Born and raised in South Dakota, the wide -open prairie had a profound effect on how I view the world.
In my early twenties, I moved to Europe and lived and worked in the Netherlands for six years. The friends I made there and the art venues I was able to attend all throughout Europe were instrumental in igniting my passion to pursue a career in the arts.
In 1996, I returned from Holland and began the pursuit of my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Juggling a full-time job, marriage, and two small children, I pursued my studies whenever possible. In 2010, I was finally able to attend school full-time, completing my BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in December 2012.
As an infant, I had been adopted out to a Norwegian family. As a young adult, I worked for the release of my adoption papers and soon after moving to Minneapolis, I joined an Adoptee’s group that helps Native Adults find their way back into the community. In 2013, I reconnected with my biological family and learned that I am Oglala Lakota, from the Pine Ridge Reservation (Wounded Knee). My family name is Little Moon. My Lakota heritage, family, and community now play an ever-increasing role in my life and my artistic practice.
I recently completed two years of study in the Dakhóta language at the University of Minnesota. Currently, I am pursuing my Masters in Art History with an emphasis on Native American Art History at the University of St. Thomas. I also work as a Research Assistant in Native American Curation at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. My studio practice is located in St. Paul, MN, and I live in South Minneapolis with my two sons, my husband, and two mischievous huskies.
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My artistic practice constantly reveals itself to me anew, with ever-unfolding potential and challenges. It is closely tied to my own personal victories and struggles, as well as to the questions I am asking of myself and the world around me.
Perhaps color is the primary focus. A dominant force in my work, the intense use of color and the quest to push beyond the limits of local color to reveal passages of surprise and excellence in both my prints and paintings is one of my biggest sources of motivation and inspiration. I never tire of reveling in the beauty of color as it unfolds beneath my brush.
But there are other things that continue to come to the foreground in my work—the human experience, my Native American heritage, and the search for accidental glimpses of beauty in the every day are all fodder for my creative process.
The quest for mastery of my medium is another driving force in my work, and I continue to work toward achieving passages in my work that inspire wonder and awe in others.
This journey toward a better understanding of my artistry, the broader world, and myself rests at the center of my artistic practice.