Meet Jonathan Thunder
Jonathan Thunder, Red Lake Ojibwe, is a multi-disciplinary artist. He is known for his surreal paintings, animated and experimental films, installations, and illustration work. Thunder has attended the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, NM and studied Visual Effects and Motion Graphics in Minneapolis, MN at the Art Institute International. His work has been featured in state, regional and national exhibitions, as well as in local and international publications since 2003. Thunder is a 2020 Pollock-Krasner Foundation grantee.
Meet Ray Janis
Raymond Janis (Oglala Lakota Tribe) goes by the artist name of Ray Rock Boy. Rock Boy is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation. He grew up in the Medicine Root District also known as Kyle, South Dakota. Rock Boy started his art career teaching himself how to use different adobe programs, which helped him elevate his art and knowledge in graphic design. He is currently pursing an associate’s degree in graphic design from Oglala Lakota College. Rock Boy is influenced by his Lakota heritage and western society blending the two cultures and letting his art develop and move where it wants.
To learn more about Ray Janis, follow him on Instagram.
In these trying times I wanted to promote the use of wearing your mask in public. I decided to put a twist on traditional Lakota culture of where we hide our face when photographers would take their picture. In using this cultural depiction, I have adapted the image to the current times of wearing a face covering in public. I wanted to bring awareness to our indigenous communities to keep wearing their masks and stop the spread of covid-19 to protect our knowledge keepers.
Meet Sheldon Starr
Sheldon Starr (Oglala Sioux Tribe) is most creative in abstract painting and graphic design. He is still in the early stages of other fine art mediums, but still strives for experience in all fine art forms. Graduating from Oglala Lakota College with a degree in graphic art (2020), Starr continues to utilize his graphic design experience in the freelance and commission-based fields, creating custom graphics, logos and text for clients. Sheldon shows his creative freedom through abstract paintings based on geometric subjects and the female form. Paying homage to the traditional Lakota geometric designs and the aesthetics of the 1980s, Sheldon produces creative pieces that are engulfed in vibrant, saturated colors.
To learn more about Sheldon Starr, follow him on Instagram.
In early 1868 a conference was held in Fort Laramie. This resulted in a treaty with the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota to bring peace between them and European settlers, and included the tribe to settle on the reservation containing the Black Hills in South Dakota. Once gold was found in the Black Hills, miners requested protection from the US army. In 1877 the treaty was completely broken when this land was illegally “confiscated.” The dispute over the broken treaty has never been settled in the US legal court system.
Meet Missy Whiteman
Missy Whiteman (Northern Arapaho and Kickapoo) is an Emmy-nominated write, director, producer and multi-media artist. Missy understands her work to be a voice for her ancestors, their stories and ancestral wisdom. Her late father, Ernest Whiteman, influenced her work with the gift of artistic vision and practice of art as a ceremony. Many of Missy’s films have screened on international national and local venues such as The Walker Art Center, National Geographic All Roads Festival and Bilabo Spain. Missy is a current recipient of the McKnight Fellowship for Media Arts, a Forecast Public Art Mid-Career grant and is the alumni of The Sundance Native Lab Fellowship and Jerome Fellowship for her short film project The Coyote Way: Going Back Home. Her current project, The Coyote Way X: Expanded Cinema is a multidimensional cinematic experience of The Coyote Way: Going Back Home short film intertwined with performance, live score, video mapping and 360/VR.
“In a time when we are lost on earth, we must look to the past, to our origin stories, the stars and connection to Mother Earth to help us find our way.” Whirlwind Woman is a significant part of the creation of the Arapaho people (Hinn She brought quillworking to the tribe and signifies the creative power of women and the importance of our women in society. The whirlwind symbol signifies all of creation and is at the center of our world. Our ancestors thought of us and prayed for us to be here today, they ensured that we would always have a connection to our ancestral ways and traditional teachings.