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Russell Box Sr. retrospective opens at Southern Ute Museum and Cultural Center 

Photo Credit: Divine Windy Boy | SU Drum

Russell Box Sr. retrospective opens at Southern Ute Museum and Cultural Center  

The Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum proudly presents a captivating retrospective exhibition dedicated to the remarkable life work of esteemed Southern Ute artist, Russell Box Sr. spanning an impressive 73 years of artistic brilliance. 

Through this exhibition, we seek: to recognize and honor the artistic legacy of Russell Box Sr. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore a collection of 33 exquisite paintings by Russell Box Sr., meticulously curated to represent the evolution of his artistic journey. These captivating works will be accompanied by a selection of other masterful creations, including pottery and beadwork. In a special addition to the exhibit, three paintings from Russell Box’s personal collection will be on display and available for purchase. 

Russell Box Sr., the artist behind the brush, his journey embodies a profound connection to his heritage and a passion for preserving the cultural narratives of his people. Born in Ignacio, Colo. in 1935, Box was raised by his grandmother, Bertha Bent. His artistic talents bloomed early, and his passion for art led him to sell one of his earliest pieces for $5 while attending the Ignacio BIA Boarding School and the Santa Fe Indian School. 

Following his high school graduation in 1956, Box enlisted in the United States Air Force, serving with honor for four years before embarking on his artistic journey. From 1976 to 1979, he pursued his studies at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, N.M., further refining his skills and artistic vision. 

Reflecting on his artistic approach, Box once shared, “I tried to create my own style of painting and sculpturing. It is a style that I call spiritual and symbolic. Some of these paintings come to me in dreams and stories and events that happened in my life. I think what my grandmother and grandfather said to me about the past … the part about how old people kept records of events on hides … that’s what motivated me. I was motivated by their spirit and my spirit to become an artist. I want to preserve that always.” 

We cordially invite the Four Corners community and art enthusiasts to visit and immerse themselves in the rich legacy of Russell Box Sr. and deepen their understanding of Southern Ute history, culture, and the experiences of Native Americans. 

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