Published on July 10, 2012 by Amy
Dana Tiger is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and is of Creek/Seminole and Cherokee descent. She was born in 1961, five years before the death of her father, nationally acclaimed artist, Jerome Tiger. Dana turned to her father’s art as a way to know him. Through the paintings left by her father and under the tutelage of her uncle, Johnny Tiger, Jr., Dana learned the extraordinary richness of her Native American Culture.
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During high school and college Dana won numerous awards for her paintings, but it wasn’t until 1985, at the age of twenty-four, that Dana began her full time career as a painter. From the beginning, her one-woman shows have been sell-outs and she has established herself an one of America’s leading contemporary artists. Dana is best known for her paintings portraying the strength and determination of Native American women.
Dana has enjoyed many triumphs, but has also endured great tragedy, beginning with the death of her father from an accidental gunshot wound in 1967. In 1990, Dana’s beloved twenty-two year old brother, Chris, was murdered. Then, in 1992 Lisa Tiger, Dana’s only surviving sibling, was told she tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Dana is outspoken in her advocacy for the rights of women and minorities, especially Native Americans. She has donated painting for poster projects to a number of worthwhile campaigns including the AIDS Coalition for Indian Outreach, The American Cancer Society and the American Indian College Fund.
Dana was married to Donnie Blair on November 7, 1992. They have a daughter, Christie, born September 1, 1993, and a son, Coleman Lisan, born July 16, 1995. Dana now divides her time between her family, painting at her log cabin studio in the country near Tahlequah, Oklahoma, traveling to exhibits and speaking at conferences and schools about herself, her family and Native American women’s issues.
Dana, Donnie, Christie and Lisan enjoy living in the heart of the Cherokee Nation where they are close to family and friends.