Monumental Christmas trees combined with more than 100 works of art by some of the 20th century’s most important Native American painters and sculptors are featured in an exhibition at the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art.
The 37th Annual Holiday Forest Festival of Trees and Art of the Native American: Kevin Red Star and His Friends, celebrating the contributions of Native Americans to this country’s cultural history, will open to the public Sunday, November 24, from 1-4 p.m.
A 2 p.m. reception and gallery talk will feature the internationally recognized Crow Indian artist from Roberts, Mont., who will speak about the exhibition of 20 of his peers who are among the most recognized artists of this genre.
This exhibition marks the third that has featured Red Star’s works in Owensboro. The first was a 1985 documentary, organized by the OMFA, of the works of Native Americans of the Southwest from the 19th and 20th centuries. The second was the exhibition River Country, which acquired works of art for the collection of Owensboro Health. That exhibition included “The Journey,” a work by Red Star commissioned by an Owensboro collector that documented the hospital’s transition from a community facility to a regional medical center. That painting is permanently installed in the first-floor lobby of the new hospital.
Also featured in the Sunday afternoon presentation will be a talk by Alex Windsor Betts, a collector and director of the Windsor Betts Art Brokerage House, Santa Fe, N.M, who will discuss contemporary Native American art and its impact on the American art market.
Art of the Native American: Kevin Red Star and His Friends, on loan from New Mexico galleries and private collections, presents a major survey of art by some of America’s most important contemporary sculptors and painters. In addition to Red Star, featured are works by titans of the genre, such as sculptor Allan Houser; painters Fritz Scholder, R. C. Gorman, John Nieto, T. C. Cannon, Dan Namingha and Earl Biss; jeweler Charles Loloma and pottery makers Blue Corn and Connie Cerno.
The exhibition, representing 22 Native American tribes, is brought to Kentucky through the sponsorship of Owensboro Health Regional Hospital and a matching gift from a local patron of Native American art. A catalogue of the exhibition has been published and will be on sale in the museum’s gift shop.
Art of the Native American: Kevin Red Star and His Friends will continue through February 23.
Guided tours for schools and other groups may be made by phoning the museum at 270-685-3181. Tours combined with hands-on activities in ARTLAND, the museum’s children’s art studio, also may be scheduled. These will include creating works of art inspired by Native American cultural traditions and will be led by the museum’s art education staff.
The Owensboro Museum of Fine Art is located at the corner of 9th and Frederica streets and is open Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and weekends, 1 to 4 p.m.
For more information, visit the museum’s website, www.omfa.us or phone 270-685-3181.