Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A Lakota man is celebrating three decades teaching life lessons to elementary school students through Native American dance. Dallas Chief Eagle started working as an artist-in-residence for schools in the mid-1980s. Today he’s still sharing Lakota culture with school children across the state.

In his performance, Dallas Chief Eagle rapidly moves his feet as he glides across a gym floor, picking up plastic hoops. He links them together in a long line. Chief Eagle tosses the chain into the air, and spins the hoops over the heads of screaming elementary school students.

Dignity Dedicated Near Chamberlain

Sep 18, 2016
Charles Michael Ray

South Dakota has a new monumental piece of art.  A fifty foot tall stainless steel sculpture now stands on the Missouri River bluffs near Chamberlain. A dedication celebration, held this past weekend, included a long list of dignitaries.

“Dignity” as it’s called depicts a Lakota woman wrapping a star quilt around her shoulders.   Norm and Eunabel  McKie of Rapid City donated one million dollars to make the project reality.   Sculptor Dale Lamphere is among those who spoke at the dedication celebration.

NATIVE Act Boosts Tribal Tourism, Art

Sep 14, 2016
Chynna Lockett

This week Congress passed an act to spur tribal tourism and increase support for tribal art.    The act boosts federal funding and resources for native artists and tribal entrepreneurs.

The bill aims to increase the number of native owned art and tourism based businesses. 

Augustana University

Art and poetry go hand in hand. Artist Nancy Losacker and and poet Norma Wilson show just how to combine the two creative outlets in their joint-exhibit and new written collection "Rivers, Wings, and Sky." The South Dakota Arts Council has supported the duo since 2008, displaying their work at galleries throughout the region. Their final exhibit is on display at Augustana’s Center for Western Studies until October 22. The two join Dakota Midday to discuss their partnership, their friendship, and how inspiration is shared and expanded through collaboration.

Eagle Butte Explores Culture And Art At Graffiti Jam

Jul 5, 2016

Artists from around the world are shaking their spray paint cans in preparation for the second annual RedCan Graffiti Jam. Hosted by the Cheyenne River Youth Project, or CRYP, the three-day event brings together graffiti and Lakota culture in creativity and fellowship.

Artist Stephen Randall joins Dakota Midday to talk about creating art on location – en plein air. Randall served on Combat Artist Team VII in Vietnam. Today, his art studio is in Sioux Falls. He talks with host Lori Walsh about bringing his artistic vision from the fields of Vietnam to the fields of South Dakota.

Doris Symens Armstrong created a painting every day for a month, photographed it, and sent the image to Bruce Roseland. He created a poem that reflected the visions on Symens Armstrong's work. Their book, "Gift of Moments" gathers the project in one place. They join Dakota Midday to talk about art, technique, and the opportunities for South Dakota artists to form unique collaborations.

Dakota Midday: Kelly Lindquist, Art Space CEO

May 2, 2016
Art Space

A starving artist is sometimes seen as the norm.  Many great artists lived at least some of their lives struggling with poverty, think, Van Gogh or even Johnny Cash. 

But some argue that artists should not always go hungry, or homeless.     Kelly Lindquist is President and CEO of a Minneapolis based organization called Art Space.

Art Alley Moves To Permit System

Mar 23, 2016

Rapid City’s Art Alley is known as a place of free form expression.  Graffiti artists are allowed to paint on the walls of the alley between 6th and 7th streets in the middle of downtown.

But some building owners in the alley have complained and some even called for the alley to be closed to altogether.  In a compromise a new permit system is being set up for artists who want to show off their work in the alley.


