Art Sunday #209: Norma Howard – Kids in the Field


Norma Howard (born 1958) is a Choctaw-Chickasaw Native American artist from Stigler, Oklahoma, who paints genre scenes of children playing, women working in fields, and other images inspired by family stories and Choctaw life. Howard won her first art award at the 1995 Red Earth Native American Cultural Festival in Oklahoma City. Her work is popular with collectors and critics.

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, homesteading 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 play 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.

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