Pollen contributor, Dyani White Hawk, is one of Minnesota’s greatest working artists, and one of our brightest advocates for modern American Indian art. From 2011-2015 she served as the gallery director and curator of the All My Relations Gallery in Minneapolis. In March 2015, Dyani transitioned into a full-time studio practice.
Below, you’ll find Dyani’s most recent works set amidst her powerful artist statement.
Black And White III
“As a woman of Lakota and European ancestry, I was raised among Native American communities within urban landscapes. My work reflects these cross-cultural experiences through the combination of modern abstract painting and traditional Lakota art forms. Some works are executed strictly in paint; others incorporate beads, porcupine quills, ledger paper, brass sequins and other materials representing a Lakota aesthetic.”
Black And White II
“I strive to create honest, inclusive compositions that acknowledge all parts of my history, Native and non-Native, urban, grassroots, and academia. This platform allows me to start from center, deepening my own understanding of self and culture, and then expand upon this drawing correlation between personal and national history, and Native and mainstream art histories.”
Stealing Horses Back
“These works are intended to increase exposure and inclusion of Native American peoples and thought within our daily lives and specifically within contemporary art. The complexity of visual and conceptual references encourages conversations that acknowledge the diversity of Native lives, call out the lack of representation in mainstream educational institutions and literature, break down misconceptions and generalizations, and reinforce the importance of Native voices within contemporary art.”
“My art work, naturally a reflection of my life experiences, is directly related to our family history. My mother was adopted off the Rosebud Sioux Reservation during the years of the adoption era. Her life story has now become her life’s work. Sandra White Hawk is the founder of the First Nations Repatriation Institute working locally, nationally and internationally on issues surrounding Native adoption and foster care and the impacts of cross-cultural adoption.”
Dyani White Hawk’s work has been acquisitioned into the collections of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Tweed Museum of Art, Akta Lakota Museum, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Wisconsin Union Art Collection and the Robert Penn Collection of Contemporary Northern Plains Indian Art of the University of South Dakota. She is represented by Shiprock Santa Fe and the Bockley Gallery in Minneapolis.
Learn more about Dyani White Hawk and her work:
- Dyani White Hawk’s artwork recently appeared in a Pollen story on transracial adoption. Read “Meet Melissa”
- Read an interview from The Minnesota Daily: “Native American artist Dyani White Hawk is ready to get you talking”
- Read a feature in Cowboys and Indians: “Dyani White Hawk”
- See her process at the New American Paintings Blog: “In The Studio: Process of a Painting with Dyani White Hawk”
- For a full listing of Dyani’s interviews, visit her website
- Learn more about Dyani’s mother’s work to unite Native American adoptees by visiting the First Nations Repatriation Institute