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Current Exhibits
 
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Tsate Kongia: Walking in Two Worlds, the Life of Blackbear Bosin

Exhibit Dates: permanent exhibit

The exhibit gives an in-depth look into the personal and professional life of Bosin, one of the founders of the Indian Center and the man behind Wichita's iconic Keeper of the Plains sculpture. Tsate Kongia was Bosin's Kiowa name. It means "Blackbear" and belonged to his great-grandfather, a Kiowa chief. The exhibit includes paintings, photographs, vintage film footage, live audio tapes made by Bosin and interviews with people who were close to him. Bosin was an internationally recognized Comanche-Kiowa sculptor and acrylic/watercolor painter from Oklahoma who adopted Wichita as his home in 1940. Primarily a self-taught artist, Bosin helped enhance a better understanding of his culture by presenting scenes and tales of his beloved Indian heritage beautifully to the world. National Geographic gave Bosin his first national recognition in March 1955 with the publication of his painting "Prairie Fire".​​​​

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Zuni Fetishes and Carvings

Beginning exhibit date: April 8, 2017

Fetishes are objects that are filled with the spirits of powerful beings. Zuni people carve stone animals to heal and help the person who has it. Learn about Zuni fetishes and the carvings that are made to resemble them.​​​​

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Pottery: Formed and Fired

Beginning exhibit date: April 8, 2017

Pueblo pottery is as varied as the pueblos in which it is created. The Indian Center has 150 pieces from 17 pueblos that showcase the artistry that goes into the making of this art.​​

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The Ken Enquist Collection

Beginning exhibit date: April 8, 2017

Although the photographic portrayal of American Indians is not unique, this exhibit differs from other representations in several respects. Historic portraits of Indians often presented them in the artificial environment of the studio, frequently having to wear the regalia of a tribe to which they did not belong. Unlike the posed Indians in historic portraits, the individuals portrayed in the current exhibit chose what they would wear, where they would pose, and they tell their story through the accompanying narratives, in which they express what it is like to be an Indian in Kansas today.​

The underlying purpose of this exhibit is to sweep away the misconceptions, biases, and ignorance that sometimes obscure our understanding of one another. The picturing of Indian people as real individuals, with unique histories, experiences, feelings, and traditions is the best way to dispel some of these long held and unquestioned judgements. In essence, this exhibit contains the self-portraits of American Indians who speak their own story at a moment in time. The images and words seen here should be considered the representations of living people who are forever changing.​​​​

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Elements: Water

Beginning exhibit date: April 8, 2017

Water is the third installment starting the second year of our Elements exhibit series, featuring the medicine wheel, or circle of life. The medicine wheel encompasses all of the earth and the life within it. We will explore our relationship to water and its place in the medicine wheel.​​​​​​

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Cherokee Baskets: Redfern & Bushyhead

Beginning exhibit date: October 8, 2016

Margaret Redfern Pitzer was a master artist in basket weaving and she taught that skill to Marilyn Bushyhead Kindsvatter. Their baskets showcase Cherokee artistry at its finest, while also focusing on the lives and talents of two women helping to keep heritage craft alive.​​​​​​​

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Indians in Sports

Beginning exhibit date: July 23, 2016

This exhibit is a look at American Indians who have contributed to the world of sports. Take a journey from traditional sports played and invented by American Indians to learning about the effect boarding schools had on Indian athletics, bringing us to today and athletes who are up and coming in different fields of sports.​​​​