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Indian Art Market puts talent from tribes on display

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  • Robert Schmidt
    http://www.argusleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080928/NEWS/8092803 05/1001 Indian Art Market puts talent from tribes on display Peter Harriman •
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2008
      http://www.argusleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080928/NEWS/8092803
      05/1001

      Indian Art Market puts talent from tribes on display

      Peter Harriman • pharrima@... • September 28, 2008

      Arthur Short Bull, an Oglala Lakota artist from Alma, Kan., has set himself
      to a Sistine Chapel-like task of painting an image and writing a poem
      representing each victim of the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre.

      He's got about 120 done.

      He has about 180 to go.

      "They're super-emotional," he says. "I'll do one and get enraged and want
      to kill someone. I'll do one and get depressed and want to kill myself."

      Then, in a few broad watercolor strokes one day, a woman emerged wrapped in
      a blanket on his drawing paper. From time to time the inspiration has
      returned and expanded.

      "She has acquired a lover," he says pointing to another print, "and a
      family."

      Nearby, Roger Grantman listens to Short Bull. He peers at several of the
      paintings and grins. It's a good story, and it offers a glimpse behind the
      curtain of the artist.

      It is the sort of opportunity that keeps Grantman journeying to Sioux Falls
      from his home near Ocala, Fla., for the annual Northern Plains Indian Art
      Market.

      "It's fun. I like to come to South Dakota," he says.

      The 21st edition of the art show is this weekend at the Ramkota Hotel
      Exhibit Hall. The show has been at the Ramkota every year but one, when it
      moved to the Sioux Falls Arena.

      After some lean times, it is on the way back, according to Jack Herman, the
      show coordinator.

      Sinte Gleska University is in its fifth year as the art show and market
      sponsor. It took over from American Indian Services in Sioux Falls.

      Forty-nine artists are exhibiting this year. All are enrolled members of a
      Northern Plains tribe.

      In the show's heyday there might have been 100, Herman says. His goal is to
      build it back to about 75.

      "That would be a good number for us," he says.

      Because it is a juried show, the quality of the artwork consistently is
      high, and the show has a loyal contingent of patrons.

      Most important, Herman says, "the artists have been selling their work."

      Jackie Sevier, 55, of Seneca, Neb., and a member of the Northern Arapaho
      tribe, has shown her work all 21 years.

      "This is a very friendly show," she says.

      Sevier was exhibiting mixed media and intricate embossed prints this year.

      "I didn't learn to draw until I was 27, and I haven't had formal training,"
      she says.

      But early in her career, she won an award at a show in Pine Ridge. "That
      gave me the confidence to keep going."
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