46th Annual Red Cloud Indian Art Show Opens to Rave Reviews

posted on June 6, 2014

Risky, Colorful, Innovative. Spectators at the opening of this year’s Red Cloud Indian Art Show were impressed with the intensity and quality of this year’s entries. While the Art Show changes each year reflecting the ever-changing landscape of Native art, this year’s show feels particularly colorful, says Mary Maxon, interim director and curator of The Heritage Center.

“I think that the show has perhaps a more non-traditional feel this year, and people are noticing that. This art show has always been a great place for young artists to ‘get their feet wet’ and many up-and-coming artists are trying out new techniques and mediums, such as Alicia Mousseau’s “Drum”, a vinyl record used as the head of what is otherwise a traditional hand-stretched drum. Her piece won the the ‘Savage/Zuern Award for Most Innovative Use of Traditional Methods and Techniques.’”

But it’s not only the younger generation. Donald Montileaux, a nationally-known ledger artist and long-time entrant of The Heritage Center’s show wowed spectators and art collectors at the special opening when he revealed his latest works utilizing a variety of new mediums and styles that literally brought his work out of the frame.

Sina Bear Eagle, a 2003 graduate of Red Cloud Indian School submitted another show-stopper with a painting of a apple on a large canvas titled “This is Not an Indian.”

“It’s about the idea that a Native American has to be a certain thing or else they’re not Native,” says Sina. “The word apple is commonly an insult for people who are perceived as being red on the outside and white on the inside. I really dislike the idea of telling someone that they’re not Native if they don’t fit someone’s idea of “Native”—People are a lot more complex than that. I wanted to make a statement on that with this piece. “

And a statement she made. Sina won the ‘Oscar Howe Memorial Award for Most Cutting Edge Artwork.’

Each year, the ‘Brother C.M. Simon, SJ Award,’ in memory of The Heritage Center’s late Jesuit founder and widely-known art historian and collector, is given to the piece that will be used for publication as the following year’s show poster. Charles Her Many Horses, a Sicangu Lakota of the Rosebud Reservation, has been gaining recognition for his paintings and multi-media artwork for the last few years. His striking and massive “Wind in His Hair with Bubbles” was chosen as this year’s winner.

“It was really motivating for myself as a younger artist,” says Charles. “I always say to my colleagues and other young artists: Keep making art. Someone is always going like it and someone else will hate it, but as long as you’re making something you like, keep doing it. The Red Cloud Indian Art Show is really a great place to showcase our work and get in front of those buyers who like it—it’s really one of the best shows.”

The Art Show is open seven days a week and admission is completely free. For more details on the show visit their website or Facebook page.

Photos: All Rights Reserved ©Red Cloud Indian School, 2014