Lawton_Josephine Myers-Wapp may be 97 years old, but it hasn't slowed the Comanche artist down. She is a world renowned weaver, and her work is on display at the Comanche National Museum and Cultural Center in Lawton. When a museum chooses an artist to showcase, it's rare that the artist gets to choose which pieces will be displayed. Those rules did not apply to Wapp who had a hand in choosing every work on display.
Wapp can claim the titles of weaver, educator, and specialist in Native American traditional art. "She is such a strong member of the community," said Amber Davis with the museum. "She was born here - these are her roots. She is a member of the Comanche tribe."
Museum Director Phyllis Wahahrocktah-Tasi was one of Wapp's students. "Not only is she a Comanche artist, but having been a student of hers early in life has really given me a great appreciation for artwork overall," she said. Josephine says that while her beautiful work took hours to complete, she enjoyed every bit. "I didn't keep track. I just did it at my leisure," she said. "It's relaxing...I enjoy it."
Those who come to see her artwork enjoy it, too. "I think it is lovely and so impressive that she does it hand-weaving instead of using a loom, and that she dyes her own yarns - it is very interesting," said one museum visitor. "If there is something you can pass on that means something, this is certainly an example of that," said another.
Her artwork has been showcased worldwide. "It is really nice that the people in her hometown and her tribe can really come back and see that these things that have been seen all over the world - now they are in your home," said Davis.