Welcome to our collection of artworks and information about Native American art and artists

Jason Reed-Brown-metal (Koyukon-Athabascan), Dan Friday-glass (Lummi), Marcus Joe-painting (Swinomish

"Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children." -- Sitting Bull

Join Native Arts Collective in celebrating the gorgeous art of Pacific Northwest indigenous artist whose work is now available in the WHATCOM MUSEUM STORE (many thanks to Lisa Pollman!!)
Our FEATURED ARTIST of the month is DORALEE SANCHEZ (LUMMI). See her SAlmon painting now at the Museum Store during the "ENDANGERED SPECIES" exhibition through January 6, 2019!


Stay tuned for our upcoming February 2018 CrowdRise Campaign to help us impove this important resource...


Welcome to our website for promoting and sharing information about contemporary Native American art and artists. This site was created to bring the work of the many talented Native American and First Nations artists to a wider audience, and to be an educational resource as well. Our goal is to help artists to make a living from the creation of their art, by promoting their work internationally and educating those visitors about the amazing depth of native culture, history and artistic traditions.

This website is a prototype, initially created in 2013, designed as a central web resource to broadly share Native American and First Nations arts and cultures. We only offer work that was created by Native American artists, following both the spirit and the letter of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990

We are building out our new site now, starting with biographical and culture information about the artists we most admire, and their work. We're in the early stages of this exciting project, so if you have somehow found your way here, visit often as we'll have much more to offer you....

Native Arts Collective appreciates your feedback! Please email us at deanna@nativeartscollective.org.

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Paul Chatt Smith

Primary Medium(s): 

Paul Chaat Smith is a Comanche author, essayist, and curator. His books and exhibitions focus on the contemporary landscape of American Indian politics and culture.

Smith joined the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in 2001, where he currently serves as Associate Curator. His projects include the NMAI’s history gallery, performance artist James Luna’s Emendatio at the 2005 Venice Biennial, Fritz Scholder: Indian/Not Indian (2008), and Brian Jungen: Strange Comfort (2009).

With Robert Warrior, he is the author of Like a Hurricane: the Indian Movement from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee (New Press, 1996), a standard text in Native studies and American history courses. His second book, Everything You Know about Indians Is Wrong, was published in 2009 by the University of Minnesota Press, and is now in its second printing.

Benjamin Harjo Jr.

Primary Medium(s): 

Benjamin Harjo, Jr. (born 1945) is an award-winning Absentee Shawnee-Seminole painter and printmaker from Oklahoma.
Harjo is half-Seminole and half-Shawnee and is enrolled in the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. Harjo’s father was the late Benjamin Harjo, Sr., a full blood Seminole. Harjo’s mother, Viola Harjo, lives in Byng, Oklahoma. Viola’s father was William F. Harjo, who graduated from Chilocco Indian School in 1939. Viola married Benjamin Harjo’s stepfather, Roman Harjo (1924–2006) in 1954 at Clovis, New Mexico.
The name Harjo means "Crazy" in the Muscogee language and is part of a military title, Chitto Harjo or "Crazy snake.
Harjo was born on September 19, 1945 in Clovis, New Mexico. The family moved back to Oklahoma, and Harjo lived with his grandparents, Emmett and Ruth Wood, from age 10 to 18.

Vanessa Jennings

Primary Medium(s): 

Vanessa Paukeigope Jennings (b. 1952) is a Kiowa-Apache-Gila River Pima regalia maker, clothing designer, cradle board maker, and bead artist from Oklahoma.[1]
Jennings is enrolled in the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma and is the granddaughter of artist Stephen Mopope.
"I do my grandmother's work," Jennings said. "I do my great-grandmother's work. This is what they used to do. They are the ones who should be honored." Besides finished pieces, she is one of the few artists who brain-tans her own hides.
In 1989 Jennings was made a National Heritage Fellow. She was also named a Living National Treasure by the US President and the congress. In 2004, she was named the Honored One by the Red Earth Festival.

