VanDeman Flute

Artist: Jim VanDeman

Jim VanDeman has been making flutes about fifteen years. This one is styled after a Kiowa design from the early 1900’s. It was made from a giant red cedar harvested in Geary, Oklahoma. VanDeman donated the flute to the Oklahoma Judicial Center collection.

Jim VanDeman is a contemporary artist and former vice-chairman of the Delaware Nation. His family’s Oklahoma roots run deep – his great grandfather, Chief Black Beaver served as a scout and interpreter, speaking eleven different languages. He escorted settlers as well as Union soldiers before building a home in what is now Caddo County. VanDeman was born and raised in Anadarko, Oklahoma, where the influence of local artists, including the Kiowa Six, made a lasting impression on his painting career. He studied with Richard H. Taflinger and George Calvert at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.

He initially worked as a graphic designer. Traveling as an advertising and marketing director led him to make frequent visits to The National Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Boston Museum of Art and the Chicago Institute of Art. Face to face exposure to the Impressionist masters, Monet and Renoir, inspired VanDeman to begin his own painting career. His works range from impressionist to abstract expressionist, depicting VanDeman’s Delaware heritage and other Native American subjects.