When discussing his journey as an artist, Nocona says "with all of this art and artists around me and in my blood, I had no choice." In 1989, after a year at the University of Oklahoma, Nocona decided to move to New Mexico, where he stumbled upon the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. Armed with a solid background in art his work quickly developed. "I had a good time and learned a lot about Native art and its contemporary origins. This is what grabbed my attention. I knew quite a bit about the traditional style. I grew up knowing people like Doc Tate Nevaquaya, Rance Hood, Alan Houser and reading about Oklahoma artists like Woody Crumbo and the Kiowa Five." Despite the love for the old style, Nocona finds the idea of modern Indians is what really appeals to him. After questioning whether he could make a living as an artist, Nocona quit school and worked for several Tribes in their casinos. The pull to create his art overcame the need for economic stability and Nocona returned to Oklahoma and the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma to complete his B.F.A in 1999. It was at USAO that he met and married his wife Danielle, also an artist. Nocona has expanded his artistic expression to include music and poetry. In July 2001, he released a CD of his flute music. He paints because he has a painting, plays music because he has a song and writes when he has a poem.
Quanah Burgess, the younger of the brothers, began to draw early in his life. He completed his first painting by age six. Quanah graduated from Santa Fe Indian School in New Mexico in 1993 after having lived there for seven years. It wasn't until 1995 when he moved back to Oklahoma that he began to think about painting professionally. In 1996 he set out to sell his first paintings at the Olympics in Atlanta, GA. He has exhibited and competed in art shows in Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico. The largest showing of his work has been at the Heard Museum Art Market, Phoenix, AZ and the Santa Fe Indian Art Market, Santa Fe, NM. In the summer of 2000 Quanah and his brother Nocona visited The Netherlands where they were featured artists in an exhibition to help educate the Dutch people about the Plains Indian, specifically the Comanche culture. Quanah is featured along with 7 other premier artists from Oklahoma in the annual "American Indian Art Calendar". Quanah sometimes creates an intricately detailed painting on a small scale format. It is the portability of the miniature paintings and being able to pull a painting out of his shirt pocket that he enjoys most when he sees his brother carry large scale canvases. For Quanah, creating art is the opportunity to help preserve his heritage and to also reveal a beautiful culture that so many know so little about.
Recently the "Burgess Boys" have gained quite a bit of recognition and have captured the eye of several collectors. When it was mentioned to them that they were becoming well-known, they responded, "Naw, we're barely famous".
For more informaiton on the artist featured on this page, please contact Southern Plains Indian Museum firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Future Child, Nocona Burgess, 2005
Fire-Sky-Spirit, Nocona Burgess
Eka Wokoni (Red Young Man), Quanah Burgess
Sun Eagle, Quanah Burgess
The Eagle, Nocona Burgess
Peyote Brothers, Quanah Burgess
Otter Belt Portrait, Nocona Burgess