After spending several years in San Francisco developing as a painter, he moved to Taos, NM. In 1965 he received a one-man exhibition in the Manchester Gallery there, and by 1968 his work was enjoying enough success that he bought the gallery, changed its name to Navajo Gallery, and began to exhibit and sell his own and other artists' work. The gallery was the first in the United States to be owned by a Native American. It remained for many years as his residence, studio, and gallery, where he was often present to deal personally with the growing numbers of other artists and the public who came by. From the 1970s, as his reputation spread throughout the USA and abroad, he moved on from working with oil, acrylic, and pastel to lithographs, ceramics, and occasional sculptures. Although he usually drew on SW Native American themes, he transformed them by his art into more universally significant, and aesthetic, subjects.
Reputed to be a genial, accessible man, known to be interested in food and cooking, and someone at home in the worlds of both his ancestors and international museums and academies, he is arguably the first Native American to be internationally recognized as a major American artist. Gorman died November 4, 2005, at a hospital in Albuquerque.
Rejecting the offers of alliance and reconquest proffered by Tecumseh, Pushmataha led the Choctaw to fight on the side of the United States in the War of 1812. He negotiated several treaties with the United States.
In 1824, he traveled to Washington to petition the Federal government against further cessions of Choctaw land; he met with John C. Calhoun and Marquis de Lafayette, and his portrait was painted by Charles Bird King. He died in the capital city and was buried with full military honors in the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
Apesanahkwat exemplifies the attributes of a traditionalist, as well as a progressive activist who exists for the true empowerment of his people and their well-being. An experienced orator on the political and social nuances of the Native experience in America, he is also a motivational speaker promoting language, culture and native spirituality, as well as education, anti-gangs, anti-smoking, drugs and alcohol rehabilitation.
An accomplished actor, Apesanahkwat has appeared in films and starred in numerous television shows. Apesanahkwat is also a champion Northern Traditional Dancer who competes in powwows throughout the U.S. and Canada and he is a 2nd Degree Ogitchidaa (Warrior) of the Three Fires Midawin (Medicine Lodge) Society.