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Culture, experience, spirituality inspire

The Capital Gallery showcases Monte Yellow Bird

Here Monte Yellow Bird works on a piece of Indian Ledger Art like the one that is being showcased at The Capital Gallery through Oct.

Monte Yellow Bird has been making art for as long as he can remember, motivated by his life, his spirituality, and his culture, he works to bring a unique touch to Native American art.

An enjoyment throughout his life, he has pursued art as a career, making a name for himself nationally. Now through October his art is being showcased at The Capital Gallery in Bismarck alongside Butch Thunder Hawk.

A White Shield native, Yellow Bird has always enjoyed creating art. It wasn’t until he attended the Institute of American Indian Arts at 16 that he knew it was what he truly wanted to pursue professionally.

“It really ignited my career,” he explained. “It helped me not only reidentify myself but also redefined me.”

Yellow Bird later attended both North Dakota State University and Minot State University to further his education in both the arts and in history.

Many pieces of his work will be featured, including sculptures, mixed media work, and Indian Ledger art.

According to Yellow Bird, Ledger Art was created as a form of expression by natives in the early 1800s, hitting its peak in 1860. It was heavily influenced by the changes of lifestyle the indigenous people were facing.

“It was a way of demonstrating and of leaving a legacy,” Yellow Bird said.

Yellow Bird continues this tradition, along with Thunder Bird, in their art being featured.

Yellow Bird is more than just an artist though. He also works hard as a speaker and a teacher. He travels the country doing cultural lectures along with educational programs. While in Bismarck, he has wasted no time connecting with students. He has spoken to students of all ages at Wachter Middle School, Bismarck High School, and Fort Yates Middle School. His lesson is one of respect, something important to him and his cultural story.

Yellow Bird and Butch Thunder Hawk will have art featured in The Capital Gallery throughout October. The gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

(Prairie Profile is a weekly feature profiling interesting people in our region. We welcome suggestions from our readers. Call Editor Mike Sasser at 857-1959 or Regional Editor Eloise Ogden at 857-1944. Either can be reached at 1-800-735-3229. You also can send e-mail suggestions to msasser@minotdailynews.com.)

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