Grantee:  Dyani White Hawk
Native Citizenship: Sicangu Lakota (Rosebud Sioux)
Location:  Shakopee, Minn.
Award:  2015 NACF Regional Artist Fellowship
Discipline:  Visual Arts
Web Site:

White Hawk’s varied life experience, straddling and balancing between multicultural landscapes of Lakota/European cultural heritage and contemporary/traditional upbringing, fuels the layered depths and compositions of her paintings. Her paintings give a sense of surrealism or a metaphoric dreamlike state as if intuition and consciousness were fluctuating between perspectives.

Her inner strength as a Native woman forges her perseverance, determination and aspiration to break old molds, pave new paths, and search for new meaning. All of this is encompassed in White Hawk’s multimedia paintings. She attributes her mixed Lakota, German and Welsh heritages, in part, to the inspiration and contemplation of her works. The many aspects of her background fundamentally lead her to seek and ponder the influence, meaning and creativeness of her abstract art.

As an outcome of her creative process, White Hawk compellingly converges voice and perspective from the many facets of her knowledge and experience without one overwhelming, dominating or receding against another. Yet, her paintings do not necessarily reflect a balance or counterbalance to her subject and concept but more as a flow and shift between transitions of viewpoint, which lends to the intriguing nature of her work.

White Hawk has a determination and motivation in which she challenges herself to inventively create and develop pioneering techniques and methods that transform the experience of abstract contemporary art for artists, collectors and viewers. She strives to perpetuate the shift away from stereotypical perceptions of Native art and further opportunities for Native artists breaking into the contemporary art world. She has widely participated on art review panels and juries, lectured at colleges and participated as a panelist including the Venice Biennale in 2009.

During her Regional Artist Fellowship, White Hawk will research more in depth the masterly design and skill of traditional Lakota art forms from her own Lakota band and further evolve her career as a full-time practicing artist.

My works are intended to increase exposure and inclusion of Native American contributions and thought within contemporary arts . . . . which in turn reinforce the importance of a Native voice within contemporary arts.
~ Dyani White Hawk