Young artists flourish under Lakota Nation Invitational Art Show and its collaborative environment

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Whisper Crow Dog is 18 years-old and has just finished her first semester of college at Institute of American Indian Arts in Sante Fe, NM. She can recall how the Lakota Nation Invitational and her experience, the last few years, helped her gain confidence and skills as a young artist.

“I respect other people’s work,” Whisper said. “I respect the materials I use to make my work. So then I went beyond LNI and beyond high school. Respect is like the main [skill] I learned.”

During her senior year at LNI, