James Bama has derived a great deal of joy from the friendships he has developed with many of the Native American subjects of his portraits. Years ago, he discovered that on a personal level, they are often very different from the confrontational image they often project. For example, Wes Studi, a full-blooded Cherokee, established an impressive screen-acting career with his intense portrayals of a Pawnee war-party leader in “Dances with Wolves” and as the vengeful Magua in “The Last of the Mohicans,” yet Bama found him genial and obliging. During their visits to the Bama home, Studi and his children often spent happy hours playing basketball with the artist and his son. The cultural gap was bridged as two fathers enjoyed time with their children.