Episode 25 / Yatika Starr Fields

“It goes back to my family and having an enrichment in my culture…knowing that I’m a part of rhythm. When we dance, my feet touch the same ground. I dance hard in ceremonies, and I’m going to run hard too.”

Yatika Starr Fields (Osage, Cherokee, Muscogee Creek) is a painter, muralist, and ultrarunner based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Yatika grew up in an artistic family and specializes in using oil, acrylic, and watercolor mediums. He’s currently a fellow in the Tulsa Artist Fellowship program, which supports contemporary artistic practitioners of diverse mediums. He’s known for his bright works and graffiti mural pieces that push back against the idea of western fine art and engage wide audiences. Yatika has run races of all distances– from 5ks to ultramarathons, including the 2019 Ultra-Trail du Mont-Bla nc (UTMB) TDS, a 145k (90-mile) trail race in the Alps which Yatika finished in 32 hours, 58 minutes, and 51 seconds. Yatika studied landscape painting at the University of Oklahoma’s summer program in Sienna, Italy before enrolling at the Art Institute of Boston from 2001 to 2004. In this conversation, we discuss the connections he makes between his culture, art works, and running, as well as his philosophy in training for ultra-distances.

In This Episode:

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Music by Jacob Shije (Santa Clara Pueblo, NM).

This podcast was made possible through the Tracksmith Fellowship Program.

Yatika’s Settlement Project w/ Effigy Pots:

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