IACB Features Karma Henry, Jeremy Johnson, and David Velarde Jr. in a Special Exhibition

Last edited 01/24/2022




Return I. Acrylic and spray paint

on canvas. © 2017 Karma Henry


July 21, 2017

BROWNING, MONTANA: The Museum of the Plains Indian, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Indian Arts and Crafts Board, announces the opening of a special exhibition, Summer Showcase, featuring Karma Henry, Jeremy Johnson, and David Velarde Jr.  The exhibition will run from August 4 to September 30, 2017.  On Friday, August 4, 2017, there will be an opening reception from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Karma Henry is an enrolled member of the Fort Independence Indian Community of Paiute Indians of the Fort Independence Reservation.  She holds a B.A in American Indian Studies from California State University, Northridge, and a M.F.A. from Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, California. 

Ms. Henry is a painter who works primarily in acrylics and spray paint on canvas.  She often utilizes stencils, which she makes herself, in order to create repeating patterns within her paintings.  Following the completion of her M.F.A., she began to experiment with basketry and beadwork techniques, elements of which now find their way into her paintings.  Inspiration for her work often comes from family stories or from the work of other artists.  Although she may begin a painting with a particular vision in mind, that idea often morphs during the actual creation of the work, a transformation that Ms. Henry embraces and explores. 

Solitude of Winter. Acrylic on canvas. © 2017 Jeremy Johnson
Solitude of Winter. Acrylic on canvas.

© 2017 Jeremy Johnson


Jeremy Johnson creates paintings that depict traditional imagery of the Blackfeet people, with a contemporary twist.  He is an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Tribe and currently resides in Browning, Montana, where he works as an artist and firefighter.

Mr. Johnson works in both acrylics and oils on gessoed boards that he fabricates himself.  He paints freehand without the use of preparatory drawings, allowing himself the freedom to change the composition as he creates it.  The final step in his artistic process is framing the piece, which is done with frames that Mr. Johnson makes himself by hand.  Through his work he seeks to capture the interactions between the Blackfeet people and the land and animals around them and share these relationships with his audience.  

David Velarde Jr. is a photographer and playwright whose vibrant landscapes inspire a sense of wonder and awe in viewers.  An enrolled member of the Jicarilla Apache Tribe, he was born and raised on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation in New Mexico.  Mr. Velarde holds an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Drift. Acrylic on canvas.

© 2017 Karma Henry


The striking landscapes that surround his home in Dulce, New Mexico, provide Mr. Velarde with the inspiration for his photography.  Using a Nikon digital camera, he captures images of rock formations, abandoned buildings, and other unusual objects.  He then blends these images using Adobe Photoshop, creating works that bring to mind the multiple exposure techniques of film based photography.  Color is an important aspect of Mr. Velarde’s work and he often incorporates bold colors into his otherwise muted photographs.  These contrasts of color and monochromes serve to generate strong reactions from the viewer, forcing them to think more deeply about the meaning of the image.

* Exhibition brochure

The Museum of the Plains Indian is managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Indian Arts and Crafts Board.  For admission fees and hours of operation, please call the Museum of the Plains Indian at (406) 338-2230.

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