Artists Honored at Seminole Nation Museum with Dedication Ceremony

Posted on 07/24/2015

The Seminole Nation Museum’s annual Joan Roberts Ligon Collections Endowment purchase dedication will be held on Saturday, Aug. 1 at 2 p.m. located at 524 S. Wewoka Ave., Wewoka, Okla. The 2015 dedication will honor artists Damian Jay McGirt and the late Fred Beaver.

McGirt, who currently resides in Tulsa, Okla., and the late Beaver are both of Seminole and Muscogee (Creek) descent. Each artist will have a piece of artwork added into the Permanent Collection of the Seminole Nation Museum through the Joan Roberts Ligon Collections Endowment.

McGirt is a local textile artist and Southeastern Indian clothing expert whose work has been displayed across the U.S. from the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. McGirt’s beaded bandolier pouch is the first of his works to be featured in the Museum.

Beaver was a prominent Muscogee (Creek)-Seminole painter and muralist from Oklahoma. He was one of the first artists to be designated as a "master artist" of the Five Civilized Tribes Museum. His featured work, “The Quilting Bee,” conveys daily life in the Indian Territory and is his fourth addition to the Seminole Nation Museum’s permanent collection.

“We are very excited to honor and showcase the unique creations of these artists,” said Richard Ellwanger, executive director of the Seminole Nation Museum. “Both noted artists have shared their talent with the world and we are excited to be able to permanently share their work with our visitors."

In addition to viewing the artists’ artwork, light refreshments will be served. The Museum's other exhibits will be open for viewing.

The Ligon Endowment Fund perpetuates the legacy of the late Joan Ligon, a life-long Wewokan and co-founder of the Seminole Nation Museum. The fund was established by her family and friends in 2013 as a memorial. The endowment provides funds to purchase quality artifacts and artworks to enhance the museum’s ability to tell the story of Wewoka and the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. Tax-deductible contributions may be made to the Collections Endowment Fund to assist with future purchases.

The Seminole Nation Museum, founded as the Seminole Nation Historical Society in 1973, is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the success of its vision through a combination of ethnological programming and educational outreach. The museum works to perpetuate and preserve the diverse cultural history of the Seminole Nation and the city of Wewoka. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free and donations are accepted. For more information, visit or call (405) 257-5580.