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Arts & Culture

Briscoe Western Art's First Voice Of The American West

Courtesy Denver Post
Ben Nighthorse Campbell

The Briscoe Museum of Western Art "Voices of the American West’s" first speaker appears Thursday, October 2nd, and his resume is about as odd as it gets. He’s a well known creator of jewelry. He’s a Colorado Rancher. And he was an Olympic Athlete.

“Bill Bradley and I were on the same Olympic Team in 1964,” he said.

He was even a Senator for two six-year terms. Have you guessed who he is? He says you can call him Ben.

“Ben’s good.”

Ben Nighthorse Campbell has no pretense about being a former senator. Fact is, he got tired of the weekly Colorado-to-DC commute, and quit.

“After 22 years I decided that no one needed to show me the way home. I knew the way, and so I came home voluntarily.”

He says he’s glad not to be in today’s Senate.

"Now, the goal is to find fault rather than find solutions," he said. "When I was there you could have good friends on the other side of the aisle and you might argue a point on the floor with them, and then go out to dinner afterwards. You could still be friends, but now, there’s just so many special interests just tearing at the fabric of America. I think it’s bad for the country, frankly.”

He speaks Thursday evening at 6:30 at the Briscoe Western Art Museum.

“I’m going to give a talk on kind of the history of Indian Art, but also on the  law, the Federal Indian Arts and Crafts Act. It put some real restrictions in how you market art if you’re going to call it authentic Indian Art."

Speaking of Indian Art, there’s another reason the Briscoe brought him to San Antonio.

“This weekend is their first inaugural Indian Art Show, and I think they’ve invited about forty Indian Artists. Painters, sculptors, jewelers, people that are traditional arts and so on that will be showing down here.”

Internationally renown Campbell will be one of the show’s judges.

“It’s going to be open Saturday and I believe all day Sunday, too," said Campbell.

We’ve more on the Briscoe here: http://www.briscoemuseum.org/news/voices-of-the-west-ben-nighthorse-campbell