Around Town Native American Art Exhibition Review by Darrah Perez

IMG_0177 (2)Kiowa Native, Shawn Ware is a photographer who lives on the Wind River Indian Reservation. He says his art depicts the future back to the past to now. What does that even mean? Ware said, referring to his photography, “This is going to be here, hundreds of years, after I am gone.” He told the story of the dreamcatcher that he created; the same one displayed at The Around Town Native American Exhibition where we met him.

Created in 2011, Shawn Ware wanted to make something that resembled the remembrances of all lost along the Oregon Trail. Ware said, “The dreams Americans have is to go west and there were more Indians who had lost their life on that trail then non-Natives did.” He created the dreamcatcher using a large iron wheel, the wheel he said represents the wheel of the wagons that crossed over the Oregon Trail. The horseshoes he used in creating the large dreamcatcher, represents movement. He said, “They represent movement from one place to another. And our dream, was to be left alone.”

Native American Photographer, Shawn Ware said that his mother is the one who got him hooked on pictures. She had a trunk full of photographs and together they would sit as she would tell him who each person was and where the picture was taken. Until, it came a point in her life where she couldn’t remember who the people in the photographs were. Ware said, “Luckily she had wrote on the back of the pictures to remember who they were.”

Not only is Ware a Photographer, and Artist, but he is also a poet, and craftsman who makes War Bonnets for Veterans. The reason he makes them, he said, is because he wants something to be passed on from generation to generation that ties the future back to the past to now, so people will remember a veteran Warrior or whoever was in the service. He concluded the conversation by saying, “That is why I do what I do.”


Quinlin Hernandez has been a drum maker for five years and has been singing since the age of five. He says he enjoys entering art each year into the Around Town Native American Art Show.  Hernandez said, “I appreciate the fact that they recognize Native Americans in the Native American Art Show, it lets everyone know what kind of art everyone does around here.”

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Hernandez lives in Crowheart, Wyoming and is an Eastern Shoshone, Chippewa-Cree. He enjoys singing with his grandfather, Wayland Bonatsie; together with other members of Northern Arapaho/Eastern Shoshone/Northern Cheyenne they represent a drum group called: The Big Wind Singers. Quinlin Hernandez is a craftsman who makes parfleche American Indian Art, beadwork, and drums. The Big Wind Singers opened with songs for the Around Town Native American Art Show held on November 2, 6-8p.m.

Another Native American Artist; Michael Chingman is becoming quite popular for his teepee picture with the 2017 eclipse background. He took the picture during the recent eclipse on August 21, 2017, and since then he says, “It actually went all over the nation and Indian Country.” He said after that, it had him looking through his other pictures to appreciate others he had taken; he edited them and got them copied in time to submit them into The Around Town Native American Art Exhibition. On another note, Chingman said, “I got contacted about the eclipse picture and the Smithsonian is interested in archiving it or even displaying it.”


All of Michael Chingman’s photography have been taken from his cell phone and Stacy Stebner who is the Executive Director of the Lander Art Center said they would be setting up a Go Fund Me page to get Michael a professional camera which will be shared upon the Lander Art Center website @ Stebner said, twenty-two Native American Artists have current artwork on Display at the Lander Art Center, but only until mid-December, with the last day for viewing of artwork on December 15th.

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A former student at Central Wyoming College, Darrah Perez is working toward a Communications and Psychology Degree. A Wyoming Public Radio freelance reporter, and a published author; Darrah Perez writes from the core of her heart to the core of other hearts.