Oregon Art Beat- OPB’s (Oregon Public Broadcasting) Emmy Award-winning Arts Series

Meet Ka’ila Farrell-Smith, who brings ancient design from her Klamath-Modoc heritage to her contemporary work.

Click the link here to watch her beautiful story…


Ka’ila Farrell Smith- Klamath/Modoc

Art Beat profiles three artists who share personal stories of finding their true creative path. Oregon Art Beat is OPB’s Emmy Award-winning local arts series, now entering its 18th season. Art Beat profiles artists, musicians and artisans from around Oregon and the Northwest.

Intro from Jane Farrell – (mother of Ka’ila and Lalek Farrell Smith; 2 youngest children born to the late Al Smith; Klamath Tribal Member.

“Hello Taylor,

I’m forwarding the conversation I had with Jule, the producer of the OPB Art Beat segment on Ka’ila Farrell Smith and her art practice.   Your voice, singing the Ho Winna song in the Art Beat segment was exquisite.  The song brought a powerful energy to the piece….really tying it together, raising awareness and hopefully bringing positive change, both for my daughter, Ka’ila.. and her art practice but also the general public’s awareness of the beauty of klamath modoc culture and historical trauma that attempted to suppress it.

Thank you for your contribution. I hope you and others can view the segment!  http://www.opb.org/television/programs/artbeat/episodes/1812/

And for more information on Oregon Art Beat contact:

Jule Gilfillan, Producer, Oregon Art Beat


jgilfillan@opb.org  ”

A R T I S T  B I O


Ka’ila Farrell-Smith is a contemporary Klamath/Modoc visual artist based in Portland, Oregon. She works as an art teacher, visiting artist and is Co-director for Signal Fire Artist + Creative Agitator residency program. Her work has been exhibited at the Institute for New Connotative Action, King Street Station, Linda Hodges Gallery, Archer Gallery, Vancouver City Hall, Museum of Northwest Art, Washington History Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, WA; Missoula Art Museum, MT and Medici Fortress, Cortona, Italy; and in Portland, OR at MK Gallery, Blackfish Gallery, and ROCKSBOX Contemporary Art Gallery. Farrell-Smith’s work is in the permanent collection of the Portland Art Museum and won ‘Best in Show’ 2014 at ‘In The Spirit: Contemporary Native Art’ exhibition at the Washington History Museum. Ka’ila has recently been selected for Caldera Artist-in-Residence, Djerassi Residency Artist Program, IAIA Artist-in-Residence and Ucross Foundation Residency Program. Ka’ila Farrell-Smith received a BFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art and an MFA in Contemporary Art Practices Studio from Portland State University.

These paintings were created during a month long residency at Djerassi Resident Artist Program outside of Woodside, CA in the Santa Cruz mountains. This series was inspired by the Indigenous protection of land and water from the No Dakota Access Pipeline currently happening at Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota. Inspiration of the white rolling hills (grass planted for cattle ranching) of the Djearssi SMIP ranch, watching meteor showers + lots of sci-fi, reading the book “An Indigenous People’s History of the United States” by Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz and contemplating the colonial transformation (physical, psychological, ecological, and cultural) of Indigenous land into the nation-state of California (i.e. Gold Fever + Resource Extraction = Colonial Madness = Savage Systems), and studying Klamath and Modoc basket designs. This series is titled “Savage Systms | Mni Wiconi” (which means “Water is Life” in Lakota, the phrase inspiring the NO DAPL protests). For more painting photos see website.


The late Celia Jefferson-Langell

Ho-Winna- Traditional Modoc Language Song: Preserved by the late Celia Jefferson- Langell

Tribute to our Elder by Taylor Tupper

“Ho Winna” Traditional Modoc Song Sung by Modoc Indian, Taylor R. Tupper – Lamina Wac (Thunder Horse)

The song in this video was given to the Klamath Tribes by late Elder, Celia Langell-Jefferson in the 90’s at Culture Camp.

Song translation: “Time of Change” or “We’ve Changed”-  We sing it when it is a new time for New Beginnings.

“It’s an honor to be asked to share this song on such a great piece by OPB and with such a great artist, who’s own father was subjected to the Boarding School era.  Celia told my father Rayson Tupper and Gordon Bettles at the Klamath Tribes Culture Camp in the early 90’s, that this song is to be given away and shared-  We are not to keep it to ourselves.  She told us when she and her baby sister was taken away to boarding school, they would be whipped or hit for singing this song in their Modoc language…  So on their birthday’s or when the season’s changed, they would sneak off into the woods or a private place and sing this “new beginnings- time of change” song for good medicine.

I am happy to have known this lady. She was my relative and the time I spent with her and the other elder’s in the 1990’s is priceless.  It makes me feel great to share this piece of our history. I know she is watching us from above, and she is happy the song she helped preserve is  Alive and Well!” – Taylor Tupper 2017