Dana Tiger (born 1961) is a Muscogee Creek-Seminole and Cherokee artist from Oklahoma. Her artwork focuses on portrayals of strong women. She uses art as a medium for activism and raising awareness. Tiger was inducted into the Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame in 2001.

Dana Tiger
Dana Irene Tiger

1961 (age 58–59)
EducationOklahoma State University, Bacone College
Years active1985–present


Dana Irene Tiger was born in 1961 to Jerome Tiger[1] and Peggy[2] Richmond. Her father was a full blood Native American of Muskogee-Seminole heritage and her mother is a member of the Cherokee Tribe.[3] Tiger's father died of an accidental gunshot wound when she was 5 years old and she was raised by her mother. To promote her father's work, keep his legacy alive, and be taken seriously as an art dealer, Tiger's mother ran the business pretending to be a man. Jerome's brother, Johnny Tiger Jr., acted as family patriarch, told stories of their father to his children, and surrounded them with art.[2]

Tiger attended Oklahoma State University from 1981 to 1984 as a student in the College of Arts and Sciences.[4] She later attended Bacone College.[5]

Tiger first began painting at age 24, after she left Oklahoma State University.[5] Her themes of strong women grew out of personal experiences of discrimination and tragedy.[6] She uses art as a medium to empower women.[7] Characteristics of her paintings are resilient women depicted in both historical and contemporary leadership positions,[8] usually in watercolor or acrylic.[9]

Tiger often combines art work and advocacy, promoting benefits for the AIDS Coalition for Indian Outreach, the American Cancer Society, the National Organization for Women, and the Ozark Literacy Council among others.[8] Native American health is a particular focus.[9]

Personal lifeEdit

Tiger had planned to remain single and dedicate her life to art,[7] but when her brother was murdered in 1990 and her sister was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS two years later, her view of the world changed. She felt that she could honor her siblings by bringing new life into the world.[2] Tiger married Donnie Blair on 7 November 1992. They have two children: a daughter Christie, born 1 September 1993, named after her brother, and a son, Coleman Lisan, born 16 July 1995, named for her sister.[1] Both of her children are award winning artists.[2]

In 1999, Tiger was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Soon after her diagnosis, Tiger's sister Lisa was also diagnosed with Parkinson's.[2]

In 2002, she founded a non-profit organization, Legacy Cultural Learning Community, to foster arts development for Native youth.[6]

Notable WorksEdit

Tiger's painting We Ride Again was chosen as the cover art for the 2006 Oklahoma Women's Almanac.[10]

A collection of Tiger's work was shown as a part of the Oklahoma Painters exhibition at the Grand Palais, Paris in 2011. She was one of 11 Native American artists who was selected to show at the exhibition.[11]

Some of Tiger's other notable works include:[1]

  • Patrol of the Light Horse 1990 National Police Chiefs Convention, Tulsa, OK.
  • Courage and Culture 1992 AIDS Coalition for Indian Outreach
  • "Circle of Life" 1993 American Cancer Society, Breast Cancer Awareness Project for Native American Women
  • Under Control 1993 American Indian College Fund
  • Beautiful New Worlds 1993 Ozark Literacy Council
  • Keeping Cultures Fires Burning 1993 National Organization for Women, Oklahoma State Conference
  • The Healing Dream 1994 Follies, Inc., AIDS Benefit
  • Wisdom from the Past, Strength for the Future 1995 Conference on the State of the American Indian Family



  1. ^ a b c "Dana Tiger - Creek Tribe". ArtNatAm. ArtNatAm. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e Tall Chief, Russ (December 2012). "Triumph Over Tragedy". Orenda Art. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Welcome to Twin Territories: Dana Tiger". Cherokees Western. Twin Territories. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  4. ^ Oklahoma State University. Student Directory. Stillwater, OK: Department of Student Activities.
  5. ^ a b c d Pearson-Little Thunder, Julie (May 25, 2011). "Oral history interview with Dana Tiger". Oklahoma Native Artists. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  6. ^ a b Jessepe, Lorraine (26 October 2009). "Dana Tiger answered the voice inside". Indian Country Today Media Network. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  7. ^ a b Winslow, Laurie (1 March 1989). "Dana Tiger Featured at Indian Art Show". Tulsa World. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Dana Tiger Painting Selected for Commemorative Poster". Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. May 6, 2008. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  9. ^ a b Young, James (April 3, 2013). "Twelfth Native Women & Men's Wellness Conference Held in San Diego". OU Outreach. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  10. ^ "About the Oklahoma Women's Almanac Cover". The Oklahoma Women's Almanac. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  11. ^ Godreche, Dominique. "American Indian Painters Travel to Paris, Bust a Few Stereotypes". Indian Country Media Network. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  12. ^ a b c d "Dana Tiger Biography, box 1, folder 5". Tiger Family Collection. Special Collections and University Archives, Oklahoma State University Libraries.
  13. ^ "Dana Tiger Portraits of Courage and Culture (And a little frybread on the side)". Oklahoma Arts Council. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  14. ^ "2001 Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame". Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women. Retrieved 7 May 2015.

External linksEdit