Art Abstract: Benjamin Harjo, Jr.’s Singing for the Rain

Looking for the answer to Art Abstracts? It’s Singing for the Rain by Benjamin Harjo, Jr.



Singing for the Rain  is one of many works currently on display in the Enter the Matrix: Indigenous Printmakers exhibition.

To further explore the works of indigenous artists, please visit the exhibition located on our fourth floor mezzanine at the FJJMA! For even more information, a short course has been designed with the intention of providing visitors with more in-depth information on topics found throughout the exhibition. Find the course online at! The following is an exerpt from the short course, discussing the significance of this particular work:

“…the Indigenous philosophy of sustainability is enacted within the cultures through decision-making and as a matter of ceremony and ritual. Many tribes have historically performed prayers through song and dance for the natural cycles upon which survival depends. In Ben Harjo’s Singing for the Rain the earth-bound figure is seen speaking to the heavens where the frogs, symbolic of the presence of water, leap like raindrops across the sky. The relationships that Indigenous communities feel to the environment are expressed through the annual calendar of ceremonies as a matter of expressing respect and gratitude to the natural forces for providing for human needs. Though human systems have changed in recent centuries, natural cycles and systems have changed very little. For this reason, the ceremonies and rituals are as important now as any time in human history…”

Benjamin Harjo, Jr., (U.S., Seminole/Shawnee; b. 1945)
Singing for the Rain, 1993
Monotype, 23 x 17 in.
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, The University of Oklahoma, Norman; Gift of Dr. and Mrs. R.E. Mansfield, 2003
Image courtesy of Artist (c) 2015.


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