An opening reception for the exhibition, featuring music and live painting, will take place from 7-9 p.m. March 31 in the Nona Jean Hulsey Gallery in Norick Art Center. The exhibition runs from March 27 to May 19. It will highlight Native American art from a variety of featured artists. The art will reflect the significance of the vernal equinox in Native cultures, which symbolizes the coming of new life in winter and the welcoming of spring, according to a March 7 press release.
“Eight featured artists encompass a wide range of styles and techniques, reflecting the diversity and richness of tribal cultures in our state,” said Holly Moye, director of the school of visual arts, in a press release.
The Spring Equinox opening reception and exhibition are free and open to the public. To attend, RSVP with Moye at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can be found on their Facebook event page.
Art school officials plan to launch an artist series each semester featuring events, projects and/or workshops.
“I look forward to seeing what else the school of visual arts has in store for us,” said Anna Nguyen, marketing senior. “I’m glad OCU is taking the initiative to expose its students to a myriad of art forms.”
The powwow, with a newly-included dance competition, will follow the exhibition.
“It’s impressive for a university NAS,” said Russ Tallchief, director of student engagement and inclusion and multicultural program. “Colleges have their own powwows, but we’re one of the only contest powwows on a university circuit.”
Tallchief said the addition of the contest adds a competition aspect he hopes will bring in the school’s performers.
The dance will begin at noon April 1 in Henry J. Freede Wellness and Activity Center. Admission is free. Dancing begins at 2 p.m., followed by a supper at 5 p.m.
Supper will incorporate traditional Native American cuisine, like corn soup and fried bread, prepared by students. There also will be native jewelry, art, literature, and music to purchase at the powwow.
Gourd dancing will begin at 6 p.m. and will feature the Gourd Clan of the Comanche Little Ponies. Gourd dancing comes from a traditional Native American dance for veterans.
“It came about when the veterans came back from war and they weren’t able to dance,” Tallchief said. “There’s amazing music that makes you want to shake your gourd.”
The drum contest will be winner-take-all for a $300 prize. The winners must participate in the grand entry. First place winner will receive $200, second place winner will receive $150 and third place winner will receive $75.
The grand entry will follow the dancing at 7 p.m., which involves a single-file procession of dancers, drummers, royalty, and the head staff.
The head staff includes Head Man Zack Morris of the Sac and Fox tribe, Head Lady Sydney Prince of the Wichita tribe, Master of Ceremonies Eddie Mahseet of the Comanche tribe, Host Drum Young Buffalo Horse, and Head Singer Ernest “Iron” Toppah of the Kiowa tribe.
Among the head staff also are honored alumni, faculty and students, including honored alumna Tana Fitzpatrick of the Crow/Ponca tribe; Dr. Stephen Prilliman, associate professor of chemistry and member of the Salish tribe; arena director Randy Frazier of the Prairie Band Potawatomi tribe; and the members of the Riverside Indian School Color Guard.
Royalty includes MaryAnn Guoladdle-Davilla of the Kiowa tribe, history senior and outgoing OCU Princess and Miss Indian OCU. The incoming princess will be determined at the ceremony.
“The grand entry is a spectacular thing to witness,” Tallchief said.
Guoladdle-Davilla organized the powwow and said the event is meant to kick off the Native American Society events for the year.
Guoladdle-Davilla said her title as Miss Indian OCU made her more conscious of the Native American events on campus.
“It gives me more of a position and more of a reason to participate in Native American activities,” Guoladdle-Davilla said.
She said it’s important that Native American students put on events on campus because not many students can afford the price of OCU due to the high level of poverty in the native community.
Guoladdle-Davilla said she most looks forward to seeing the event in completion. She encourages students to get involved to learn more about NAS.
Volunteers are needed to help sell raffle tickets and cook. For more information on getting involved, students can contact Caitlin Brown at email@example.com or 405-584-2701.
Contributing: Staff Writer Prisca Lynch