Debra Yepa-Pappan headshot

Debra Yepa-Pappan

Make a Wave Recipient

Debra Yepa-Pappan is a Korean and Jemez Pueblo artist who utilizes digital imagery to share her story about being mixed race. Her earlier works consisted of traditional black and white photography and examined issues of Native American stereotypes. This path led Debra to focus more on her own identity, and, as a result, her pride in both her cultures are conveyed in her art. She points out the similarities within her two cultures by incorporating symbolic imagery found in both, while keeping a contemporary and pop art aesthetic. Debra was educated at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe and Columbia College Chicago. Her first solo exhibition, Dual(ing) Identities, was featured at the Museum of Contemporary Native Art in Santa Fe. Her many national and international exhibitions include those at Rainmaker Gallery, Bristol, UK; the Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Art, Ekaterinburg, Russia; DePaul University Art Museum, Chicago, IL; and Oklahoma State University Museum of Art, Stillwater, OK; among many others. Her work is in collections at the Museum of Contemporary Native Art, Santa Fe, NM; the Schingoethe Center for Native American Cultures, Aurora, IL; and most recently accessioned into the British Library Collection. Debra currently lives in her hometown of Chicago with her husband, artist Chris Pappan, and their daughter Ji Hae, who is an aspiring ballet dancer.

Featured Artworks

  • Debra Yepa-Pappan artwork
  • Debra Yepa-Pappan artwork
  • Debra Yepa-Pappan artwork
  • Debra Yepa-Pappan artwork