TO WATCH A VIDEO OF THIS INTERVIEW, GO TO INSPIRING CONVERSATIONS PODCAST CHANNEL OR VIEW DIRECTLY AT https://youtu.be/udv_tAxPbdw
Jeff sits down with artist Kristin Gentry to hear her share about her role in co-curating the upcoming OVAC Momentum exhibit opening April 2nd at Living Arts of Tulsa and about her work and what it all means to hear at a deeper level.
To learn more about Kristin and her work, visit
Kristin Gentry is passionate about using her art to create different ways to preserve her traditional Native American tribal culture. Kristin has exhibited her artwork in numerous juried, invited, open, and group shows across the Midwestern United States.
She works as a professional visual artist in the areas of relief and monotype printmaking, painting, jewelry and photography. She also works as a writer, designer, and curator. She worked as a full time arts educator in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and now works full time as an artist. Kristin is an enrolled member and registered artist of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Kristin finished M.S. degree in Native Leadership from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in the spring of 2020.
She received the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s 40 under 40 award in 2012. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in fine arts from Oklahoma State University in 2009, and graduated as a Senior of Significance denoting the top of her class. She attained her Associate of Art in education from Tulsa Community College in 2005 as an Honor’s Scholar Graduate.
She uses her art to educate and restore the beauty of her people’s journey to where they are as Chahta Okla, Choctaw People, today. Through her art she continues to find more of her Indian Identity as a Chahta Ohoyo, Choctaw Woman, and Ishki, Mother. She understands that the need for her cultural art is necessary to the future of her daughter and her people. She works to involve her community through education and being the voice for Native American artists and Native American women in today’s society. She is a writer, curator, painter, printmaker, and photographer. She often photographs families in their tribal regalia and creates designs and patterns from traditional clothing in her painting and prints.
I stylistically form nature in a way that is in contrast of how many artists rely on realistic representations. Formally, I am very interested in making compositions out of the colors, the positive or negative shapes of the plants and other nature. I am interested in symmetry as it’s always present throughout my tribal culture. I emphasize nature’s influence by showing the floral patterns from traditional clothing. Through this stylistic approach, my work honors my culture that is found in nature based customs and traditions. I look at our designs and research how they have transformed or remained unchanged to today. I also research the influence of tribal agrarian history of gardened produce and pollination for crops’ influence on Native American art and clothing. Through my art I explore how the symbolic meanings of the designs influence our cultural traditions today and influence our larger communities.