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Press Release

Release Date: May 16, 2019

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

  • Pastels and landscapes are Jackie Sevier’s favorite medium and subject matter.

  • Printmaker Jackie Sevier and husband, Jim. She is one of the more than 100 Native American artists who will be in selling original pieces at the Artesian Arts Festival in downtown, Sulphur.

Jackie Sevier creates original pieces of art from her small studio in the Nebraska Sandhills. In her 40 years as a working artist, she has traveled across the world to countless art markets and shows to promote her work.

Recently, she has found a sizable outlet at the Artesian Arts Festival in downtown Sulphur, Oklahoma.

Saturday, May 25, Sevier will display her works at her third Artesian Arts Festival. She says the people and her love for the Sulphur area keep her coming back.

“While the festival drive is long for only a daylong festival, we make a vacation of it,” Sevier said. “I like Sulphur. It is still a small town. There is just something about it. The Chickasaw Cultural Center, the willingness to help the artist set up, the organization. It’s just so easy (for the artist). They do everything they can, except turn down the heat.”

Sevier began attending the Artesian Arts Festival on the advice of Native American artist and fellow printmaker Ben Harjo. Sevier is happy to display her work among such peers.

A citizen of the Northern Arapaho Tribe and born on the Wind River Reservation, Wyoming, Sevier enjoys the opportunity the Artesian Arts Festival offers for Native Americans from all tribes to display and sell their works. She enjoys the inclusivity of the event.

“I am inspired by other people’s art,” she said. “How they see the same image I see, but they see it so profoundly different. I think that teaches us all that our opinion is not necessarily the way to see things.”

Sevier says her art is inspired from events in everyday life, a reflection of what she sees in her surroundings. Landscapes and portraits, especially in pastels, are her favorite subject matter and medium.

“Living in the Nebraska Sandhills where we raised our family, I am drawn to solitude and serenity,” Sevier said. “My work is a two-dimensional reflection of my daily life. Being a wife, mother and grandmother define the woman I am.”

Sevier’s artistic talent was not recognized until her late 20s.

“I took a drawing class when our son was baby,” she said. “I learned to draw first, but that was just the beginning of it. Once I realized (art) could be learned, I never looked back.”

Sevier believes the techniques she learned caused her to “see things differently.” She pays more attention to the world around her, noticing the shapes, shadows and lines that create objects in our world.

“I really noticed things like the sky, trees and lakes once I started working with color,” she said. “I started doing portraits of people in my family, like my grandmother. I started applying art to the stories and traditions I knew growing up.”

While working with pastels may be her favorite medium, Sevier is known within the art community for her embossed works and the related printmaking process. Her work with embossed papers, as well as the method to make these prints, led her to an international art market in Shizuouka, Japan.

A complex process, she first designs and crafts the plate. Paper is then soaked in water before being placed upon the newly created plate. The plate, along with the freshly soaked paper upon it, is run through a roller press. Pressure from the press forces an embossed image on the paper.

“Plates can be made from anything,” she said. “I use whatever it takes to get the effect and texture I want, while also considering how many (prints) I am going to run.”

Gold leaf and color accents are then applied, allowing Sevier to highlight raised portions, as well as create depth in the recesses of the piece.

While all of her artwork styles will be represented and for sale at her artist booth, Sevier plans to enter embossed plains styled handbags and buckskin dresses in the Artesian Arts Festival competition. A mixed media, leather pieces will often include beadwork.

A proponent of art funding, Sevier is encouraged by tribally funded Native American markets across the country because they introduce artists and the arts to the public.

“I took art classes in school because they were part of the curriculum,” she said. “I didn’t have a bit of desire or interest when I was a kid. But if they hadn’t been funded, I would have never had the exposure. People need art; they need music; they need theater. With technology being so dominant, the arts help us keep our creative side.”

About the Artesian Art Festival

The 2019 Artesian Arts Festival will take place in downtown Sulphur, Oklahoma, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday, May 25. In its sixth year, the Artesian Arts Festival continues to expand and is fast becoming one of the most celebrated Native American art markets in the United States.

The Artesian Arts Festival is hosted by the Chickasaw Nation to spotlight prominent Native artists from across the country. The event celebrates all types of art, with an emphasis on Native American works and artists.

Open to artists from all federally recognized tribes, organizers accepted more than 100 artists representing 19 Native American tribes from eight states.

A wide variety of musical entertainment, tribal dance demonstrations, artist talks and food vendors accentuate the Artesian Arts Festival. Open to the public at no charge, the event welcomed more than 10,000 visitors to downtown Sulphur last year.

For more information, contact Chickasaw Nation Arts & Humanities Division at (580) 272-5520 or email