jim-yellowhawk-bio-head-shotI grew up on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. I am an enrolled member of the Itazipco¬†Band of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and I am also Onodoga/Iroquois on my Mother’s side. I have been immersed in the Arts of my ancestors since I was a young boy. My grandmother Annie Yellowhawk was a traditional beadworker and role model for traditional ways, and my father Jerry Yellowhawk was and is a passionate artist in a variety of mediums. I graduated from Marion College, Indiana with a Bachelor of Science in Art. I also studied at Columbus, Ohio School of Art and Design. I have opened my art up to International Level, including being invited to perform Lakota mens traditional dance at venues all over the world. Having spent time in New Zealand my work is now exhibited in art galleries there. My recent focus in my art has been on healing, and included painting a mural at Eagle Butte Hospital in honor of my late wife Ruth Yellowhawk. I currently divide my time between the Black Hills of South Dakota and Golden Bay, New Zealand.

Traditional spirituality is woven into my daily life, work, practices and way of being. It keeps me in balance and guides my creative processes. The horse, buffalo, elk, geese and eagle nations are often represented in my art, in honor of the four winds. While my art is comprised of diverse media forms, my current passion is for ledger art, a traditional way of recording history for the native peoples in America. My techniques vary according to the feel of each piece. I like to experiment and challenge myself. I would like to leave my mark as an artist in a way that serves all people and very much hope to provide a strong and positive role model for native youth.

Mitakuye Oyasin