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Seminole art to be featured at Ringling Museum

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota. (Courtesy photo)

“Reclaiming Home: Contemporary Seminole Art” will open at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota on March 18 and run through Sept. 4. The exhibit marks the first time the museum has presented contemporary art by Native American artists.

The exhibit will feature the art of Seminole artists Noah Billie, Wilson Bowers, Alyssa Osceola, Jessica Osceola, Brian Zepeda, Corinne Zepeda and Pedro Zepeda. Other artists in the show include Houston Cypress (Miccosukee) and Elisa Harkins (Cherokee/Muscogee [Creek]), C. Maxx Stevens (Seminole/Muscogee [Creek]), Tony Tiger (Sac and Fox/Seminole/Muscogee [Creek]), and Hulleah J. Tsinhnahjinnie (Taskigi/Diné [Navajo]/Seminole).

“It is the first of its kind at the Ringling and one of only five that have been featured in the state of Florida,” Corinne Zepeda said. “In 2023 we are finally getting recognized for being on this land. I think it’s important for people to learn that we are still here and still create art. We’ve adapted to make contemporary pieces using traditional techniques.”

Zepeda makes beadwork, digital art, sewn items, pins and mixed media pieces. She will have nine or 10 small pieces in the show including a mixed media jean jacket. She learned how to bead from her father Brian Zepeda, a master artist who makes intricately beaded bandolier bags which are also featured in the show. Other members of Zepeda’s family are in the exhibit including cousin Jessica Osceola and uncle Pedro Zepeda.

“It’s a family affair,” she said. “I think it’s wonderful that we are all in this exhibit together and we just happened to be selected.” “Reclaiming Home” is the first collaboration between the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum and the Ringling. Some of the pieces on display are on loan from Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki.

The opening day program on March 18 is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. with an outdoor welcome celebration, a land acknowledgement and remarks from museum leadership and special guests. A panel discussion with the artists and informal tours of the gallery space will continue throughout the day. Admission is free on opening day.

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is located at 5401 Bay Shore Road in Sarasota. For more information visit

Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at