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Osage’s fashion designs featured in Philbrook’s Native Fashion Now exhibit

Wendy Ponca’s name is among today’s top Native American designers. Her designs are being featured right along with Virgil Ortiz, Jamie Okuma, Bethany Yellowtail, Patricia Michaels and Sho Sho Esquiro in the Peabody Essex Museum’s critically acclaimed exhibition Native Fashion Now, which is now being featured at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa.

Ponca said she has always enjoyed Philbrook and has used it as an education tool for tribal youth during field trips throughout her long career. Philbrook also has a blanket designed by Ponca in their permanent collection.

“The Native Fashion Now exhibit is so progressive and influential that this exhibition will shape the world of fashion and perception of American Indian art on a global scale,” Ponca said in an email. “Excited is my best response and only positive repercussions have come from this exhibition!”

The Native Fashion Now exhibition is from the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, Mass. The large-scale exhibition, that features nearly 100 designs from more than 70 artists, celebrates Native American designers from across the United States and Canada from the 1950s to today, according to a prepared release. The exhibition has been featured at the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Ore., and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York.

The exhibit will be at Philbrook until Jan. 8, 2017.

“Native American art and culture are often perceived as a phenomena of the past, or just mere replicas,” said Karen Kramer, PEM’s Curator of Native American Art and Culture. “But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Contemporary Native fashion designers are dismantling and upending familiar motifs, adopting new forms of expression and materials, and sharing their vision of Native culture and design with a global audience.”

The exhibition features the designers in four sections: Pathbreakers, Revisitors, Activators, and Provocateurs, according to the release.

The Philbrook Museum of Art is open Tuesdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Philbrook Downtown is open Wednesdays – Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sundays, 12 – 5 p.m. Museum admission is $9 for adults, $7 for seniors and university students; Philbrook Museum Members and youth 17 and younger are always free. For additional information, visit

To see photos from the exhibition, visit the Osage News Flickr page at:


Shannon Shaw Duty

Original Publish Date: 2016-10-04 00:00:00


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Shannon Shaw Duty
Shannon Shaw Duty

Title: Editor


Twitter: @dutyshaw

Topic Expertise: Columnist, Culture, Community

Languages spoken: English, Osage (intermediate), Spanish (beginner)

Shannon Shaw Duty, Osage from the Grayhorse District, is the editor of the award-winning Osage News, the official independent media of the Osage Nation. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a master’s degree in Legal Studies with an emphasis in Indigenous Peoples Law. She currently sits on the Freedom of Information Committee for the Society of Professional Journalists. She has served as a board member for LION Publishers, as Vice President for the Pawhuska Public Schools Board of Education, on the Board of Directors for the Native American Journalists Association (now Indigenous Journalists Association) and served as a board member and Chairwoman for the Pawhuska Johnson O’Malley Parent Committee. She is a Chips Quinn Scholar, a former instructor for the Freedom Forum’s Native American Journalism Career Conference and the Freedom Forum’s American Indian Journalism Institute. She is a former reporter for The Santa Fe New Mexican. She is a 2012 recipient of the Native American 40 Under 40 from the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. In 2014 she helped lead the Osage News to receive NAJA's Elias Boudinot Free Press Award. The Osage News won Best Newspaper from the SPJ-Oklahoma Chapter in their division 2018-2022. Her award-winning work has been published in Indian Country Today, The Washington Post, the Center for Public Integrity, NPR, the Associated Press, Tulsa World and others. She currently resides in Pawhuska, Okla., with her husband and together they share six children, two dogs and two cats.

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