My mother was a dollmaker and inspired me to develop my art and champion
Native American arts. In Chicago, I raised my four children, opened
Okee-Chee’s Wild Horse Gallery and helped organize over 100 exhibits of
Native American Arts at the American Indian Center. This area has
allowed me to express my feelings and aesthetics in the arts.
Okee-Chee (Sharon Skolnick) is a registered Ft. Sill Apache. Raised in Oklahoma, she attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM, and remains a proud booster of IAIA. After leaving school, Sharon migrated to Chicago, where—in addition to raising her four children—she quickly became a staunch supporter of Indian community activities and a champion of Native American arts in Chicago. For 10 years she functioned as owner/manager of Okee-Chee’s Wild Horse Gallery, which featured American Indian art. She also spent a year as Executive Director of Chicago’s American Indian Center. As a gallery owner, she has helped organize more than 100 exhibits of Native American Art. Working in oils, acrylics, pastels, and colored pen, she draws on traditional Indian symbolism and her own experience. Her fascination with dolls and habitats has been showcased at Chicago’s Field Museum and Mitchell Indian Museum in Evanston. With her husband Manny, she has authored a memoir of her year in an Indian orphanage, Where Courage Is Like a Wild Horse and is preparing a second memoir covering her student days at the IAIA.