Jolene Bird

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Native American Artist Jolene Bird.
Native American Artist Jolene Bird.
Native American Artist Jolene Bird.
Native American Artist Jolene Bird.

Jolene Bird's Masterpiece

by Hugh Pickens

Jolene Bird and her son Charles drove 12 hours from Santo Domingo, New Mexico to visit me yesterday and today and show me the piece of tuquoise inlay work that she has been working on for the past two-and-a-half years. This is a Fender Stratocaster guitar onto which Jolene has attached pieces of Kingman and Sonoran Turquoise highlighted with Jet. The stars are in Abalone, Mother of Pearl, Pipestone, Yellow Serpentine, and Spiny Oyster. The artistry in this piece is simply breathtaking and has to be seen to be believed.

Consider that this is a three dimensional mosaic, a three dimensional jigsaw puzzle if you will. Jolene told me that each individual piece of turquoise had to be cut, shaped, and ground down to fit perfectly with the other pieces. Each individual piece probably took six to eight hours to produce and there are literally hundreds of pieces covering the guitar.

For an artist, a masterpiece is considered the greatest work of a person's career or a work of outstanding creativity, skill, profundity, or workmanship.This is Jolene Bird's Masterpiece, the culmination of thirty years of honing her talent in working with inlaid turquoise. Jolene says that she will never create another piece this complex and beautiful. The reverse side is as beautiful and intricate as the front.

Dr. Pickens never saw this creation, but she did know that Jolene was working on it. The last time Jolene visited with my wife she told my wife that she was working on the guitar and my wife told her she wanted to see it and purchase it when it was finished. Dr. Pickens already had dozens of Jolene's other pieces in her collection and was very familiar with her work. I have no doubt that if this piece were at Santa Fe Indian Market, it would have taken first prize. It will have a place of honor in Dr. Pickens Museum.

I was talking to Jolene about an artist and immortality. Isabella Russell-Ides says in her play "Lydie Marland in the Afterlife" that you don't really die until your name is spoken for the last time and you are remembered by someone that knew you or knew of you for the last time. I told Jolene that 100 years from now, people will be looking at this masterpiece with her name on it in Dr. Pickens Museum and that her great-great-grandchildren will come and say that one of their ancestors created this work of art. That is immortality for an artist. Thank you Jolene for creating this work of art.

Jolene Bird

Santo Domingo

Jolene Bird is an accomplished artist who learned her craft from her grandfather over 20 years ago. Jolene makes her jewelry in the tradition of the Santo Domingo Pueblo in New Mexico. After studying at the prestigious Poeh Institute in Santa Fe, Jolene has continued to refine her craft by selecting only the finest raw materials and then cutting, carving and shaping each separate element to create her highly refined jewelry. Working with natural materials, Jolene makes her own beads from stone and shells, sizing each piece as she makes her jewelry. She is particularly accomplished in inlaid mosaic pieces. Finishing many of her works with hundreds of heishi beads, Jolene cuts every bead – each a different size and dimension, while at the same time relating to the adjacent beads – resulting in some of the finest traditionally designed necklaces and bracelets found in contemporary Native American jewelry.

Jolene is a regular participant in a number of shows throughout the United States each year. She won 1st Place in the Traditional Category at the prestigious 2012 Red Earth Festival in Oklahoma City, an event sponsored by the Oklahoma City Art Museum. She took 2nd Place at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, IN (2012) and will be showing her work at the Santa Fe Indian Market. A regular guest participant in a number of national and international shows, Jolene has presented her jewelry at:

Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC, Indian Show, December 2012 Heard Museum, Scottsdale, AZ, Summer 2012 Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC, Christmas Show, December 2011 Smithsonian Institute, New York, NY, Select Jewelry Show, November 2010

Jolene Bird, Santo Domingo, New Mexico

Santo Domingo Pueblo

Jewelry

A member of the Santo Domingo Pueblo tribe, Jolene Bird has been designing and crafting jewelry in semi-precious stones and sterling silver for over twenty years. Her unique inlay work in the traditional style was honed at an early age from her grandfather who taught her how to select the highest quality stones and shape them into intricate designs. She studied the art of silversmithing at Po Arts in Pojoaque Pueblo and grew into her own exclusive designs that are now recognized by discriminating collectors worldwide. Jolene’s distinctive style was acknowledged in the 2011-2012 edition of A Cup of Cappuccino for Entrepreneurs Spirit: American Indian Entrepreneurs. Her exceptional contemporary jewelry continues to earn top awards at prestigious juried art shows.