Dakota Midday: Wood Shock

Feb 18, 2016

Wood Shock is an antiquated term used in the late 19th century to classify a person who is genuinely lost in the wilderness.  Artist Bryan Christiansen has adopted the terminology to expand on themes of hunting and nature in his latest exhibition at the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City.  Wood Shock is a collection of freestanding sculptures and wall-mounted assemblages that pursue points of intersection between humans, their environments and proximity to nature.  Wood Shock opens Friday and is on display through May

Rolling Rez Arts: An Art Bus Bank On Pine Ridge

Oct 27, 2015
First Peoples Fund

Pine Ridge has a new bank, financial literacy hub, and art space and it’s all on wheels.
Rolling Rez Arts  is a mobile creative space, business training center and bank all in one bus that is crisscrossing Pine Ridge in part to help spur art based economic development.

Dakota Midday: Creativity Week 2015

Sep 24, 2015

Creativity Week 2015 begins Friday in Brookings.  It's a week-long festival celebrating the creatives in the Brookings community - everything from artists to local business, lectures to architects, music and everyone in between.  Scott Meyer, "brofounder" and Head of Business Development at 9 Clouds Digital Marketing talked about the Creativity Week schedule.  A full listing of events can be found at


Nestled into a cornfield in northeast South Dakota, the Granary Rural Cultural Center is a place to celebrate the beauty of both art and nature. Here’s a look at what visitors will find when they take a trip to this arts oasis the middle of the countryside.

Courtesy Anna Huntington

Work on the “Passage of Wind and Water” sculpture has resumed at Rapid City’s Main Street Square. The 5-year art project is in its third year. SDPB’s Jim Kent visited with the internationally-recognized sculptor who’s creating the massive piece of art to discuss what he’s accomplished and what still needs to be done.

It’s July in Rapid City. Traffic is heavier than usual. Tourists are visiting. The water fountains are on at Main Street Square and Masayuki Nagase is back in town.

RESPECT Celebrates The Art Of Motorcycle Culture

Jul 13, 2015
Dahl Arts Center

When you think of bikers roaring into the Black Hills for the 75th Sturgis Rally an art gallery might be the last place you’d think they’d visit. But, the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City wants to change that notion. The Dahl has a special exhibit celebrating biker culture and the 75th Rally anniversary. 

The stereotypical biker is not someone you’d expect to find in an art gallery.

Chynna Lockett

The American Tribal Tourism Advocates, or ATTA have launched their first art show in Rapid City’s Main Street Square.

The weekly event showcases Native American artists from the Northern Plains who can sell their work.  
The event seeks to provide a new space to promote native art.

Courtesy Anna Huntington

A Rapid City artist has completed a 2-story mural near Main Street Square that reflects the images created in the ongoing ”Passage of Wind and Water” sculpture project. What was initially planned as a 5-week work schedule turned into almost 3 months of frequently intense labor for the muralist.

”Passage of Wind and Water” spokesperson Anna Huntington says the idea of having someone paint a mural on a 2-story wall facing Main Street Square seemed like a no-brainer.

National Museum of the U.S. Army

During the Vietnam War, James Pollock entered combat zones armed with a .45 pistol, canteen, camera and sketchbook. The South Dakota native was one of 46 U.S. Army Soldiers commissioned to chronicle the war as a part of the Vietnam Combat Art Program. After two months accompanying soldiers on patrol, Pollock and the other artists were shipped to studios in Hawaii to finish their work. It became property of the U.S. Army Art Collection at the U.S. Army Center of Military History.

Rock Poster Artist To Speak in Rapid

Apr 20, 2015
Jay Ryan

An artist who uses animal caricatures to promote rock concerts is speaking in Rapid City this week.

Jay Ryan has been making small batches of screen printed posters to promote entertainment events for over 20 years.  He’s based in Chicago where he runs the a print shop named "The Bird Machine."

Ryan’s work has promoted mainstream bands from Pearl Jam to the Flaming Lips along with lesser known underground bands like Fugazi.  

Artist Renelle White Buffalo wants to communicate traditional symbols in a modern contemporary and abstract way. "I paint between the lines of what is expected as a Native American, in a pop-culture driven world, and abstract what I feel as a Lakota woman,” she says in her artist statement.

