fbpx Skip to content

Native American Artists Hall of Fame Gala and induction ceremony scheduled for May 18; Tickets now on sale

April 26, 2024

The Semple Family Museum of Native American Art at Southeastern Oklahoma State University will induct three artists to its Native American Artists Hall of Fame at its Hall of Fame Gala on Saturday, May 18.

The 2024 inductees to the Native American Artists Hall of Fame are Traci Rabbit, Mike Larsen, and Norma Howard. This is the second class of inductees to the Hall of Fame. Tickets to the gala event are available at www.SE.edu/semplefamilymuseum or by calling (580) 745-2046.

Traci Rabbit is Cherokee painter whose work captures a spirit in the Native American woman that embodies the best in female strength. Traci is the daughter of Cherokee National Treasure and internationally known artist Bill Rabbit and her mother Karen Rabbit. She found her voice in her own art through the influence of her culture and family. The art business consumed her and she applied her business knowledge to growing her family’s Rabbit Studios. The Rabbit family takes pride in producing their art from conception of the original piece all the way through production and packaging, so everything is Native American made.

Mike Larsen is a world-renowned Chickasaw painter and sculptor who has created First American art for more than 40 years. Many of his works honor the culture and history of the Chickasaw Nation. Larsen’s work can also be seen in The Native Americans: An Illustrated History. One of his works titled, “Flight of Spirit,” was unveiled as a permanent display in the Oklahoma State Capitol building. The painting features five First American ballet dancers and is a tribute to the arts in Oklahoma. One of his greatest achievements was a series of Chickasaw elders paintings, which were published in a two-book series. He has been named the 2006 Oklahoman of the Year by Oklahoma Today magazine and 2006 Red Earth Honored One at the Red Earth Festival.

Norma Howard is a Choctaw painter who began drawing at an early age, using the crayons her father would buy and later taught herself to paint using watercolors. Today, the images that Norma paints are a combination of personal reflection and Native American heritage. A central theme in all of Howard’s painting is family. She had seven brothers and sisters and her family often struggled against poverty on the same parcel of land that her mother, Ipokni, homesteaded after walking almost 500 miles from Mississippi to Oklahoma in 1903. In spite of financial hardships, however, Norma’s personal memories of her family tend to be joyful and exuberant. Whether painting images of youth playing or remembering sharing the same bed with four sisters and her mother, the artist always manages to depict a deep sense of commitment and affection.

For more information on the Hall of Fame Gala and the Semple Family Museum, please visit www.SE.edu/semplefamilymuseum or call (580) 745-2046.