Heather Ahtone


heather ahtone is Senior Curator at First Americans Museum (FAM) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She and her team are currently developing the inaugural exhibitions for the 175,000 sq. ft. facility addressing the histories, cultures, and arts of the 39 Tribes of Oklahoma. She has worked in the Native arts community since 1993, and is recognized as a curator, arts writer, and researcher. ahtone has worked at the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum (now MoCNA), the Southwestern Association of Indian Arts ( both in Santa Fe, New Mexico), with Ralph Appelbaum Associates (New York), and in several positions at the University of Oklahoma. She has undergraduate degrees in Creative Writing and Printmaking and completed her education with a doctoral degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Art History, Anthropology, Native American Studies). She is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation and descendant of strong Choctaw women.

ahtone began teaching at the University of Oklahoma in 2007, serving as an adjunct professor at the OU School of Art and Art History. ahtone taught the course “American Indian Women in Art.” Her research and writing has focused on placing contemporary and indigenous Native American art within the context of America’s overall history and culture. ahtone has curated art exhibits with historical Native American artifacts, focusing on documenting the evolution of tribal design and culture. ahtone’s goal has been to develop an interdisciplinary approach to studying indigenous Native American art.