Yonavea received her fine arts degree from Oklahoma City University, but started drawing and painting when in grade school.
Professionally Yonavea has held job positions as an art director, print buyer, and publishing/production director. She has worked for advertising/branding agencies, publishing companies and printing companies.
As an Native American artist Yonavea started with making Caddo moccasins and dresses for herself and Caddo shirts for her sons. When she participated in her first juried art market, she entered a pair of Delaware moccasins in the Bead Work competition at the Red Earth Festival and placed.
Since then she has continued to place in art market competitions with moccasins (pucker-toe), beaded belts and Native American cultural items in the Bead Work and/or Cultural categories at the Red Earth Festival, South Eastern Art Show and Market (SEASAM), the Artesian Arts Festival, Eiteljorg Indian Art Market, and the Cherokee Art Market.
Yonavea Hawkins loves creating Native American bead work using traditional designs with contemporary colors. She enjoys sewing too, but still draws and paints.
Yonavea is a tribal member of the Caddo (Hasinay) Nation, but also Delaware and Kickapoo. She enjoys dancing at Caddo dances and attending powwows when not getting ready for art markets.
Yonavea was interviewed for the Oklahoma Native Artists Oral History Project. This project documents the lives and work of Oklahoma artists in fine and traditional arts through oral histories discussing individuals first experiences in art, their training, awards and their creative practices. Interviews from other Oklahoma Native Artists can be found at: www.library.okstate.edu/oralhistory/ona
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