Artists O - S
The Messenger, 1991, wood block print, 13" x 13"
Robert Penn was born on May 3rd, 1946 in Omaha Nebraska. He attended high school at St. Francis Mission on South Dakota's Rosebud Reservation. He received his BFA at the University of South Dakota in 1972. Penn was a protege and he was a work study assistant under the late Oscar Howe. Penn's style is unique and he has explored many medias and styles. He painted the truth as he found it in the world. He attributed his talent in art from Wakan Tanka - the Great Spirit. Penn is one of South Dakota's greatest contemporary Native American artists. Penn died in 1999.
"Abstraction of symbols and themes can re-interpret the modern world as seen from an Indian viewpoint without strict adherence to traditional art forms and can transcend both worlds to become contemporary modern art as well as a cultural statement. I am constantly aware of the danger of being typecast as far as subject matter goes; there is far more to my vision than just recreating pictures of the past. Art has always been my central issue ... it is also my biggest prayer," Penn once said.
This piece was purchased in 1991 from the artist's solo exhibition.
Raising A Messenger, 2012, oil on canvas, 42.5" x 32"
“Raising a Messenger reflects my current interest in re-imagining traditional landscape painting through a very personal lens. My choices were influenced by my awareness of climatic change, my experiences as an artist and farmer, and my earnest desire for our culture to see the importance of protecting and healing our environment.
Topsoil and iron filings have been mixed with the paint giving the paint greater presence on the canvas. These additions to the painting's surface can be thought of as a part of my process giving content to the painting, or as an aesthetic device creating texture to be appreciated on a purely visual level.” - Paul Peterson, 2014
Paul Peterson thinks deeply about the rural economy of South Dakota. Growing up on a farm, he gained insight into the challenges faced by those who till the land: the difficult task that has always been a part of agriculture – of drawing life from the soil – but also new, twenty-first century pressures including competition in a new global economy, adapting to new techniques and new technology. Peterson situates his work at the intersections of these various tensions. He captures the contrast between big agriculture and the small family farm. He juxtaposes a past literally rooted in the earth with a future filled with ever more complicated machines and traces the conflict that comes with working a land that gives but can also take.
Peterson received his BS in Art Education from Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota.
Peterson lives and works in Sturgis, SD.
This piece was purchased from the artist's solo exhibition In Denial of Context: Landscapes and Other Ephemera in 2014 with funds from the Rapid City Arts Council's Art Acquisition Endowment Fund.
Abode, 2010, pastel on paper, 12" x 21"
Peterson’s images come from his everyday life. His subjects are ordinary people, places, and events we see every day, which make them especially accessible to viewers. What gives these pictures their special quality is the way the scenes develop in Peterson’s memory, the way the quick glance evolves in his mind before he records it on canvas. A large part of the effect involves the conflict between memory and reality, the way, as he gets further from a moment in time and space, the details begin to shift and fade. What remains is more than a mere impression, but less than reality. The result might include humor, irony, pathos and empathy, or a complex combination of these emotions.
Peterson is originally from Minot, North Dakota, but attended Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD where he received his Bachelor’s degree, and now makes his home in Spearfish, South Dakota.
This piece was purchased from the South Dakota Governor's 4th Biennial Exhibition in 2010.
Piping Plover Chick, 2015, watercolor on board, 10" x 10"
Sarah portrays recognizable subjects, but they are only vehicles for a greater subject: the paint itself. Her style of painting has much to do with her background in graphics.
“I painted the plover chick because I once lived in Charleston, SC, on the beach, and my dogs and I loved the many shore birds that we watched on our daily walks after work. The dogs loved to chase them and, of course, could never catch one. We walked for miles along the beach among the plovers as well as other shore birds.“
After receiving her BFA from the University of Florida, Sarah moved to South Carolina to work as a graphic designer. She later went on to New York City where she worked for a decade as art director for an advertising agency before moving to the Black Hills region where she now lives and paints in Sundance, Wyoming. Sarah is the recipient of a 2015 Wyoming Governor’s Arts Award.
This piece was purchased in 2016 from the artist's retrospective exhibit.
Zones (triptych), 1984, acrylic on canvas, hand stitching, 30" x 60" (each)
This piece was generously donated by Arthur and Jan Amiotte in 2014, in honor of long-serving Director of the Rapid City Arts Council Ruth Brennan's "arts accomplishments and devotion to the arts of South Dakota."