Harley Tallchief splits his time between running an oil rig in Odessa, creating ornate beaded sculptures, and practicing traditional Native American dance. Originally from the Cattaraugus Reservation in New York, Tallchief found himself in Odessa after running out of money on his way to California for a job opportunity. Since then, he’s continued to work in the oil industry while continuing his native traditions. He says that beadwork is a reprieve from the demanding job of running an oil rig, “It calms me down… It’s like a therapy for me — peace and quiet…”
Tallchief’s first exhibit, “Beaded Sculptures,” will be on view through September 28th at the Nancy Fyfe Cardozier Gallery at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin.