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Victoria Adams

Victoria is an American jeweler and designer; her creations feature unique combinations of color, texture and materials. Juxtaposing precious metal, gemstones and fossils with plant, animal and human forms, Victoria expresses her own heritage, values and experiences in life.

Victoria is an enrolled member of the Southern Cheyenne/Arapaho tribe of Oklahoma. Her Cheyenne traditional name is “He On E Va,” which means “Woman Who Lights the Pipe.”

Creating items of personal adornment from metals became a Cheyenne artform just prior to the Civil War. Traders venturing to the central and southern plains introduced German silver (nickel) from the northeastern states, hence the flourishing of metal arts among the peoples of the Great Plains.

“Artistic and creative processes are born of diverse mothers, some steeped in Eurocentric academic ideals. Mine are not. Rather they are of earth, water, fire, blood and bone. The narratives embedded within my art harken to countless hours spent in the company of family and friends gathered around campfires. They often recounted tales of Cheyenne and Blackfeet traditional mythology and tribal history. These histories and stories join with my personal paths, adventures and studies to breathe life into my art.

“Sightings of deer, antelope, birds, bugs, berries and my own horses can set one day very much apart from another. Cheyenne religious ceremonies are not complete without the inclusion of plants and animals. We honor them. They governed our survival in ancient times, and today they are still an integral part of our traditional and contemporary cultures.

“Small objects of personal value have been worn, carried or kept in many types of medicine bundles longer than anyone’s memory … except for Mother Earth’s. When a person wears an object that they value spiritually or monetarily, they feel empowered, protected, proud and beautiful. The jewelry I create comes from my life view, in which ritual, culture, ancient and contemporary experiences play significant roles. These items are talismans of my own participation and consciousness.

“For me there is no dividing line between a fine, large diamond set in gold and a beautifully crafted, pair of graceful silver Southern Plains style earrings. Depending upon one’s cultural tradition, the value is similar. When I dress for a fine evening in the city or for a night of dancing at one of my favorite pow wows, the glint of my silver earrings, like the sparkle of a diamond, makes me feel elegant and proud.”


2017 Independent study England; London, York

2008-2010 Independent study Spain; Seville, Granada, Nerja, Jerez, Madrid

2000 Workshop with Phil Poirier, Taos, NM

1998 Workshop with Duane Maktima, Santa Fe, NM

1997 Workshop with Marilyn Nicholson, Santa Fe, NM

1977-1981 Apprenticeship with William Burke, Goldsmith, Mill Valley, CA

1978-1979 Revere Academy of Goldsmithing, San Francisco, CA

1976-1977 Independent study in London, England

1975-1976 University of Nevada at Reno

1969-1970 San Francisco Art Institute


Selected Exhibitions

2017 Beauty Speaks for Us, Heard Indian Museum, Phoenix, AZ

2006-2008 Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation #2, Museum of Art & Design, New York, NY

2005 Originals 2005, A Juried and Invitational Exhibition of New Mexico Women Artists. The Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, NM

1999 & 2002 Winter Camp – Honoring the Legacy, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, OK

2001 Eight Northern Pueblos Artists & Craftsman Show, Nambe, NM Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM

1998-2019 Santa Fe Indian Market, NM

1999-2019 Heard Museum Indian Market, Phoenix, AZ

2000 Anticipating the Dawn — Contemporary Art by Native American Women, Gardiner Art Gallery, Department of Art, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK

1996-1997 Red Earth Festival, Native American Arts, Film and Dance, Oklahoma City, OK

1996 Old & New Masterpieces, Native American Arts, curated by Paul Raczka. TCM Russell Museum, Great Falls Montana. Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Alberta. Sun Valley Center for the Arts and Humanities, Ketchum, Idaho.

Heyoh doh-Whvon Tseo, Eagle Plumes Fine Art, Allens Park, CO

1983-1996 C.M. Russell Art Show, Great Falls, MT

1995 Who is Indian? What is Indian Art? Eagle Plumes Fine Art, Allens Park, CO

1994 Trappings of Texas, Museum of the Big Bend, Alpine, TX

Tradition is Not a Static Concept, Eagle Plums Fine Art, Allens Park, CO

1990-1994 A Gathering of Peoples – Contemporary Native American Art, Sun Valley Center for the Arts & Humanities, Sun Valley, ID

1988-1994 Holiday Show, Kneeland Gallery, Sun Valley, ID

1990 Victoria Adams & Rick Bartow, Jewelry & Paintings, Sun Valley Center for the Arts & Humanities, ID

Museum Benefit Show, C.M. Russell Museum, Great Falls, MT

1987-1989 Wild West Art Show, Big Horn Gallery, Cody, WY

1983-1986 Trappings of the American West, Coconino Center for the Arts, Flagstaff, AZ

1973 Reno Indian Arts & Crafts Show


2016 Andy Eisenberg Award, Heard Museum, Indian Market

2013 Best of Jewelry, Autry National Center, Indian Arts Marketplace, Los Angeles

2004 First Place, Large Necklaces & Earring Set, Non-traditional Jewelry, Santa Fe Indian Market, NM

2000-2003 Best of Division, Non-traditional Jewelry, Santa Fe Indian Market First Place, Large Necklaces, Santa Fe Indian Market, NM

2000 Honorable Mention, Heard Museum Indian Market, AZ

1999 Best of Division, Jewelry, Lapidary, and Best of Classification, Large Necklaces, Heard Museum Indian Market, AZ

1973 Best of Show, Jewelry, Reno Indian Arts & Crafts Show, NV


Museum Collections

Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, Santa Fe, NM

Eiteljorg Museum of the American Indian & Western Art, Indianapolis, IN

The James Museum, St. Petersburg, FL



2019 Judge, Saul Bell Awards, Rio Grande, Albuquerque, NM


Gallery Representation

Sorrel Sky, Santa Fe, NM

Heard Indian Museum Collectors Gallery, Phoenix, AZ


Current Shows

Heard Museum Indian Market, March, Phoenix, AZ

SWAIA Indian Market, August, Santa Fe, NM

Autry Museum, American Indian Arts Marketplace, November, Los Angeles, CA