Native American students share culture through art at university A circle of seven tipis was placed on the grounds south of the Warren M. Lee Art Center Friday near the conclusion of the Oscar Howe Summer Art Institute. Each tipi's bright design was painted by the institute's student participants. by Lisa ShortBull Native American students shared culture through art during the 12th annual Oscar Howe Summer Art Institute at The University of South Dakota.
From June 16 through June 28, students received instruction in drawing and painting studios at the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts.
They also heard presentations on American Indian art history, and traveled to an art museum in Omaha, NE.
They put their talents and knowledge to good use by painting vivid designs on tipis which were used for the Circle of Tipis Village at Vermillion Powwow.
Tipis were provided by Wayne Evans, Gene Thin Elk, women in the Vermillion Native community and the Vermillion Public School District. Three of the tipis were purchased by the Vermillion Chamber of Commerce.
The institute, according to the student participants, was more than simply a good learning experience.
Danielle Ducheneaux is a student from Aberdeen Central in Aberdeen. She is an enrolled member of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. She is inspired by her grandmother who likes to do beadwork and sculptures.
�I enjoy the Oscar Howe Art Institute, being involved opens a lot of doors. There�s always something new. I�m developing new skills,� Ducheneaux said. �I enjoy using a small paint brush on large canvas, and meeting new people.�
Asah Mendoza is a junior at Little Wound High School in Kyle. She enjoys working with colored/lead pencils, and chalk.
�This program encourages me to keep doing my work. I enjoy learning about print making. It gives me a good feeling about myself,� Mendoza said. �I hope to attend college in Santa Fe, NM, when I graduate.�
Wamblee Looking Horse is from Haskell Nations College in Batesland.
�I got involved with this program through my sister, this is my second year,� Looking Horse said. �There is something different every year. I enjoy printmaking and bookmaking.
�I am a sophomore in college. I enjoy being around others who are willing to learn and also willing to teach,� she said. �The women decided to make their own tipi. We are using feminine signs, for example, dragon flies and moons. The moons represent the circle of life. The color red unites everyone. The feather represents man and woman, and the stars represent where people pass on to from this life. I am enrolled in early childhood and education. I want to help Native American youth by using art therapy.�
Marilee Hultgren is a junior at Rapid City Central.
�My favorite part of the Oscar Howe program is the painting and drawing. I also like to bead. I enjoy going to the museums and painting the tipi. I am learning so much from my participation,� Hultgren said. �After this program I plan to go on to art school when I graduate.�
Tosha Gerlach is a senior at Rapid City High School.
�I�m enjoying the program because it challenges me,� she said. �I love painting. I�m inspired by Picasso, I enjoy cubism,� Gerlach said. She was recommended to the institute by her art teacher, Mr. Gulbransen.
Tamie Millard is a senior at Rapid City Central.
�I am inspired most by my Uncle Charlie Wilcox. I love any kind of native art. So far, I am enjoying the printmaking. I like working on the tipis, too, because I get to learn about our culture. I like group activities because it helps everyone come together,� Millard said. �I don�t know what my future plans are yet, but it will involve art.�
Grae Oliver is a student at Todd County High School in Mission. This is his first year of being involved with the institute.
�I like it here, I�m learning a lot of techniques,� Oliver said. �When I�m working I get involved with the things around me and use what I�m feeling in my art.� Oliver plans to pursue a degree in graphic design.
Rhiannon Menard is a senior at Todd County High School. �I was recommended to this program by my art teacher, Mr. Jackson. This has been a whole new experience for me,� she said. �I�m learning about artists I never heard of before. I�m learning new ways to draw and paint. I also like the hew people I�ve met.�
Justin McCloskey attends high school in Saint Francis.
�I�m enjoying learning about Oscar Howe, painting, drawing and everything else about the program,� McCloskey said. �I�m learning so much about the culture.�
Yakima Reddest is a senior at Saint Francis Indian School.
�I�m inspired by my father. I really like being here. I like all the supplies I get to use. I�ve never used pastels before and I�m good at it.�
Vince Roubideaux is in ninth grade at Joe Foss High School in Sioux Falls.
�My father inspired me to be an artist,� Roubideaux said. �The thing I like the best is that I�m able to draw a lot even on my free time. I like helping on the tipi. It�s a very spiritual experience,� Roubideaux said.
Red Elk Zephier is a student at Spearfish High School. He was recommended by his teacher, Mrs. Dutton.
�I�m inspired by my grandfather, Delbert Zephier. I�m learning more about art, while improving my painting skills. After graduation, I plan to backpack across the country,� Zephier said.
Keith Braveheart is from Kyle. He is a sophomore at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM. �I�m inspired by my grandmother, who is an art teacher,� Braveheart said. �The thing I like the most about this program is getting to work together with other Native American artists and the trip to Omaha.�
Erick Three Legs is a student at Standing Rock High School in Fort Yates, ND.
�I�m inspired by my Uncle, Vaughn Three Legs,� he said. �This thing I like best about hits program is painting the tipis; I never painted one before.
Henry Payer is a student at the Winnebago High School.
�I�m inspired by my whole family. I like being here because it allows the chance to learn new stuff and new people,� Payer said. �It has been a privilege to work on the tipis. I�m also learning about Lewis and Clark.