(Born 1945) Ben Harjo, Jr. is half Seminole and half Shawnee. The name Harjo means "Crazy" in the Muscogee language. Although born in New Mexico, Harjo lived with his family in Oklahoma between the age of 10 and18.
Cartooning was his first love, selling comics to his high school newspaper. Interested in pursuing a professional career in cartoon animation, Harjo went to the Institute of American Indian Arts in 1966. There he earned his Associate of Arts degree, attending school with T.C. Cannon and Linda Lomahaftewa. Following his military service, Harjo attended Oklahoma State University, graduating with a BFA degree in 1974.
2005 poster artist for SWAIA's Santa Fe Indian Market, Harjo has consistently won top awards including Best of Show, since 1983. In 1993 he was the Heard Museum's 34th Annual Fetured Artist, the Featured Artist in 1992 and 1993 for the Smithsonian's National Musem of the American Indian's Aspen Benefit and the Gold Medal Award at the 1990 American Indian Cowboy Artists Wichita Show.
In 1991, the Wichita Art Museum held a solo exhibition of his work. The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian hosted a major retrospective of Harjo's work's, entitled "The Earth, the Moon and the Stars Above."