“Unbound: Narrative Art of the Plains” Artist Bios
Ronald Burgess (Comanche, b. 1950) is a former Comanche chairman who began practicing narrative art after his interest was sparked by artworks of the warriors imprisoned at Fort Marion in Florida and the artists known as the Kiowa Five. He was influenced by Doc Tate Nevaquaya and went on to earn a bachelor’s in art education, eventually earning a doctorate in education to further his career as a teacher and administrator. He is now retired and often attends art shows with his sons, who are also practicing artists.
Sherman Chaddlesone (Kiowa, 1947–2013) was a descendant of the famous Kiowa war chief Satanta (White Bear) and a veteran of the Vietnam War. His interest in the narrative art form was kindled as a child from a great-grandmother who kept a ledger calendar for 78 years. His father taught him the basics of anatomy, portraiture, pencil sketching and screen printing; later, he was educated at the Central State University of Oklahoma and the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, N.M. In his mid-thirties, Chaddlesone became a full-time painter and sculptor, using a variety of media, including acrylic, watercolor, pastel, stone, bronze and other mixed media. Most of his art focuses on Kiowa tribal history and cultural traditions.
David Dragonfly (Blackfeet/Assiniboine, b. 1956) was born in Kalispell, Mont., and raised on the Blackfeet Reservation. He attended the IAIA and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Montana in Missoula. Dragonfly draws upon his Blackfeet and Assiniboine heritage in his designs, including the war deeds of his great-grandfather, Little Calf. He has participated in numerous art shows across the country and currently resides in Browning, Mont.
Lauren Good Day Giago
Lauren Good Day Giago (Arikara/Hidatsa/Blackfeet/Plains Cree, b. 1987) is a descendant of the 19th-century ledger artist, Bloody Knife, an Arikara warrior whose drawings are in the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Anthropological Archives. She learned to bead and sew at the age of six from her mother and grandmother, becoming well-versed in beadwork and quillwork. She was encouraged by her mother to use ledger art to continue the storytelling tradition of her people. While much traditional ledger art focuses on battles and hunting, Giago often depicts women, children, families and courtship using a bright color palette on antique ledger paper. She attended the IAIA for Indigenous Studies and Studio Arts and has won numerous awards, including placing second in the Ledger Art division of the 2012 Santa Fe Indian Market.
Darryl Growing Thunder
Darryl Growing Thunder (Assiniboine/Sioux, b. 1967) is a self-taught ledger artist from the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Montana. Growing Thunder was immersed in art as a child, due in large part to being raised by his mother, notable beadwork and quillwork artist Joyce Growing Thunder-Fogarty, and father, celebrated painter of Western and American Indian heritage, Jim Fogarty. Among Growing Thunder’s many awards, he is a winner of the prestigious 2009 J. Seth Standards Award from the Santa Fe Indian Market. He uses the Plains narrative tradition to pay tribute to his ancestors and as a means of cultural continuity and identity.
Juanita Growing Thunder Fogarty
Juanita Growing Thunder-Fogarty (Assiniboine/Sioux, b. 1969) is accomplished in beadwork and quillwork. She, her daughter, Jessica, and her mother, Joyce Growing Thunder-Fogarty, collaborated on a dress previously featured at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in the exhibition, “Identity By Design.” A four-time Best of Class winner at the Santa Fe Indian Market, she uses both abstract and realistic imagery to depict nature, mythology and Native histories. Growing Thunder-Fogarty resides in North San Juan, Calif.
Terrance Guardipee (Blackfeet, b. 1968) is a renowned ledger artist and painter. His powerful art reflects the strength and honor of his Blackfeet heritage. He uses bold, bright color combinations and blends contemporary style with traditional topics and symbols. Guardipee attended IAIA and is well known for painting and drawing horse riders, warriors, spiritual leaders, society ceremonies and tipis. As background media, he uses antique ledger paper, receipts, checks, music paper and maps. He is a multiple first-place winner in the Ledger Art division of the Santa Fe Indian Market.
Vanessa Jennings (Kiowa/Pima, b. 1952) is a regalia maker, clothing designer, cradleboard maker and bead artist from Oklahoma. She was named in 1989 to the National Heritage Fellowship, a lifetime honor presented to master folk and traditional artists by the National Endowment of the Arts. U.S. Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton lauded Jennings as a “living national treasure” during their presidencies. She was featured in the documentary, Kiowa Cradleboard Maker: The Art and Tradition of Vanessa Jennings, and is considered an expert on Kiowa culture. She continues to teach her community both her artistic methodology and history of their people.
