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Oklahoma State University

From the Belly of Our Being: art by and about Native creation

Photo by Phil Shockley. See more here.

For Indigenous people, culture is often passed to a new generation through oral traditions and the retelling of tribal narratives, including tribal creation stories. It is here that we find the stories of women who made the world. In From the Belly of Our Being, 20 contemporary artists – and Native women – explore how the feminine forces in their tribal creation stories continue to inform the ideals of feminine behavior and gendered roles.

The artworks, including sculpture, painting, jewelry, ceramics and installation, reference those creation stories, where the feminine forces are of great intellect, wisdom, skill, and generosity. They also provide an opportunity for the artists to express how these forces live with them, through them, and within the art. From the Belly of Our Being celebrates the relationship between traditions and modernity in Native culture.

From the Belly of Our Being is curated by heather ahtone, James T. Bialac Associate Curator of Native American & Non-Western Art at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.  

Artists in the exhibition: Keri Ataumbi, Julie Buffalohead, Nanibah Chacon, Anita Fields, Tammy Garcia, Teri Greeves, Shan Goshorn, Linda Lomahaftewa, Cedar Marie, Meryl McMaster, America Meredith, Molly Murphy Adams, Luanne Redeye, Cara Romero, Erin Shaw, C. Maxx Stevens, Marie Watt, Dyani White Hawk, Melanie Yazzie, and Debra Yepa-Pappan


Additional Resources

Artist information, resources for educators, and more: click here.


Related Programming

Artist Lecture: C. Maxx Stevens
Sept. 26 | 5:30 to 6:30 pm. Bartlett Center, OSU Campus.

Curator's Lecture: heather ahtone
Sept. 29
|  6 pm. OSU Museum of Art. 

Guest Lecture: Sarah Deer
Oct. 11
| 6 pm. Architecture 170, OSU Campus.

Public Workshop: Artist-in-Residence Anita Fields
Oct 10 - 15
|  Visitors are invited to join this workshop and create a clay figure to contribute to a community installation.

Coffee + Community: heather ahtone and Anita Fields
Oct. 15
| 10 am. Enjoy coffee and a conversation with the exhibition curator and resident artist.

Oct. 25
| 5 to 7 pm. The reception features a performance by Roams the Earth dance troupe.

Lunch + Learn: Pouya Jahanshahi
Nov. 2
| 11:30 to 12:30. OSU Museum of Art. Join us for an information conversation with the exhibition graphic designer.

Artist Roundtable
Nov. 10 |
6 pm. OSU Museum of Art.

Family Day 
Nov. 12 |
11 am to 3 pm. OSU Museum of Art. 


Media Kit

Hi Res Images

Press Release



This project is supported in part by the following: an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, Jeanene and Ron Hulsey, Mary Ann and Ken Fergeson, the Chickasaw Nation, the Oklahoma Arts Council, OSU/A&M Board of Regents, and the OSU Museum of Art Advocates. ­­In addition, the OSU Museum of Art would like to extend a thank you to Bockley Gallery in Minneapolis, Minn., and the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum in Santa Fe, NM.


On view: 
September 27, 2016 to January 28, 2017