"This show is dedicated to my grandfather, Goomda (the wind is what it is). Goomda (1867-1959) taught many people throughout his life about the old Kiowa life. His father, Dohente (no shoes) was the last Tiame keeper to conduct a successful Kiowa sun dance. Goomda was raised on the Staked Plains as a member of the Kata Band of Kiowa. His grandfather Red Otter, along with Lone Wolf, his brother, was the leader of the Kata Band. Goomda was present as a boy at the battle of Palo Duro Canyon in 1974 where the band had moved to camp for the winter, as was their custom. Goomda's influence lives on in his grandchildren." - Dennis Belindo
The conception of the idea to showcase the artwork of Dennis Belindo and his sons has been a year in the making. Over the course of that year Dennis has revealed himself to be first and foremost a Kiowa man. He is also an artist that expresses himself in a style that has been characterized as "transitional modernism". His paintings definitely depict Kiowa subject matter, themes and symbols but he takes those themes and images and translates them using a distinctive modernist approach and technique. Artists Stephen Mopope, Dick West, Blackbear Bosin and Oscar Howe are cited by Dennis Belindo as artists who have influenced him. Though influenced by the aforementioned mentors, Belindo has created a modernist style that is his own. Dennis Belindo was taught to be open to new influences but to retain the technical skills recognized in the best kinds of Indian art. He continues to adhere to that advice. In preparing for this exhibition, he exuberantly declares that he wants to have fun painting for the exhibit and these recent works reflect that openness and energy.
"At this point in my life, I am dedicated to working with the young people of the Kiowa Nation and as an artist to inspire others to create works of art as part of the material culture of the Kiowa people. I am a part of the last generation to have known the old people. These were the same people who grew up in the buffalo culture and lived to see the jet age. I consider myself very blessed to have known my grandfather, Goomda and his adopted brother White Fox, both born in the 1860's and both lived until the late 1950's".
Barry Belindo, in a similar path followed by his father, studied art at Bacone College. Conversations with Barry eventually turn to the topic of spirituality and his relationship with God. He credits this relationship for changing his life after a hit and run accident in 1981 that set his life on a different course. In 1990 with a renewed sense of inner peace, Barry Belindo returned to his work with beads and feathers. His father Dennis Belindo, has provided lifelong inspiration and instruction, first in using color, later in beadwork techniques and feather work.
Melvin Geionety, Kiowa Craftsman, taught him threadwork techniques. Kiowa elders, Nelson and Harding BigBow encouraged him in feather work when he began teaching himself to cut and trim feathers in the early 1990's. "I like to contrast hot and cold colors," Belindo says of his color preference. Today Barry, along with his wife Arlene Poolaw Belindo, reaches out through Wind Ministries. Through this ministry they travel to various Indian reservations in South Dakota, New Mexico and Arizona. He is also Chair of the Board of Directors of the Kiowa Young Men's Association, an organization dedicated to the preservation of Kiowa history and culture. He continues to do feather work as well as making moccasins and leggings for both men and women. He is currently teaching his daughter, Antonia Maria Belindo, an eighth grader at Mountain View middle school, the artistic techniques he continues to preserve.
In Jon Belindo's artist biography, he lists his father, Dennis Belindo first among his influences followed by R. Grant Thorp, Gary Whitedeer, "Kiowa Five" artists, specifically Tsatoke, Mopope, and Auchiah. Other influences include Mirac Creepingbear, Richard West and Blackbear Bosin. Jon Belindo is an artist and educator. A graduate of Oklahoma City University in 1994, Belindo earned a Master's degree in Education and is currently the Enrichment Specialist at Blue Valley Schools, Overland Park, Kansas.
" I grew up watching my father work. He raised me in a somewhat traditional manner; telling me stories of the Kiowas which were handed down to him by his grandfather Wind Goomda. I feel good about knowing my ancestry and try to portray the culture of the Indian in a new way. I am still developing as an artist and someday hope to publish children's books relaying the history of the American Plains Indian."
Dance Fan, Barry Belindo
Kiowa Black Leggings, Jon Belindo
Five Mystics, Dennis Belindo
Peyote Gourd, Barry Belindo
Three Brothers, Dennis Belindo
North Country, Jon Belindo