A recent study from the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that within five years, about three-quarters of released prisoners were re-arrested. Inmates face a myriad of difficulties once they come out of prison, not the least of which is trying to find a job.

Dakota Midday: Bad Art Press

Mar 5, 2015

South Dakota is well known for its Native Art. The success of businesses like Prairie Edge in downtown Rapid City is a good example. But what is the boundary between something that’s considered Native Art and something that is just art?

Rediscovering Native Art on Cheyenne River

Feb 17, 2015
Courtesy Four Bands Community Fund

A Native American nonprofit organization plans to boost the economy of the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation by promoting cultural tourism. The Four Bands Community Fund will implement a project to assist 100 Native Americans in building an art business by providing access to loan capital, equity injections, and professional development training.

Art Legacy Project

On Tuesday, February 17 at the Suzie Cappa Art Center in Rapid City, artists will share the stage with storytellers as they illustrate, in real time, stories as they unfold. It’s a part of a new, quarterly event called the Art Legacy Project. The purpose is to capture stories with the visual arts and remind us of the art we too easily take for granted in our everyday lives. Art Legacy Project organizer Peter Franz joined Dakota Midday.

A new initiative has been launched by a Native American non-profit on the Cheyenne River Reservation to help boost the local economy through cultural tourism. Over the next two years, Four Bands Community Fund will implement the “Rediscovering Native Art on Cheyenne River” project to assist artists in marketing their work. Tanya Fiddler, executive director of Four Bands, says that Cheyenne River offers unparalleled beauty and a rich cultural experience for visitors. She says the project will help people on the reservation to embrace that culture and think of it as an asset.

Black Hills Symphony Orchestra Turns 80

Dec 24, 2014
Courtesy Black Hills Symphony Orchestra

It’s Christmas Eve. Time for last-minute shopping, final gift-wrapping and 11th-hour preparations for celebrations that lie ahead. Through it all, we hear music – at home, at work, in shopping malls and even on the streets. And though popular standards by crooners from Frank Sinatra to Harry Connick may fill the air, traditional songs can also be heard – frequently played by symphony orchestras.

Giant Statue Planned For Missouri River Overlook

Dec 15, 2014

A 45-foot tall statue of a Lakota woman receiving a star quilt is planned for the Missouri River at Chamberlain.     The statue titled “Dignity” intends to honor Native people.

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard says the McKie family from the Black Hills is donating one million dollars to help fund the project.

“The monument will honor the heritage of our Native people and it will be something residents, tourists and  others to see as they travel on Interstate-90 and that’s thanks to the Norm McKie and Eunabel Mackie family,” says Daugaard  

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Oct. 2, 2014 - The much-anticipated South Dakota Governor’s Biennial Art Exhibition, highlighting artists from across the state, opened this week at the South Dakota Art Museum. Of the 420 pieces submitted for the South Dakota Governor’s Sixth Biennial Art Exhibition, only 53 were selected for this traveling showcase of South Dakota artwork. The South Dakota Art Museum in Brookings has the privilege of being the first of five locations throughout the state to display these artworks, each created by artists living and working in South Dakota.

Jenny Braig Paintings Celebrate East And West River

Aug 26, 2014

South Dakota is celebrating 125 years of statehood. SDPB honors that milestone with stories that explore the state’s identity and heritage through unique ideas, people, and places.

In this edition of our series “Landscapes of South Dakota"  SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray Speaks with Spearfish Artist Jenny Braig about her oil paintings that depict both the East and West sides of the state.

Photo by Jim Kent

A film festival called “Trading Stories: A Native American Film Festival” is designed to acknowledge the contributions of the Lakota people. It was held over the weekend at the Chadron Public Library.  The goal of the festival is also to highlight contemporary Native issues through the use of film.

Librarian Annette Peter says the idea for an annual Native American Film Festival has its roots in the relationship Chadron has with its neighboring community of Pine Ridge.