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Meet the Artists: Creative Indigenous Collective @SAGE

The public is invited to the SAGE Community Arts Exhibition Gallery for “A Gathering,” a new exhibition by the Creative Indigenous Collective. "The collective features emerging artists who explore individual identity, collective culture and contemporary Native American life; each through unique approach." The exhibition features artwork by six Indigenous artists from across the region, including Robert Martinez, Ben Pease, John Pepion, Gina Still Smoking, Louis Still Smoking, and Holly Young.

Robert Martinez

Robert Martinez (Northern Arapaho) has garnered national acclaim for his work, including the Wyoming Governor’s Arts Award. Using intense vibrant color and contrasting shades of light and dark, he paints and draws striking forms that confront and engage the viewer. His work is included in permanent collections at The Brinton Museum, The Plains Indian Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

Ben Pease

Ben Pease (Apsáalooke) recently participated in a large-scale exhibition at the Chicago Field Museum & The University of Chicago's Neubauer Collegium, titled Apsáalooke Women & Warriors. He also was named Artist-of-the-Year in 2020 from the Yellowstone Art Museum's Board of Trustees after completing a 1-year residency at the Museum. He is a member of the Big Lodge Clan and a child-of-Big Lodge. Ben is also a Night Hawks Dance Society member, Sweat-Lodge ceremony owner, ancestral medicine paint owner, Sundance sponsor, Sundancer, War-Dancer, and 3-time leader of the Dance of Seasons.

John Pepion

John Pepion is a Plains Indian Graphic artist from the Piikani Band of the Blackfoot Confederacy. He is based out of the Blackfeet reservation in north-central Montana, where the Rocky Mountains meet the plains. John is best known for his ledger art, an art tradition that developed in Plains tribes as they were forced to adapt to making artwork on the ledger paper from accounting books as buffalo hides traditionally used for painting became scarce. Pepion comes from a family of artists, and pictographic art has been in his family for hundreds of years.

Beadwork on canvas by Gina Still Smoking

Gina Still Smoking is a Sicangu/Oglala Lakota fashion designer and artist and is an enrolled member of Kul Wicasa Oyate (Lower Brule Sioux Tribe) in South Dakota. Gina currently resides on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana and enjoys using multiple platforms to give back to native communities and organizations; a teaching passed down from her elders.

Louis Still Smoking

Louis Still Smoking (Blackfeet) was born and raised in Browning, Mont. on the Blackfeet Reservation. After graduating from Flandreau Indian School in S.Dak., he worked as a stone sculptor for 11 years before pursuing a degree in painting. His artwork is influenced by the Impressionists, Lucian Freud, and the American Indian Movement (AIM).

Holly Young

Holly Young (Dakota) was born and raised in a rural area of the Standing Rock Reservation in N.Dak. Memories of plants and flowers, closeness to the land, and the land’s healing properties influence her art. She uses traditional styles of Dakota beadwork, quillwork, and ledger art to embody “the love, patience, resiliency and beauty of my ancestors’ legacies and the land that has provided since time immemorial.”

A virtual preview of the show is available at Creative Indigenous Collective: A Gathering is sponsored by Susie Ponce, Associate Vice President and Financial Advisor with D.A. Davidson; Circular; First Bank of Wyoming; Best Western; and WYO Theater; with additional support from Alphagraphics Sheridan and the Wyoming Arts Council.

SAGE Community Arts is a non-profit 501c (3) organization committed to inspiring and building community through the visual arts in Sheridan. SAGE hosts a gallery for local Artist Members to display their work, as well as an Exhibition Gallery for solo, group, and juried exhibitions. SAGE also offers art classes for all ages taught by both local and visiting artists.


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