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 Celebrating Our 25th Year 

Artwork by Blackbear Bosin

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About the Artist

Blackbear Bosin, Comanche and Kiowa, was born on June 5, 1921 in Anadarko, Oklahoma. He was given the name of his grandfather, a Kiowa subchief, Tsate-Kongia (Blackbear). He was a member of the Kiowa Gourd Clan and the O-Ho-Mo Lodge Society. 

Blackbear attended Saint Patrick's Mission School where he was first exposed to the traditional art of the Kiowa-Five painters. The library's collection of traditional paintings stimulated in him an enthusiasm to learn to read. He started painting then and never ceased until the day of his death, August 9, 1980. Bosin was a graduate of Cyril High School and attended a trade school in Chilocco while painting at night.

In about 1940, he moved to Wichita, KS. The artist enlisted in W.W. II and was stationed in Hawaii. As a Marine, he studied painting with J. Harvard McPherson of Phoenix, Arizona. His first one-man show was in Honolulu in 1945 was a sell-out. Later, he exhibited extensively throughout the United States including the White House and the National Gallery of Art. His first national recognition came when the National Geographic magazine featured his painting, "Prairie Fire."

Blackbear was a self-taught artist who developed his own style. He worked within the confines of tradition. "Indians are poetic people by virtue of the most fundamental elements of their life. So they paint the symbols around them - the pulse and the essence," he once said, "I would not put too much realism into a painting or I would ruin its vision." 

Blackbear's sense of drama led him to develop strong background elements with motion yet staying within the traditional realm. His paintings and charismatic character had a great influence on the Indian Schools of art during his lifetime and on the contemporary Plains painters of today.

Blackbear home was Wichita, KS after 1940, remaining an active force in the artistic and creative development of the city and Plains Indian art. 

Among the most famous pieces Blackbear Bosin created is a mural commissioned by the Farm Credit Bank of Wichita, Wichita, Kansas, entitled "From Whence All Life." His only sculpture, the design of which he donated to the City of Wichita, "Keeper of the Plains", is a forty-four foot tall sculpture of Corten steel expressing the essence of the Indian heritage. The "Keeper of the Plains" remains Blackbear's most famous contribution to the City of Wichita. He died in 1980.