Norman Akers

Associate Professor of Painting
Director of Art Graduate Studies
Primary office:
785-864-3231
Art and Design Building, room 506


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 BoundariesThe Dichotomy of Place in Contemporary Native American ArtAlbuquerque MuseumAlbuquerque, New MexicoWho 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.

Education

BFA in Painting from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1982
​MFA in Fine Arts from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign


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Natives @ KU Social
meet others in the Native American community at KU
Tuesday, February 20 | 5-6:30 p.m.
Summerfield Hall Rm 201, 1300 Sunnyside Ave
Snacks will be provided

*Safe zone Training + Cultural Workshop + Panel 
Wednesday, February 21 | 11a.m.-1p.m. 
Curtis Hall Rose RM

Keeping Implicit Bias in Mind with Jerry Kang, Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and Professor of Law at University of California Los Angeles
Thursday, February 22 | 7-8 p.m.
Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont Street Lawrence, KS 66046

*Drag Show  
Friday, February 23 | 6-8 p.m. 
Haskell Auditorium 

*First Ever Haskell Two Spirit Powwow 
Saturday, February 24 | 2 p.m.-Midnight 
Tecumseh Hall 

*Part of Haskell Two Spirit Celebration Month. All events located at Haskell Indian Nations University and all events free and open to the public. 

Haskell Indian Nations University: 3rd Annual Celebration of Life Round Dance
Tecumseh Hall
Saturday, March 3
Dinner served at 6 p.m., Singing begins at 7 p.m. 

KU Law's 22nd Annual Tribal Law & Government Conference: Tribal-State Collaborations: Advantages & Obstacles
Friday, March 9 | 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
KU School of Law, 1535 W. 15th Street, Lawrence, KS
Free and open to the public, but registration is required.
law.ku.edu/collaborations
5 hours CLE pending in KS & MO ($50 fee)

Frank Waln, Sicangu Lakota Hip-Hop Artist, in Concert
Friday, March 30 | 7:30 p.m.
Lied Center of Kansas, 1600 Stewart Dr.
$25 adults | $14 students/youth
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KU Powwow & Indigenous Culture Festival
Saturday, March 31 | Begins at noon
Lied Center of Kansas, 1600 Stewart Dr.
Free and open to the public
Presented by the KU First Nations Student Association in partnership with the Lied Center of Kansas, Haskell Cultural Center and Museum, Spencer Museum of Art, KU Office of Diversity and Equity and KU Office of Multicultural Affairs.

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