Community, Military, Park Forest

National Veterans Art Museum Set to Unveil New ‘Original Warrior’ Exhibitions

A View Across the River
Rick Bartow, ‘A View Across the River’ (Image Provided)

Group exhibit to feature artwork created by and about Native American Veterans

Chicago, IL—(ENEWSPF)—September 24, 2018
Contact: Tom Jones

The National Veterans Art Museum is proud to announce ‘Original Warrior,’ an exhibit created to explore the complex Native American relationship between warrior and community, warrior and war, and warrior and service.

Native American nations have a long tradition of honoring and welcoming veterans back into their community after a time of war. Even now, pow wows have kept their focus on celebrating community and culture traditions while evolving fabrics, colors and songs emerge throughout the years.

Co-curated by Tom Jones and Ash Kyrie, ‘Original Warrior’ features the work of Native American artists Rick Bartow, Miridith Campbell, T.C. Cannon, Melissa Doud, Teri Greeves, John Hitchcock, Tom Jones, Monty Little, Clarence Monegar, Lloyd Kiva New, and Horace Poolaw.

Many of the artists in the exhibit are military veterans who weave the experiences they had while serving into their current cultural perspectives as Native Americans.

Rick Bartow, 1946-2016, (Wiyot) began developing emotionally complex lithographs after his return home from Vietnam in 1972.  “When I returned from Viet Nam, like so many others, I was a bit twisted. I was a house filled with irrational fears, beliefs, and symbols. Wind-blown paper would send me running; crows became many things. During this time, I found a huge pad of newsprint and began to draw, trying to exorcise the demons that had made me strange to myself. My work has never stopped being therapy.”

Melissa Doud (Lac Du Flambeau-Chippewa) is a pow wow jingle dancer who served 20 years in the U.S. Army, including one tour in Iraq. Her powerful piece ‘Bullet Dress’ is composed of 365 spent bullet casings. Doud says, “Creating this dress after I came back from Iraq was part of my healing journey. Now I dance for others and can display the path I went through to get here.”

Lloyd Kiva New (Cherokee) was a pioneer of modern Native American fashion design and a co-founder of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. New earned a degree in Art Education from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1938, before serving in the U.S. Navy in World War II. New was hailed by The New York Times as “a teacher of generations of Indian Artists” upon his passing in 2002.

‘Dorothy Poolaw Ware (Kiowa) Carrying Son Justin Lee Ware (Kiowa),
Horace Poolaw, ‘Dorothy Poolaw Ware (Kiowa) Carrying Son Justin Lee Ware (Kiowa),’ Mountain View, Oklahoma (Image Provided)

Horace Poolaw (Kiowa) – who served as an aerial photographer for the Army Air Forces in World War II – is known as one of the most prolific Native American photographers of his generation. His photographs captured over five decades of change and transition in Native American culture in Oklahoma throughout most of the 20th century.

NVAM Executive Director, Brendan Foster, notes, “One of the fundamental facets of the National Veterans Art Museum’s mission is to connect our broader society to the experience of our veterans. This has been done passionately in our Native American Nations for generations and is beautifully expressed through artistic and cultural traditions. The National Veterans Art Museum is honored to host this powerful collective of significant Native American art.”

Prayer Blanket
Teri Greeves, ‘Prayer Blanket,’ detail (Image Provided)

‘Original Warrior’ also includes civilian Native American artists who each create works reflecting the identity and roles of the warrior within their own communities. Teri Greeves (Kiowa) uses the Native American tradition of bead working to express her creativity and experiences as a 21st Century Kiowa woman. Co-curator Tom Jones’s (Ho-Chunk), has been photographing the flagpoles of Ho-Chunk veterans at the Memorial Day Pow Wow in Black River Falls, Wisconsin, for twenty years.

Other artworks in ‘Original Warrior’ include lithographs by Vietnam veteran T.C. Cannon (Kiowa-Caddo), paintings and monographs by Iraq War veteran Monty Little (Dine), installation and prints by John Hitchcock (Comanche), watercolors by World War II veteran Clarence Monegar (Winnebago), and beadwork pieces by Marine Miridith Campbell (Kiowa).

Jackson III
Monty Little, ‘Jackson III’ (Image Provided)

Co-Curator Tom Jones says, “Statistically, Native Americans send more of their people off to war more than any other group in America, one in four Native Americans are veterans. The role and responsibility of the veteran is still central to our traditional ceremonies. I am in awe of these people, their experiences, their sacrifice and their dedication to community.”

The opening reception will be Saturday, Oct. 6th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will feature brief statements from the artists and curators.

The exhibit will be on display from Saturday, October 6th through Saturday April 22nd in the main galleries of the National Veterans Art Museum. For more information on ‘Original Warrior’ visit us at

About the National Veterans Art Museum
The National Veterans Art Museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and exhibition of art inspired by combat and created by veterans. No other gallery in the world focuses on the subject of war from an artistic veteran perspective, making this collection truly unique. The National Veterans Art Museum addresses both historical and contemporary issues related to military service in order to give patrons of all backgrounds insight into the effects of war and to provide veterans an artistic outlet to work through their military and combat experiences.

The National Veterans Art Museum is located at 4041 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is free. For group admission reservations visit