Gardens Fine Art Series to Feature Benjamin Harjo Jr.
Myriad Botanical Gardens continues its free, public fine art series in the visitors lobby of the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory with a showing of the works of nationally acclaimed artist Benjamin Harjo Jr. The exhibit will be up from Jan. 23 to Feb. 22 and is free to the public during regular Crystal Bridge hours. All art will be available for purchase and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Gardens.
Considered one of the nation’s leading American Indian artists, Benjamin Harjo, Jr. is a Seminole and Absentee Shawnee whose professional career began with a formal education at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe and a BFA from the Oklahoma State University in 1974. With a career spanning more than 30 years, Harjo has received many prestigious honors and awards. His work is highly sought by private collectors and can be viewed in public collections at the Fred E. Brown Collection at the Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, Red Earth Center, Gilcrease Museum, Wheelright Museum, and the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian.
Harjo’s work has been published in dozens of books and magazines, and has been shown around the world. Solo exhibitions include shows at Santa Fe’s Wheelwright Museum, Mabee-Gerrer in Shawnee, and OSU’s Gardiner Art Gallery. Group shows include “Small Works Great Wonders” at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum; “Changing Hands II” at the Museum of Art and Design in New York City and “Ladies Choice” at the Bradford Brinton Museum in Big Horn, WY.
Included among his many awards are:
- 2012 Inducted into the Oklahoma State University Alumni Hall of Fame
- 2009 Named as an Oklahoma Living Treasure by the OU Health Center Foundation
- 2009 Awarded the Lifetime Achievement by NAASA
- 2009 Best of Show, Five Civilized Tribes Museum
- 2009 Best of Division and 1st place SWAIA Indian Market
- 2007 Best of Show in the Masters Show at Five Civilized Tribes Museum
- 2005 SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market official poster artist
- 2003 Honored One at the 17th Annual Red Earth Festival
- 1993 & 1994 Featured Artist for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian’s Annual Aspen Benefit
The Myriad Botanical Gardens is one of Oklahoma City’s most beloved public spaces, offering its visitors a 17 acre natural escape in the very heart of downtown. A half-acre children’s garden, an off-leash dog park, restaurant space, splash fountains, and paths for walking and jogging provide guests young and old with a place to seek solitude with nature, or seek community and the company of others. Additionally, the Myriad Gardens offers a variety of horticultural education programs for adults and children.
The Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory’s unique design has earned attention and praise in the architectural community. It is 224 feet long, 70 feet in diameter, and is covered by 3,028 sections of translucent, double-layered acrylic panels. The Conservatory includes 13,000 square feet of plant display area in two distinct climates: the Tropical Wet Zone, which is at the south end and is watered daily; and the Tropical Dry Zone at the north end which receives water from April through September, followed by drought from November through March. Some 2,000 varieties of plants and a 35-foot waterfall round out the spectacular features of the Conservatory.