The Kiowa Five

December 19 2008 - January 25 2009
Shawnee. Oklahoma- Friday, January 16, 2009 at 7pm. - The Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art will be hosting a lecture by Vanessa Jennings, granddaughter of original Kiowa 5 member Stephen Mopope, on Friday, January 16, 2009 at 7pm. A reception hosted by the MGMoA volunteers will follow the lecture.

Vanessa Jennings is a well respected artist and bead-worker. She is one of very few Oklahomans to receive the prestigious National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Ms. Jennings received the award for her efforts to preserve Kiowa heritage, since she creates beaded baby cradles in the Kiowa tradition.

Vanessa's speaking engagement is part of the exhibit The Kiowa Five on display at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art until January 25, 2009. The exhibit consists of pieces from the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art's permanent collection, including a complete 1929 edition of pochoir prints.

The American Indian artists that came to be known as the "Kiowa Five" were actually six artists in total: Spencer Asah (1905 or 1910-1954); Jack Hokeah (1902-1969); Stephen Mopope (1898-1974); Monroe Tsatoke (1904-1937); and Lois (Bougetah) Smoky (1907-1981), the youngest and only female member of the group, who was later replaced by James Auchiah (1906-1974).

The artwork of the Kiowa Five is well known for its representational, narrative style with ceremonial and social scenes of Kiowa life as their subject matter. Many of the oral traditions in the Kiowa culture express the purity and distinct colors of their native landscape. In many colorful paintings, using flat planes of color in bold and direct figures, the Kiowa Five developed a distinctive cultural style, still emulated today. As students of the University of Oklahoma, they received formal art training and wide national and international exhibitions of their artistic skill and finesse with paint, pottery and dance.

This exhibition is funded in part by the Oklahoma Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, and Allied Arts.

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