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Paul “Lance” Straughn
1941 -

Paul “Lance” Straughn is an award-winning Chickasaw painter and sculptor born Dec. 11, 1941, in Dillard, Oklahoma. His passion for First American culture was sparked at a young age by attending stomp dances with his grandmother, an original Chickasaw enrollee.

His work has appeared at shows in Oklahoma, Texas and the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian. Two of his pieces, “Night Run” and “Bear Clan Guardian,” are in the permanent collection of the United States Department of the Interior Museum in Washington, D.C., and several of his paintings and sculptures are at the Tribes Gallery in Norman, Oklahoma. Straughn and his art have been featured in publications including Red Lake Nation News, Ada News, Chokma Magazine and the Chickasaw Times.

As a member of the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts and Oil Painters of America, Straughn has made significant contributions to the art world. His work is known for its unique perspective on First American history and culture and incorporates contemporary elements. His art is influenced by his Chickasaw heritage and family.

Inspired by First American cultures and the works of Nicolai Fechin and Ramon Kelley, Straughn developed his technique by painting Pueblo Indian portraits in New Mexico. He began to explore a new art he calls “spirit paintings” in 2018. Straughn established this style with the direction of his spirit guide.

In 2018, Straughn also wrote and illustrated “Images in the Smoke,” a compilation of First American mythological stories. He understands the importance of passing down these stories and is committed to preserving First American culture. His joy of writing is similarly shown in his autobiography “What a Ride.”

The Wilson Historical Society recognized Straughn with the Jim Miller Artistic and Cultural Award in 2021. Today, he continues to create pieces of art in honor of his heritage, constantly pushing the boundaries of his craft and inspiring others to learn more about First American history and culture.

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