© 2024 KOSU
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
KOSU is committed to being more reflective of the audiences we serve. In Oklahoma, having stories reported by Indigenous reporters for Native communities is imperative.

Oklahoma State University honors alumnus Benjamin Harjo Jr. in art exhibit

Benjamin Harjo Jr. at the exhibition reception for “Benjamin Harjo Jr.: We are a Landscape of all We Know” in 2018
Oklahoma State University Museum of Art Marketing and Communications
Benjamin Harjo Jr. at the exhibition reception for “Benjamin Harjo Jr.: We are a Landscape of all We Know” in 2018

The late Benjamin Harjo Jr. (Absentee Shawnee/ Seminole) was often described as the “Picasso of Native American Art,” according to his website. His work tends to feature vibrant colors and subtle complexities, catching the eye of private collectors and museums alike.

Now, 86 of his pieces are displayed at the “benjamin harjo JR.: from here to there” exhibit at his alma mater, Oklahoma State University, where he studied fine arts. The exhibit will be on display at the OSU Museum of Art until September 7.

In a decade-old interview with retired OSU art professor Chris Ramsay, he joked that his portraits colored outside the lines of traditional teachings.

“I know that I upset the model on several occasions because when she would peek around my drawing board, the drawings would look nothing like her,” he said with a laugh.

Harjo passed away in 2023 and is remembered for his sense of humor and abstract art.

His artwork can also be found in multiple museums across the state, including the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa and Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art in Shawnee.


* indicates required

Sarah Liese reports on Indigenous Affairs for KOSU.
KOSU is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.
Related Content