George Flett was a member of the Spokane Tribe. George was one of the foremost Indian artists in the Northwest, He was the son of Nancy Flett, a traditional weaver of corn husk bags and baskets. Nancy Flett knew the traditional lifeways and taught George about the cultural traditions of plants, songs, and dances. His mother also shared her knowledge with other Spokane tribal members. The things his Mother taught him strongly influenced his life and was shared through his art.
George began drawing at an early age. He remembered sitting in first grade drawing pictures about his culture and lifeways. George attributed his drawing, art and culture to his success in school. George was influenced by several Native American Artists. Upon graduation from high school, he attended the Institute of American Indian Arts, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, from 1964 - 1966. At the Institute, George studied painting and silversmithing). George remembered his experience at the Institute fondly, realizing for the first time that there were other Native American Artists whose art are was influenced by their own cultural teachings.
Following service in the United States Army George worked in the museum field for over eleven years. He considered himself a " full-time Indian Artist" since 1983. George continued the tradition of ledger art. He collected a variety of historic ledgers as well as Congressional Records, maps, deeds and other official documents. Some pieces contained embossing; beading and other traditional cultural items.
George also sponsored an annual traditional “Chicken Dance,)” which continued to share his Mother’s teachings with the youth of the tribe. During the Spokane Pow Wow, George, like his mother before him, had a houseful of guests often dancers, his culture and traditions inspired his art work. George continued to document and share his art with tribal members and tribal youth. George said that Native Americans were his greatest critic. George Flett passed away in February of 2013.
George has had shows and won awards at such prestigious galleries and venues including Santa Fe Indian Market (2004 Best of Show for Ledger Art); Montana Indian Market in Billings; Colorado Indian Market in Boulder; Denver Red Cloud Indian Art Show in Pine Ridge, South Dakota; . He also exhibited at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center at Cody, Wyoming; Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona; Red Earth, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Julyamsh at Post Falls, Idaho (Best of Show); Wheaton College Speelya Mi (Best of Show); and received the Lifetime Achievement Award Spokane Arts Commission.