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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

Shannon Shaw Duty

Title: Editor


Twitter: @dutyshaw

Topic Expertise: Columnist, Culture, Community

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

Shannon Shaw Duty is the editor of the Osage News. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor's degree in Journalism and a master's degree in Legal Studies, Indigenous Peoples Law from the OU College of Law. She served on the Board of Directors for the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) from 2013-2016 and served as a board member and Chairwoman for the Pawhuska Johnson O’Malley Parent Committee from 2017-2020. 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 (NCAIED). In 2014 she helped lead the Osage News to receive the Elias Boudinot Free Press Award, NAJA’s highest honor. An Osage tribal member, she and her family are from the Grayhorse District. She currently resides in Pawhuska, Okla., with her husband and six children.

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