Published on August 8, 2012 by Amy
Johnny Tiger, Jr. (born 1940) is a Muscogee Creek-Seminole artist from Oklahoma.
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Johnny Tiger Jr. was born in 1940 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, the capitol of the Cherokee Nation. His parents were Loucine Lewis and the Reverend John M. Tiger. His younger brother, the late Jerome Tiger was a celebrated artist. As a child Johnny traveled with his grandfather Coleman Lewis, a well known Baptist Missionary within the Muscogee Creek Nation. While traveling Coleman would teach his grandson the history and legends of his people in the Muscogee language, their native tongue.
As a young man Johnny loved pin striping hot rods but moved towards fine arts. In his paintings, he preserved the oral history of his tribes, painting scenes such as a tribal gathering, stomp dances, or medicine men healing the sick, based on his own experiences. In 1959, Johnny enrolled at Bacone College to study under the legendary Cheyenne master Walter Richard “Dick” West Sr.. Johnny’s classmates included David Williams and Joan Hill. Winning numerous major art awards by the late 1970s, he became a full time artist. After winning numerous award, Johnny was declared a master artist by the Five Civilized Tribes Museum of Muskogee, Oklahoma in 1982.
Besides his prominence as a painter, Johnny is also a well known sculptor which has also taken many major awards, and has produced several bronze pieces. Having been given enormous talent, skill and charisma, Johnny enjoys sharing his techniques, and memories of this journey in the world of Indian Art.