Kristin Gentry (she/they)
Choctaw Nation Reservation
Kristin Gentry grew up in Oklahoma in a family of woodcarvers, painters, seamstresses, and poets. She’s a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Her earliest memories are of napping under tables at art fairs and festivals as her mother and grandparents sold their work. She pursued art as an undergraduate and taught elementary school art before earning a master’s degree in Native American leadership and launching a career as an independent artist and curator. She is particularly interested in ancestral seed-saving and has been active in establishing community gardens in indigenous communities. She also incorporates ecology and nature imagery into her pattern-based 2D visual art, for which she received the 2022 SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market 1st Place in relief printmaking.
Kristin lives in Oklahoma City with her daughter Jewell Shooting Star. Among other curatorial projects, she produces IndigiPopX, the first Indigenous pop culture convention. She started making jewelry using non-traditional materials and processes, like laser-cut acrylic and cedarwood, because it allows her to set a modest price point. This is very important to her practice so that her work is available to a larger demographic interested in learning their tribal culture----while well worth it, she says, most Native jewelry demands such intensely skilled labor and expensive materials that prices are often out of reach for Native buyers. She creates designs from her tribal culture that are diamond-shaped or geometrical, or incorporate floral pattern and pollinator imagery as well as traditional moundbuilder designs.