Seven bolos pictured, and described in the text.

CVAD Galleries presents "Everybody's Bolos," Curators hold a Symposium

"Everybody's Bolos" displays the work of 30 contemporary artists invited to bring their unique voices to bear on the bolo tie format. The exhibition was co-organized and co-curated by Ana M. Lopez, professor of Studio Art: Metalsmithing and Jewelry, at the University of North Texas; Brian Fleetwood, assistant professor of studio art at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, N.M., and citizen of the Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma; and Hannah Toussaint, metalsmith and craft artist, UNT alum and current M.F.A. candidate at the University of Georgia, Athens, Ga. Press Release

Everybody’s Bolos: Inclusivity through Craft

An exhibition of 30 contemporary bolo ties from a variety of perspectives.

Read the news story, "New exhibit at CVAD Gallery highlights history, ‘expressive potential’ of bolo ties," by Lisa Sciortino.


"Everybody's Bolos"
Feb. 6­–May 10, 2024
CVAD Gallery, UNT Art Building, Room 160
Reception: Feb. 8, 5–7 p.m.
Free | Open to the Public
Gallery Hours

Instagram: @EverybodysBolos


Everybody’s Bolos Symposium | Not registered? Walk-ins welcome!

Feb. 24, 2024, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
UNT Art Building, Room 223
1201 W. Mulberry, Denton, Texas

Free | Open to the Public
Tours of the UNT Studio Facilities and Texas Fashion Collection included.
Contact: Professor Ana M. Lopez,
Ana M. Lopez: Welcome and Introduction
Norman Sandfield: Bola to Bolo
Brian Fleetwood: Meaning Making
Hannah Toussaint: Reimagining the Bolo
Jessica Metcalfe: Native fashion and the appropriation of Indigenous material culture
Sulo Bee: Queer Metalsmiths
Annette Becker: West Dressed

"Everybody's Bolos" explores the expressive potential of the bolo tie, its history in marginalized communities, and its current relevance as a gender-neutral form of adornment. This research will bring about a new art piece and be the basis for this traveling exhibition of contemporary interpretations of the bolo tie, along with an accompanying catalog essay.

"On a deeper level, this exhibition is about recognizing stereotypes, exploring them, and expanding beyond their limitations through the agency and inclusivity of craft," Lopez says.

The exhibition stems from Ana M. Lopez's 2023 faculty fellow award from the UNT Institute of the Advancement of the Arts, which will result in a catalog of the work. Additionally, the symposium on Feb. 24, 2024, in the UNT Art Building is supported by UNT CVAD's Flagship Grant.

Photos courtesy of Daisha Wright, photographer.

Image Descriptions

Image 1, left, by Lola Brooks (she/her)
"Tenderloin," 2023
Stainless steel chain, 14k gold solder, dentalium shells, vintage blown glass eyeballs, stainless steel, 14k gold, diamond, epoxy
19.5 x 5 x 1.5”

Description: A silver heart-shaped bolo with small circular holes, a brown and a blue eye, and a set of jade horns, one with a golden bow tied on it.  

Image 2 by Kat Cole (she/her)
"Landscape," 2023
Steel, enamel, sterling silver, rubber cord
17.75 x 3.5 x .5”

Description: A silver two-peaked mountain shape with a large green oval shape wrapped around the side. It is held on a pink rubber cord with a silver and a green rectangle and a comma-shaped form at the bottom.

Image 3 by Sean Eren (he/him)
"Carapace," 2023
Sterling silver, olive wood, stainless steel, aluminum, oil-impregnated bronze, chrome-tanned
16.5 x 2.25 x .75”

Description: A black heart-shaped form with triangular cutouts and two curved-looking legs, like a bug. The black heart has a large oval wooded piece set in the center. The black-tied cord is woven into the form and comes out the bottom point into a metal circle.

Image 4 by Jillian Moore (she/her)
"Mons Bola," 2023
Epoxy and composite resin, paint, pigment, acrylic, brass, nylon, silicone rubber
30 x 7 x 1”

Description: Two large neon triangular forms on a bright orange cord. The top is pink with green markings, looking like a mountain peak. The bottom is primarily pink, with a line of green across the flat top of the shape, with blue glitter outlined around the triangular bottom of the form.

Image 5 by Wyatt Nestor-Pasicznyk (he/him)
"A Wilder Blue," 2023
Copper, fine silver, enamel, leather cord
20 x 3.5 x .25”

Description: A bolo-tie shaped like a cowboy hat. Inside the hat is a horse with an American Western landscape, including an animal skull and plants made of blue, orange, yellow, green, white and copper. The bolo-tie cords are braided sky blue with copper tips.

Image 6 by JJ Otero (he/him) (Navajo/Hopi)
"Land Back," 2023
Sterling silver, turquoise, leather cord
24 x 2 x .75”

Description: A bolo tie made of turquoise and silver with the words Land and Back at the top and bottom of a rectangular shape, respectively. The bolo-tie cords are braided black with long silver cylindrical tips.

Image 7 by Jodi Webster (she/her) (Ho-Chunk Nation and Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation)
"It Will Always Be Skunk Hill," 2023
Niobium, sterling silver, hand engraved, inlaid 24k gold, copper & abalone shell
23 x 1.75 x .25”

Description: A silver bolo-tie with Pepe-le-pew in a central medallion framed by purple and blue curved shapes above and below. Three small charms are attached to the bottle's blue shape. The bolo-tie cords are braided black with long silver tips.

Participating Artists

  • Sulo Bee,
  • Lola Brooks, 
  • Kat Cole, 
  • L M deLeon, 
  • J Taran Diamond, 
  • Bee Reid, 
  • Sean Eren, 
  • Teresa Faris (Sámi Descendant), 
  • Carly Feddersen (Colville Confederated Tribes - Okanogan + Arrow Lakes), 
  • Brian Fleetwood (Mvskoke), 
  • Motoko Furuhashi,
  • Jonah Hill (Que Chan /Hopi), 
  • Sarah Holden, 
  • Chris Irick, 
  • Margaret Jacobs (Akwesasne Mohawk), 
  • Mia Kaplan, 
  • Ana M. Lopez, 
  • Vanessa B. Miller, 
  • Jillian Moore, 
  • Jerome Nakagawa (Diné and Japanese), 
  • Wyatt Nestor-Pasicznyk, 
  • JJ Otero (Navajo/Hopi),
  • emiko oye, 
  • Audrey Peck, 
  • Hannah Reynoso Toussaint,
  • James Thurman, 
  • Aric Verrastro, 
  • Grey Von Cannon, 
  • Jodi Webster (Ho-Chunk Nation and Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation), 
  • Ger Xiong/Ntxawg Xyooj (Hmong American)



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