Norman Akers

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - School of the Arts - Visual Art
Associate Professor
Primary office:
Chalmers Hall
Room 506
University of Kansas
1467 Jayhawk Boulevard
Lawrence, KS 66045-3102


Norman Akers is a painter and printmaker. He is a member of the Osage Nation. He received a BFA in Painting from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1982, and a Certificate in Museum Studies from the Institute of American Indian Arts in 1983. In 1991, he received a MFA in Fine Arts from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Akers had solo exhibitions at the Lawrence Arts Center, Lawrence, Kansas, Jan Cicero Gallery in Chicago, Illinois, and the Gardner Art Gallery, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions including, Art for a New Understanding; Native Voices 1950s to Now, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, Who Stole the Tee Pee?, National Museum of American Indian Art, Gustave Heye Center, Smithsonian Museum, New York City, New York, and Pathology of Symbols, I Space, Chicago, Illinois.

His paintings are in several collections including the Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona, Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, Indiana, National Museum of the American Indian, Washington DC, and the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.

Before coming to the University of Kansas, he taught painting and drawing at the Institute of American Indian Arts in New Mexico. The landscape has been a central theme of his creative research. His use of visual images to express tribal, political, and historical issues support indigenous perspectives on place. In addition to his teaching appointment in Visual Art, he serves as affiliate faculty for the Indigenous Studies Program at KU.

Teaching Interests

  • Painter
  • Printmaker
  • Native American Artist
  • Osage

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