OSU Art Department Alumna to Receive National Honor

The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development has selected OSU alumna Kristin Gentry among the recipients of this year's Native American 40 Under 40 awards. The award honors 40 emerging American Indian leaders between the ages of 18 to 39 who have demonstrated leadership, initiative and dedication to achieve significant contributions in business, communities, and Indian Country.

Gentry, who graduated from OSU in 2009, is a visual artist at the University of New Mexico Cancer, Research, and Treatment Center in the UNM Arts-In-Medicine Program. Her work enhances the healing process by facilitating creative encounters in medical environments and communities while educating health care professionals and others on the integral role the arts play in wellness and health restoration. Gentry uses a creative process, based on visual arts, to work directly with patients undergoing chemo, radiation, and other forms of medicinal cancer treatment.

The Native American 40 Under 40 awards will be presented at the 37th Annual Indian Progress in Business Awards Gala set for Nov. 14-15 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, Okla.

While at OSU, Gentry was selected as a Senior of Significance. She also received the Dana Tiger Memorial Artist Scholarship, and other awards for her art. After graduation, she worked as the children's program coordinator at the Multi-Arts Center for the City of Stillwater, taught art at the six main elementary schools in town as well as Lincoln Academy. Gentry was also a board member with the Stillwater Art Guild, board member for the Artists' Coalition of Stillwater, a musician in the Stillwater Community band, and a member of the City of Stillwater planning committee for the forming of Stillwater Art's District.

Gentry is a registered artist of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, where she holds her tribal membership. She was a member of the Payne County, Delta Pi Chapter of Alpha Pi Omega Sorority, Inc., the first Native American Sorority in the nation, and has worked to form the Bernalillo County Provisional Graduate Chapter of Alpha Pi Omega, Sorority Inc. in New Mexico. Gentry was also a member of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, and often wrote articles for the magazine Art Focus published by the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition.