Contemporary Native Art to Russia

This website shows the art and artists involved in the June-July 2012 Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Art and the September-October 2012 Novosibirsk State Museum of Art biennial.

Ross Chaney, Dai-ichi Melt Down: Fukushima, ink and pencil on paper, 2012


Ross Chaney, Tsunami Waves, ink and pencil on paper, 2012

Ross Chaney

B.A., Political Science, Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma, USA

M.A., Comparative and Regional Studies of East Asia, American University, Washington, D.C., USA

M.A., International Relations, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan

Lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA 

Ross Chaney, an enrolled member of both the Osage tribe and Cherokee Nation, grew up on the Osage reservation and later moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma. He became the first Oklahoma University student to receive a scholarship to study in Japan, where something about his experience in Kyoto beckoned him back. He received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and studied Japanese art, culture and language and earned two master’s degrees by age 25, submitting his second graduate thesis (written in Japanese) about the future of telecommunications in the information society. He started work in Tokyo at a multinational corporation until he left to develop skills that would assist non-profits, public policy making, and public health initiatives, particularly within American Indian communities. He continues to work with many non-profits and is a 2012 recipient of a Harpo Foundation grant.

Becoming an artist was not intentional, but it was not an accident, either.  A self-taught multi-media artist who works in video, installation, painting, drawing and digital imagery is not just unfolding his own story; he is reimagining it along the way and exploring the alchemy of contemporary art by using complexity theory to create new mythologies. He is a believer in the transformative power of art, in freedom of expression and in the power of intention. If you ask him what he hopes to accomplish by sharing his creations, his answer is succinct and strong: “It’s unlimited. To be the change and to change the world.”

Through all of these journeys—both the internal and external ones—creative expression continued in Chaney’s life. Business concepts, world news and more filter through his intuitive process and reveal themselves on the page. For years, Mr. Chaney created with no intention of showing or selling his work. Now, wishing to use art as a change agent, he uses each piece he starts will later take on a life of its own. He taps into his unconscious where he finds, creates and re-creates a codex of both ancient and contemporary symbols and marks. His fearless use of a bold color palette works to draw people nearer the subject matter. And, while some may find the marks simplistic upon first glance, a deeper examination reveals complex themes, issues and ideas being dissected and presented to the viewer encouraging them to be more aware, more involved and more sentient in their day to day life. 

For more information, go to