Jay Benham

James Benham
Jay Benham - Artists 360 Community Activator Grant Recipient 2021

Project Description

Boarding School Interviews: Duration Performance Installation: The history of the Native American Boarding Schools is even more complicated than reports¬†revealed. In late19th and early 20th centuries between 1879 and 1969 the U.S. ran 408 off-reservation Boarding Schools. Students endure rampant physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Students were separated from their families starting from the age of five in many cases. Native languages and religious practices were not permitted. Many students died and their bodies were never returned to parents. This art installation will explore the legacy of the American Indian boarding schools by comparing mid 20 century American Indian reservations boarding schools with boarding schools of the earlier day by interview adults who attended a U.S. Boarding Schools in the 1950s. The interviewees’ experienced may have differ from students of the past.¬†

Artist Bio

Jay Benham is an artist of mixed heritage. His mother was a full-blood Kiowa Indian and his father, Anglo.

His artwork has been shown in galleries from Sedona, Arizona, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma City. He also has shown his art in Native American Shows such as Santa Fe Art Market (SWAIA), The Cherokee Art Market, and The Red Earth Festival. Permanent collections include the Fred Jones, Jr. Museum of Modern Art, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, Sequoyah National Research Center, University of Arkansas, Little Rock, and The Kiowa Tribal Museum of Art, Carnegie, Oklahoma. Benham has embarked on an art journey he hopes will increase dialogue, discussion, and civic discourse as he strives to tell the authentic narrative of his tribal stories.