part of the re-establishment of the Bacone Indian Art program, which will begin classes in 2019. COURTESY
MUSKOGEE – On Oct. 19, Bacone College formally reinstated its previously nationally acclaimed art program with classes slated to begin in the 2019 spring semester.

“Art is the expression and celebration of our history, culture, and life. We are proud to re-establish the Indian Art Program at Bacone College,” Bacone College President Dr. Ferlin Clark said.

Bacone will introduce its Artist-in-Residence program with art faculty members who are citizens of Oklahoma tribal nations or other tribal nations.

“Bacone Indian art was the founder of the Indian art movement in educational institutions, and we are proud to re-establish it for our students to learn from the best our contemporary and traditional Indian art world has to offer,” Clark said.

Helping in the re-establishment of the program is Sterlin Harjo, Seminole Nation citizen and filmmaker. Harjo is an award-winning writer, director and producer with films such “Mekko,” “Barking Water” and “Four Sheets to the Wind.” He also co-founded the Native American comedy group the “1491s.”

“Keeping Native artists in Oklahoma is something I care about deeply, and Bacone was once a magnet for talented Native artists. It will not happen overnight, but when an opportunity like this presents itself, you can’t sleep on it,” Harjo said.

An array of Bacone alumni and Native American artists are willing to lend their expertise to the program, including tribal leader and former state Sen. Enoch Kelly Haney (Seminole/Muscogee Creek), painter Ruthe Blalock Jones (Delaware/Shawnee/Peoria), painter and flutist Timothy Tate Nevaquaya (Comanche) and playwright, director and producer Hanay Geiogamah (Kiowa/Delaware).

New director and chair of the Bacone Indian Art program Gerald Cournoyer said new courses in film, script writing, performing art and other contemporary visual arts will be added to the curriculum.

As part of the re-establishment of the program, Bacone is also offering the Dick West Artist Fellowship with full scholarships to Native American art students.

“We are looking to our American Indian tribes and leaders to help us provide educational opportunities for our students by contributing financially to this historic educational institution,” Clark said. “This renewed Indian Art program is one program that we want our friends, supporters, and donors to support as part of our Campaign Phoenix to rebuild and sustain Bacone College as the pride of our many nations.”

For more information, call 918-781-7281.


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