Professor Akers explores issues of identity and culture, including Osage mythos, place, and the dynamics of personal and cultural transformation as a Native American artist. Over the years he has used a visual vocabulary consisting of images and symbols drawn from his cultural heritage, personal life experiences, and contemporary culture.
Akers was born and raised in Fairfax, Oklahoma. He is a member of the Osage Nation. He received a BFA in Painting from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1982, and a Certificate in Museum Studies from the Institute of American Indian Arts in 1983. In 1991, he received a MFA in Fine Arts from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Akers had solo exhibitions at the Lawrence Arts Center, Lawrence, Kansas, Jan Cicero Gallery in Chicago, Illinois, and the Gardner Art Gallery, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions including, Unlimited Boundaries, The Dichotomy of Place in Contemporary Native American Art, Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Who Stole the Tee Pee?, at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Museum, New York, New York, and Pathology of Symbols, I Space, Chicago, Illinois.
His paintings are in several collections including the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Rockwell Museum, Corning, New York; Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona; Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, Indiana; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
In 2007 he was selected to participate in the "We Are All Knots" print project, sponsored by the National Museum of the American Indian and ART in the Embassies Program Print Series. He was a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant in 1999.
BFA in Painting from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1982
MFA in Fine Arts from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign