Bill Rabbit is one of the most successful Native American artists in the world. He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his artwork, including the Oklahoma Heritage Award in 2001 and Master Artist at the Five Civilizes Tribes Museum in 1986. He received Artist of the Year at the 1989 Indian Arts and Crafts Association (IACA) wholesale market, where his poster, “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow,” was selected as the official poster for the IACA and is the only poster in the history of the IACA to sell out.
Among his many awards, Rabbit was chosen twice by the Oklahoma State Arts Council to create an artistic Easter egg to be displayed on the White House lawn. After the Easter celebration, these eggs are sent to the Smithsonian, where they are put on permanent display. Internationally, visitors to the Vatican can admire Rabbit’s work displayed among many other world-renowned artists such as Rembrandt and Picasso.
Rabbit is self-taught in acrylic painting and jewelry making. He sharpens his skills through experimentation and does little preliminary sketching. Rabbit is influenced by other artists and tries to capture something of their spirits, skies, colors and forms.
During the Vietnam War, Rabbit voluntarily served 18 months in the 25th Infantry Division alongside acclaimed filmmaker, Oliver Stone. Stone would later win an Academy Award for “Platoon,” a portrayal of his tour of duty that he shared with Rabbit. Rabbit’s service years during this time in history taught him that life’s moments are precious. Becoming an artist only justifies his path in life, and he’s turning those precious moments into something he loves.
“Life has been kind to me,” says Rabbit. “I’m thankful I’ve had the opportunity to see the things I’ve seen, and do the things I’ve done. But if I died tomorrow, I would feel so blessed, and I hope that God puts me in charge of painting rainbows.”
Rabbit was born in Wyoming of Cherokee ancestry. He moved to Pryor, Okla. in the Cherokee Nation when he was 18 years old with his family and has lived there ever since. He shares a studio with his daughter, Traci Rabbit, who is also a Cherokee artist.
The Prints and Tiles of Bill and Traci Rabbit for Sale Click on tile for purchase button