Comanche and Kiowa Heritage: Art by J. NiCole Hatfield

A photo of a pair of hand-painted wooden boxesHand painted wooden boxes

J. NiCole Hatfield is a self-taught artist based in Oklahoma. NiCole draws on her native Comanche and Kiowa heritage in her works, often incorporating imagery of traditional tribal dress and text from native languages.

A pair of earrings made from carved dentaliumDentalium earrings


I appreciate the diversity of media and style in NiCole’s art portfolio. From wearable art to two-dimensional paintings, a number of different art styles are represented. NiCole’s series of paintings on refurbished vintage items tell an interesting story – images of native figures in tribal dress are painted onto wooden boxes and cases that likely date back to the 20th century. The paintings on these articles create a historical narrative and offer a sense of reclamation for these household items.

A screen capture of J. NiCole Hatfield's art


NiCole works with wearable media like jewelry as well. Her dentalium jewelry draws on traditional techniques and aesthetics, while in other works, like her textile paintings on canvas messenger bags, she combines Comanche imagery and heritage with a pop-art sensibility. Some of the figures in this series remind me of colorful works by Chickasaw painter Larry Carter.

A series of painted canvas bags with depictions of Native AmericansCanvas messenger bags

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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