Dallin Maybee (Northern Arapaho/Seneca, b. 1974) is a lawyer, artist and currently the chief operating officer of the Santa Fe Indian Market. He earned his law degree from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University in 2011. In his contemporary ledger art, Maybee explores identity as well as the interplay between traditional and contemporary Indian life that has allowed indigenous cultures to evolve, survive and flourish. Along with antique ledger pages, other media Maybee has used for his artworks include pages from a 1583 Geneva Bible, 16th-century rice paper, rawhide and buffalo robes.
Chester Medicine Crow
Chester Medicine Crow (Apsáalooke [Crow], b. 1973) is also known by his traditional name, Sacred Raven, a name that links him to his ancestry and is the subject matter of his works within “Unbound: Narrative Art of the Plains.” Sacred Raven is the name of his great-great-grandfather, who became known as Medicine Crow due to a mistranslation that stuck. His grandfather’s deeds and drawings influence much of Medicine Crow’s work. He began drawing in the narrative form while in high school and continued through college, becoming a 2006 IAIA graduate of two-dimensional art. He uses a contemporary style to depict events from both the past and present.
Chris Pappan (Kaw/Osage/Cheyenne River Lakota, b. 1971) is a Chicago-based artist who takes 19th-century ledger-art imagery and reimagines it for the 21st-century. Pappan uses image distortion to make a point of the often distorted image of Native people. Through his art, he attempts to layer additional meaning onto portraiture and the result is ledger art that breaks from the traditional imagery seen in many other’s work. He was recently chosen for the Tamarind Institute’s Landmarks Fellowship program, where he and two other artists took part in a cultural exchange with the Youngul people of Northern Australia. Pappan’s art is in many private and museum collections, including the Spencer Museum of Art; the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian; and the National Museum of the American Indian.
Joel Pulliam (Oglala Lakota, b. 1968) is a ledger artist and freelance graphic designer living on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. He was introduced to ledger art in 2009. While researching the pictographic tradition in Amos Bad Heart Bull’s Pictographic History of the Oglala Sioux, he became fascinated with its history. Like artists of the 1800s, Pulliam seeks to use his art to further cultural knowledge for future generations. He studies the regalia traditional warriors and spiritual leaders. He previously attended IAIA and currently is studying to become an art teacher.
Martin E. Red Bear
Martin E. Red Bear (Oglala/Sicangu Lakota, b. 1947) has practiced art since the 1970s, seeking to integrate contemporary life with his tribal identity. His 2004 work, Red Bear’s Winter Count, is featured in “Unbound” and reflects 25 significant events from 1980 to 2004, one event for each year, a traditional method of annual tracking in the narrative form. Red Bear holds a Master of Arts in Art Education from the University of New Mexico and his art was first shown in 1972 at the Sioux Museum in Rapid City. Since then, his work has been displayed in many other institutions. He continues to teach and has lectured across the country.
Norman Frank Sheridan
Norman Frank Sheridan (Southern Cheyenne/Arapaho, 1950–2014), for nearly four decades, practiced art in various forms. His mother taught him the art of beadwork, but he also produced vibrant, colorful drawings of Cheyenne history and ceremonial life. After graduating with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oklahoma City University, Sheridan for many years served as a community intervention specialist with the Indian Health Service and lectured for the Association of American Indian Physicians on spiritual-based therapies. He was a mentor for many Native artists and active participant in his Cheyenne community. Much of his work is signed “Pipe Woman,” honoring the artists of his great-grandmother’s generation, whose artworks motivated much of his own.
Dwayne Wilcox (Oglala Lakota, b. 1954) is often known for his use of humor in his ledger drawings, a sense of levity rooted in the Lakota Heyoka, or Sacred Clown, figure. Wilcox’s more recent work is focused almost exclusively on themes of the realities of modern life. He is self-taught, working as a fulltime artist since 1987, though, his first commissioned artwork was in 1974. Wilcox conducts extensive independent research on ledger-art history and practices. He is also a U.S. military veteran.
James (Jim) Yellowhawk (Cheyenne River Lakota, b. 1958) is a mixed-media artist who holds a Bachelor of Science in Art from Marion College in Indiana. Yellowhawk describes his work as driven from traditional spirituality, guiding and balancing his creative process. In his art, he often represents horses, buffalo, elk, geese and eagles in honor of the four winds. Yellowhawk strives to be a strong and positive role model for Native youth and divides his time between the Black Hills of South Dakota and Golden Bay, New Zealand, where much of his work is shown.
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