Yellowstone Art Museum Exhibits Special Loan by Kevin Red Star
Area art enthusiasts will be delighted to learn that an anonymous lender has made a Kevin Red Star portrait available for view in the Yellowstone Art Museum’s Boundless Visions exhibition. Dancers (the Red Star Brothers) is a larger-than-life depiction of the Red Stars in full Crow regalia against a vibrant background.
Kevin Red Star was born on the Crow Indian Reservation in Lodge Grass, Montana. He was raised in a family that values art and culture, where he developed an early love of drawing and music. This exposure and encouragement sustained him during his years in grade school during the time when Crow students were denied association with their language and cultural heritage.
“Indian culture has in the past been ignored to a great extent. It is for me, as well as for many other Indian artists, a rich source of creative expression. An intertwining of my Indian culture with contemporary art expression has given me a greater insight concerning my art. I hope to accomplish something for the American Indian and at the same time achieve personal satisfaction in a creative statement through my art.”
— Kevin Red Star
Later, Red Star was one of 150 students chosen to attend the newly established Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he was encouraged to explore his history and culture. Upon graduation, he and several other Native students received scholarships to the San Francisco Art Institute. It was there that he was exposed to the avant-garde and political and social concerns of Post-modernism. He has since developed a vision uniquely his own—one that merges the past with contemporary concerns. He is regarded as a major artistic voice in the state and the region, as testified to by his many loyal fans and collectors who gathered at the YAM this past May to hear him speak and sign a new book devoted to his work, Kevin Red Star: Crow Indian Artist, 2014, by Daniel Gibson.
Kevin Red Star’s art work is included in important museum collections, including the Smithsonian Institution – National Museum of the American Indian, CM Russell Museum, Denver Art Museum, Eiteljorg Museum, Whitney Museum of Western Art, and the Yellowstone Art Museum, among others.
The YAM’s Senior Curator, Bob Durden stated that “It’s a pleasure to make this grand painting by one of Montana’s finest painters available to the public. We are grateful to the continued support that comes our way from some of the nation’s finest collectors who make special opportunities possible for our patrons.”
Kevin Red Star, Dancers (the Red Star Brothers), 1995 oil on canvas, 84 x 72 inches, courtesy of an anonymous lender.
Yellowstone Art Museum
401 North 27th Street
Billings, MT 59101
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: October 23, 2015
Title: Michael Earl Craig of Livingston Appointed Montana Poet Laureate for 2015-2017
Sponsoring Organization: Montana Arts Council
Contact Name: KarenDe Herman
Contact Telephone: (406) 444-4700; Email: kherman2
On October 23, Governor Steve Bullock appointed Michael Earl Craig as Montana’s next Poet Laureate. The Montana Poet Laureate is a two-year honorary position created by the state legislature in 2005 and administered by the Montana Arts Council. Craig takes over from outgoing Poet Laureate Tami Haaland. He will serve through August 1, 2017.
On announcing Craig’s appointment, Governor Bullock said, “I’m honored to appoint Michael Earl Craig to serve as Montana’s next Poet Laureate. Through his writing he captured the attention or readers for years. And through his mentorship of students pursuing creative writing, he has inspired the next generation of poets and novelists.”
Michael Earl Craig is the author of four books of poetry: Can you Relax in My House (2002), Yes, Master (2006), Thin Kimono (2010) and Talkativeness (2014). A farrier who composes his poetry on a manual typewriter and mentors creative writing students at Livingston’s Park High School, Craig has been invited to read in cities all over the country, has seen his poetry translated into Dutch and Chinese, and has received national accolades. Amanda Fortini, a writer for The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and Rolling Stone writes of Craig, “Michael Earl Craig may be my favorite poet writing today…the deadpan humor of his poems (and his in-person readings) is what makes his work so unique – accessible but ultimately mysterious – and so beloved of readers all across the country.”
The Montana Poet Laureate recognizes and honors a citizen poet of exceptional talent and accomplishment. The Poet Laureate also encourages appreciation of poetry and literary life in Montana. In 2005, Sandra Alcosser became our first Montana Poet Laureate and served for two years. Other previous Poet Laureates are Greg Pape, Henry Real Bird, Sheryl Noethe and Tami Haaland.
For more information about the Poet Laureate program and Michael Earl Craig, please contact the Montana Arts Council at 406-444-6430 or email mac.
To contact Michael Earl Craig: phone 406-220-0415; email: earlcraig123
For a photo, email KarenDe Herman at kherman2.
Sample poems below:
IN THE ROAD
I had a dream last night, I dreamt
I was trying to shoe a horse in the road. I’d
get under him and swing my hammer and
he’d move his foot, just a little. Hitting the
nails was like trying to strike flies
from the air. My hammer flashed in the sun,
striking the shoe to the left or the right of the nail.
One miss-hit busted my thumb open.
Blood trickled like a wet glove over my hand.
I cursed as he hopped around on three legs,
a totally blank expression on his face.
Occasionally a car came down the road, slowly,
carving a wide arc around us, the passengers
with their windows rolled up, looking silently
out at me, sometimes shaking their heads.
I’d swing and miss. Then swing and hit my thumb.
Finally I swung, he shifted his foot, and my hammer
hit my kneecap with some amazing velocity.
I crumpled to the ground like a worn-out flag.
This horse just stood there, expressionless.
Another car passed by, very close to me.
A child in the backseat cracked her window a bit.
She held out a banana and pretended to shoot me
in the head. She silently mouthed the word pop
twice—pop, pop—and I felt myself twitch sharply
in my bed. I knew I could wake up if I wanted to,
but it just wasn’t my style.
From Thin Kimono
I spun the helmet on the ground and waited for it to stop. When it didn’t stop, and probably two days had passed, I stood up and began snapping my fingers, just the one hand, my right hand, and I was kind of squatting a little, just bending my knees a bit, and tapping my right foot, and smiling I guess, like I was listening to something, something catchy. And after two more days of this, this finger-snapping, and after seeing that the helmet would continue to spin in the driveway, at this point I began to dance backward toward town, down the long dirt road toward the pavement that would take me to the highway that would eventually take me to town, always dancing and snapping, always moving backward, mile after mile, smiling, really getting down, never looking over my shoulder, falling and getting up, falling and getting up, traveling backward toward town, snapping, smiling, really covering some ground.
There’s a very distinguished-looking older man sitting near me
at the diner. His hair is silver, neatly combed.
His gray suit looks immaculate, a crisp handkerchief
in his chest pocket. A grandfatherly kindness emanates
from his as he eats his eggs. He is from a bygone era,
I’m thinking, as he gets up and turns toward me,
and now I see a large grease stain on his shirt,
which is partially untucked, and his belt appears
to be unbuckled. He staggers a bit as he stands –
bumping his chair back with his legs
[some Billie Holiday, coming from the Kitchen]
–and glances at me for a second, a few seconds.
A restrained burp slips from his mouth.
He picks up the most gorgeous briefcase I have ever seen
and wields it respectfully, like a sword he has known all his life.
KarenDe Herman, Administrative Specialist, Montana Arts Council
PO Box 202201, Helena, MT 59620-2201 | 406-444-4700
Kherman2 | www.art.mt.gov | Montana…The Land of Creativity