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ARLENE CAESAR - April 2000

The Highlight of the Month program at The Indian Craft Shop focuses on a particular craft area, region or artist family/group. Our aim is to illustrate the diversity of tribal groups and the wide variety of artistic expressions and traditions in the country today.

Born and raised in Anadarko, Oklahoma in 1954, Arlene Caesar is an accomplished artist who works in a variety of traditional and contemporary media. Arlene makes beaded pouches and jewelry, cedar filled buckskin animal pins, and traditional and contemporary ribbon work clothing and dance apparel.

Arlene began sewing pieces for her family and as gifts for friends during the 1970's. As her work attracted attention she began to receive requests from others for custom made clothing, and soon she was working part time as an artist while still holding her full time job. Through the 1980's she continued to make clothing, selling primarily at powwows and Indian art shows around Oklahoma. During this time she expanded the array of work she had to sell by teaching herself to make beaded jewelry. By 1990 she was working full time as an artist. This gave her the opportunity to expand the scope of her artistic pursuits, branching out into leatherwork, pouches, and more elaborately beaded projects.

Arlene has been married for thirty years to Bruce Caesar, a renowned Pawnee metal smith, and they have raised their children as artists. Their son Adam is now a fifth generation metal smith, and his sisters Amy and Krystal are learning beadwork and leatherwork from their mother. Arlene is also a master fry bread maker, and she and her family have operated Indian food concessions at a number of powwows and fairs around Oklahoma.

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