References

About Pickens Museum

Osage Warrior in the Enemy Camp by Sculptor John Free. Seeking to attain his tribe's highest war honor by touching his enemy. This action among indigenous peoples is called "Counting Coup".
Osage Warrior in the Enemy Camp by Sculptor John Free. “Osage Warrior in the Enemy Camp” is a bronze created by Osage Artist John Free. The bronze, eight feet high and twelve feet long) was enlarged to 1-1/4 life size through the efforts of John Free of the Bronze Horse foundry in Pawhuska and Hugh Pickens. Pictured (L-R): Hugh Pickens, Executive Director of Pickens Museum and Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear of the Osage Nation.
Three Faces of the Pioneer Woman by Artist Daniel Pickens. “Three Faces of the Pioneer Woman” is a mural painted by fine artist Daniel Pickens. Daniel was born in Lima, Peru in 1974 and is currently living in Stockholm, Sweden. This mural is at our Ponca City location.
Three Faces of the Pioneer Woman by Artist Daniel Pickens. Our mural "The Three Faces of the Pioneer Woman" is located in City Central at our Ponca City location.
Doctor Pickens Museum of Turquoise Jewelry and Art. Pickens Museum displays art works at NOC Tonkawa campus. Pictured (L-R): Dr. Cheryl Evans, NOC President, Hugh Pickens, Executive Director of Pickens Museum, and Sheri Snyder, NOC Vice President for Development and Community Relations. (photo by John Pickard/Northern Oklahoma College) This art is at our Tonkawa location
Native American Artist Yatika Starr Fields Completes Mural for Pickens Museum.
The World's Largest Naja. Future location of Pickens Museum on Route 60 and "U" Street West of Ponca City
Architectural Renderings of Pickens Museum.
Aerial View from East of Future location of Pickens Museum along Route 60 at "U" Street West of Ponca City
Display of Turquoise Jewelry.
"Red Man" by Native American Artist Fritz Scholder. Pickens Museum Director Hugh Pickens on right.
Native American Jewelry Artist Tonya Rafael with a silver frame she created to honor my wife Sr. S.J. Pickens. My wife and Tonya worked together over the years creating new jewelry art pieces. My wife had an eye for color and would often design a spectacular piece and ask Tonya to execute it for her. A skilled silversmith, Tonya would sometimes stay in our guest house, set up a workshop, and work for days at a time on a Squash Blossom, Bolo, or Bracelet my wife commissioned. The piece is a silver picture frame that Tonya cut out of thick silver plate. Around the edge of the picture frame are 95 small turquoise stones. In the top is a large spiny oyster stone in the shape of a heart. The frame contains a photo that Tonya took of my wife a few years ago. Dr. Pickens is wearing one of her favorite outfits and if you look closely you can see a special squash blossom and necklace that Tonya created for my wife. In the bottom of the frame is an inscription.
Native American Artist Jolene Bird. Jolene Bird is an accomplished artist who learned her craft from her grandfather over 20 years ago. Jolene makes her jewelry in the tradition of the Santo Domingo Pueblo in New Mexico. This is a Fender Stratocaster guitar onto which Jolene has attached pieces of Kingman and Sonoran Turquoise highlighted with Jet. The stars are in Abalone, Mother of Pearl, Pipestone, Yellow Serpentine, and Spiny Oyster. The artistry in this piece is simply breathtaking and has to be seen to be believed. Consider that this is a three dimensional mosaic, a three dimensional jigsaw puzzle if you will. Jolene told me that each individual piece of turquoise had to be cut, shaped, and ground down to fit perfectly with the other pieces. Each individual piece probably took six to eight hours to produce and there are literally hundreds of pieces covering the guitar.
American Indian by Paul Manship This piece at Pickens Museum is the only known existing copy of this sculpture.
Painting by Peruvian Artist Josue Sanchez. Photo Credit: Hugh Pickens Pickens Museum

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