Meet Our Artists | HÓWAŠTE

The mission of The Heritage Center's gift shop is to provide economic development opportunities to our artists and to educate our visitors on the importance of traditional crafting in our community. The best way we know to do this is to create a platform that allows artists to speak for themselves, directly to their audience, of their pride in their heritage and knowledge of traditional crafting techniques through their words and their works­. And so the Hówašte program—Lakota for “to speak with a good or beautiful voice”—was created.

Howaste Norma Blacksmith

Norma Blacksmith


Norma Blacksmith was 12 years old when her mother taught her how to make star quilts. Now, at the age of 79, Norma continues to create these quilted works of art, and carries on the legacy of her family by teaching others...
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Howaste Danielle

Danielle Hudspeth


Artist Danielle Hudsepth is an artist of many talents. In addition to drawing, painting, and sculpting, she has begun focusing her creative energy on beadwork. Now she’s combining this traditional art form with her love of cutting-edge video games and modern films...
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Jean Roach


“I want to reflect on what I am and what I’m about. We came back from Standing Rock and I feel like the pieces I’ve done before are so typical, in a way. I was always on the survival level, and I still am..."
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Donald Montileaux


“We saved our culture through these old books and these drawings on the pages. They showed that family their history. How their grandfather used to dress on his war horse, how his war horse was painted and designed..."
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Daniel McCoy


“I’ve always believed, as my grandfather did, that Native art deserves the respect that the European greats have received. So as Native artists, we have to challenge that dominant Western timeline and narrative.”
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Micheal Two Bulls


As a child, Micheal Two Bulls was surrounded by creativity. As part of a large extended family of Native artists, Michael watched his aunts and uncles create everything from intricate beadwork and work carvings to contemporary paintings. 
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Rochelle Goings


As a child, Rochelle Goings watched both her grandparents practice the ancient art of quillwork—a skill that had been passed down to them by their own ancestors. As members of the Red Cloud family, they served as keepers of this traditional Native art form.
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Denise Brown Eyes and Kristina Iron Cloud


In Denise Brown Eyes’ family, quilting is an artform that has been passed down from one generation to the next. Growing up on the Pine Ridge Reservation, her first role models were her many aunts who taught her to sew blankets and clothes for her dolls.
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Mitchell Zephier

Metal Work

Master metal artist Mitchell Zephier learned to create intricate jewelry as a young man, working alongside other artists from across the country. As a student taking part in a summer program at Dartmouth University, he was hired by New York-based Native artist and teacher Frank Standing High.
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Virgil Poafpybitty


The art of carving pipestone runs in Virgil Poafpybitty’s blood. Growing up on the Pine Ridge Reservation, he watched as his grandfather created intricate pipes, even helping at times by sanding them so as to smooth and polish the reddish brown stone. That experience sparked a lifelong passion.
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Melissa Hill


Growing up on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Melissa Hill’s childhood curiosity blossomed into a passion for creating objects of both beauty and meaning. When she was just seven years old, her grandmother handed her a needle and thread, and showed her how to sew simple blocks of material together.
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Marlena Myles

Digital Art

Marlena Myles (Dakota, Mohegan, Creek) has served as one of the core artists at the heart of the Horse Nation of the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ exhibition. Myles began her career as a portraitist, using traditional mediums like charcoal. Her work evolved, however, when she discovered the possibilities of creating art in digital formats. 
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Lorri Ann Two Bulls

Hand-crafted clay, painted ornaments, bracelets

Growing up near Red Shirt Table, a community on the outskirts of the Badlands about sixty miles north of Pine Ridge, Lorri Ann Two Bulls was surrounded by the vast and breathtaking landscape that has been the ancestral home of the Two Bulls family for many generations.
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Juanita Kelso

Star Quilts

While the craft of star quilting is often passed down from generation to generation, artist Juanita Kelso took it upon herself to learn how to create the beautiful star quilts that she creates today. “I came across a book that showed step by step instructions,” she explained. “I thought I would try making one for each of my three daughters.”
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Amanda Simmons


The colorful and intricate materials used in traditional Lakota art often capture the attention of young eyes and tiny hands. Red Cloud graduate Amanda Simmons ’04 picked up her first beading materials when she was only eight years old, while growing up in the community of Oglala, South Dakota.
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Shawn Espinosa


Shawn Espinosa ’97 works primarily with parfleche as means of “keeping the tradition alive.” Growing up in the Lakeside community near Oglala, SD, Shawn found himself drawn to the traditional practices of creating Lakota art. Through his work with the historic medium, he strengthened a connection to his heritage.
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Miranda Red Cloud

Porcupine Quillwork

At a time when many young people are swamped with the pressures of high school life, a 15-year old Miranda Red Cloud was also learning the artwork of the Oglala Lakota people. Now with years of experience under her belt, Miranda is a driving force in one of the world’s rarest jewelry and art mediums: porcupine quillwork. 
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Bryan Douglas Parker


As a child growing up outside Tulsa, Oklahoma, artist Bryan Parker was constantly drawing. After high school, craving direction, Bryan enlisted in the Army. He spent 14 months deployed in Iraq, but he never forgot his love of art and self-expression. While still serving in a combat zone, Bryan bought a video camera and began documenting his experience on film. Over a decade later he is an acclaimed painter and graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts. 
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