“Cheyenne art isn’t art. It is history in motion. I try to put into my artwork a little bit of where the Cheyenne come from, where we are, and where we are going. Everything is alive and has a story.” -- George Curtis Levi
George C. Levi is a member of the Southern Cheyenne Tribe of Oklahoma. He is also of Southern Arapaho and Sioux descent. As a member of the Kitfox Society, George participates in Cheyenne cultural ceremonies. George was raised in the El Reno and Geary, Oklahoma communities. He is currently a full-time artist residing in Mustang, Oklahoma with his wife and children.
The art and history of the Cheyenne people, the ordeals the Cheyenne people endured to survive, and his wife and children provide George with inspiration and motivation. George creates art so that Cheyenne people, especially Cheyenne youth, can see an illustrated history of where the Cheyenne people come from and what their future holds.
A self-taught artist who is naturally skilled, George has been drawing for as long as he can remember. His mother, Carolyn Tallbear Levi, and grandmothers, Lillian Whitebird and Maude Greany, were beadworkers and his sister, Lisa Levi Floyd, is an acrylic artist and beader. George’s grandfather, Kish Whitebird, was a noted silversmith. Surrounded by creative family members, George conveys their inspiration in his art.
In addition to painting and drawing, George’s talent extends to a variety of media including beadwork and rawhide work. He contributed to two books for the Cheyenne and Arapaho book project as an illustrator. The two books, “Tsististas Journey” and “The Tsististas, People of the Plains” will be incorporated into public schools across the Cheyenne and Arapaho service area in western Oklahoma. George is very proud of his heritage and shares his knowledge of traditional Cheyenne art with tribal youth and elders.
George cites the work of older Cheyenne and Arapaho artists and the beadwork of his friend Rufus Spear, Northern Cheyenne, as his artistic influences. His work can be seen in various museums across the United States and in private collections worldwide.
George wishes to dedicate this exhibit to the memory of his father, Curtis James Levi.
Prices of work for sale during the exhibition can be obtained by contacting the Oklahoma Indian Arts and Crafts Cooperative gift shop, located in the Southern Plains Indian Museum, at 1-405-247-3486. After the exhibit closes, for information or questions about the artwork of George C. Levi contact the artist at 1-405-256-5174 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Southern Plains Indian Museum is managed by the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, U.S. Department of the Interior. For hours of operation call 1-405- 247-6221.
24” x 18” Watercolor paper/ink/PrismaColor markers
©2009 George C. Levi
Why there will always be Cheyennes
20” x 15” Illustration board/ink/PrismaColor markers ©2010 George C. Levi
24” x 18” Watercolor paper/ink/PrismaColor markers ©2008 George C. Levi
18” x 24” Watercolor paper/ink/PrismaColor markers ©2008 George C. Levi
24” x 18” Watercolor paper/ink/PrismaColor markers ©2009 George C. Levi