First People’s Buffalo Jump State park will host an art show on Saturday, March 19, highlighting the works of of indigenous artists. The show will feature works by the Kuka family, Ira Henderson, and Tanya Werner.
“Every year during Western Art Week in Great Falls, we feature Native American artists. The Kuka family has been with us since the beginning but this year we are bringing in two new artists” explained Alice Southworth, who works at the Information Center.
The Kuka family is three generations of artists all descending from famous artist Kingsley "King" Kuka. He passed away in 2004, and his legacy lives on in his children and grandchildren who have taken up his love for the arts by doing some of their own.
“It’s almost like a family tradition. It’s, like, expected of us at this point,” joked Kodi Kuka, one of King Kuka’s daughters and artist with several works being shown at the show.
You can see Kukas as young as about eight years old with works on display.
“It feels great, we’ve been doing it a long time actually and we all just enjoy watching our art inspire others” explained Khi Kuka, another daughter of King Kuka with her own artwork in the show.
Other artists featured include Ira Henderson, a self-taught artist using a different medium than the typical brush and paint. All his works are beaded.
“I have some bead work. Native American bead work, medallions, earrings,” said Ira. He went on to explain the number of hours it takes him to complete a piece. “Typically for a medallion, it can take me about 24 hours if I don’t stop. So, there’s thousands of hours just in the work that people can see here,”
With a lot of time and effort that has paid off, Ira is proud to have been considered as one of the artists featured in the show.
“I feel like I’ve accomplished something by being able to be a part of this. I’m really happy to have my stuff in here and I’m really honored to showcase it.
The art show starts at noon and ends at 3:30 on Saturday, March 19. It is located at the First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park (342 Ulm-Vaughn Road) and everyone is invited to come check out the artists with options to purchase work.
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