Lloyd Earl Oxendine

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Meredith, America. “Lloyd Earl Oxendine.” First American Art Magazine Winter (2015/2016): 90-91.


Born on June 8, 1942 in Pembroke, North Carolina, Lloyd Earl Oxendine devoted his arts career to raising the profile of Native American arts, while fighting for its place within American art canon.

Oxendine originally attended the University of North Carolina at Wilmington on an arts scholarship before being offered a scholarship to Columbia University. While at Columbia, he also studied at Arts Students League in New York. He earned a bachelor’s degree in art history and then received a master’s in painting.

Driving a taxi to support his wife and son, Oxendine was determined to educate the art world on what contemporary native art had to offer.  While he could have spent time on his own personal career, Oxendine researched, wrote, curated, lectured and more in an attempt to help Native American art receive the recognition it deserved. He even came back to Pembroke to teach the Lumbee youth about art.

Later, Oxendine opened one of the first art galleries in SoHo in 1972. It was the first gallery in New York City devoted exclusively to showing contemporary American Indian art. He also became the director of Native North American Artists, a national advocacy organization.

Later in life, Oxendine lived in Germany, Italy, Switzerland and San Francisco, before moving back to Manhattan. He then became a curator for the American Indian Community House, where he curated more than 40 art shows.

Oxendine passed away August 5, 2015.

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