Red Earth, Inc., which operates the Red Earth Museum and produces the award-winning Red Earth Native American Cultural Festival, has relocated its museum and office to 6 Santa Fe Plaza in downtown Oklahoma City. The new location is immediately south of the Skirvin Hilton Hotel and is within walking distance of the Cox Convention Center where the non-profit organization will conduct the 24th annual Red Earth Festival June 18-20, 2010.
The Red Earth Museum originally opened in 1978 as The Center of the American Indian at the Kirkpatrick Center Museum Complex which is known today as Science Museum Oklahoma. The notable American Indian museum is home to a respected permanent collection of more than 1,600 items of fine art, pottery, basketry, textiles and beadwork.
When the Red Earth Museum reopens in March, a new component of the downtown attraction will include a sales gallery featuring original Native American artwork with plans to offer paintings, jewelry, pottery and beadwork along with other Native American related items including publications, CD’s and DVD’s to the buying public.
“One of the goals of our organization has always been to provide an outlet for talented Native American artisans to sell their works to the public,” said Jonna Kauger Kirschner, president of the Red Earth Board of Directors. “Until our move to downtown Oklahoma City we have been able to fulfill this goal during our annual Festival only. Now, with the opening of our new location, we can fulfill this mission throughout the year.”
During its 31-year history at the Kirkpatrick Center/Science Museum location, the Red Earth Museum has hosted a wide variety of acclaimed traveling exhibitions including collaborations with the Cherokee Heritage Center, Pendleton Mills, the United States Postal Service and such master artists as Enoch Kelley Haney, Vanessa Morgan, Doc Tate Nevequaya, and Benjamin Harjo, Jr. A recent exhibition featured at the Red Earth Museum, entitled “They Know Who They Are,” showcased a collection of 24 oil paintings commissioned by the Chickasaw Nation, and brilliantly depicting Chickasaw elders by Oklahoma artist Mike Larsen.
The organization’s educational programs operate year-round, drawing from exhibits, workshops, demonstrations and seminars that showcase art, dance, music and literature. Red Earth is currently expanding its educational programming by reaching out to teachers and students through the internet.
“The future looks bright for the Red Earth Museum,” said Kirschner. “When people travel to Oklahoma City they want to experience Native American culture. With the Red Earth Museum being in the heart of Oklahoma’s capitol city, we’re excited about showcasing our unique Native heritage to people from throughout the world. We will continue our great tradition of enhancing the cultural climate of our state.”