Wikipedia: Vanessa Jennings
Kiowa Horse Mask at NMAI on Flickr
A Fierce Loyalty, Bead and Button magazine

Rebecca Belmore

Primary Medium(s): 

Born in Upsala, Ontario, in 1960. Lives and works in Winnipeg.
Since the late 1980s, the work of Anishinabe artist Rebecca Belmore has pivoted on a highly charged balance between the personal and the political, addressing history, place, trauma and memory. Her performance-based practice often incorporates elements of sculpture, installation and video, positioning the artist’s body and voice as trenchant counterpoints to stereotypes about First Nations people and highlighting unresolved burdens of social justice. Among her best-known works is 1991′s Ayum-ee-aawach Oomama-mowan: Speaking to Their Mother, a massive megaphone that toured from Parliament Hill to First Nations territories across the country, and was created in response to the Oka crisis. Also well known is The Named and the Unnamed (2002), a multi-part installation that commemorates women missing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. In 2005, Belmore was the first Aboriginal woman to represent Canada at the Venice Biennale. Her work has also been featured at the the Havana Biennial and Biennale of Sydney, among other national and international venues. Belmore is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including the 2009 Hnatyshyn Award.

Norval Morrisseau

Primary Medium(s): 

A member of The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts1 (R.C.A.) since 1970, Norval Morrisseau was the celebrated founder of the Woodland Indian School of Art (today called the Anishnaabe art), which revitalized Anishnaabe iconography, traditionally incised on rocks and Midewiwin birchbark scrolls. A self-taught painter, Norval Morrisseau created an innovative visual vocabulary which was initially criticized in the Native community for its disclosure of traditional spiritual knowledge, previously passed down orally. He acquired his knowledge from his grandfather, Moses ("Potan") Nanakonagos, who taught him about Midewiwin scrolls which provided him with a source of powerful images and meanings.

Maxine Noel

Primary Medium(s): 

Maxine Noel was born in Manitoba of Santee Oglala Sioux parents. She spent her early childhood on her mother's reserve but left at the age of six to attend an Indian residential school. Maxine's early career as a legal secretary was soon overshadowed by her preoccupation with painting and drawing. She took a course in advanced design where a teacher noticed Maxine's tendency toward linear expression and encouraged her in the use of shape and line to suggest movement. She learned those lessons well as evidenced by much of her work today.
Since those early days Maxine has mastered the skills of painting and drawing plus the processes of serigraphy, etching and stone lithography. Recently she has turned her talents to the creation of editions in cast paper and limited edition bronze castings.Maxine has received excellent response to her work and is now able to devote herself full-time to the creation of art.

Maxine Noel signs her artwork with her Sioux name Ioyan Mani, which translates as "Walk Beyond".


Gordon Van Wert

Primary Medium(s): 

Synthesizing over 40 years of experience, centuries of Ojibwe art traditions and modern sculpting techniques, Gordon Van Wert is a recognized master in his field. A former student of Allan Houser at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, Van Wert has risen to his own notoriety and accolades. His Ojibwe art sculptures are much sought after pieces. Many of them are held in museums and the private collections of notable collectors including Robert Redford, Kurt Russel and Ted Danson.

Nathan Jackson

Primary Medium(s): 

Among the most famous living Tlingit artists, Nathan Jackson was honored when the National Museum of the American Indian opened in Washington, D.C., in September 2004, featuring one of his totem poles. Jackson has been working in Alaska Native arts since 1959. He attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he specialized in fabric design, silkscreen, and graphics. Since 1967, he has been a freelance artist doing traditional-style woodcarving, jewelry and design. Jackson has completed numerous totem poles, screens, panels, and restoration projects. He has instructed woodcarving and design at several institutions, including the Alaska State Museum, Sheldon Jackson College, the Totem Heritage Center and the University of Alaska. In 1995 was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship Award. In 2009, the Rasmuson Foundation recognized his contributions to Alaska by naming him its Distinguished Artist of the Year.


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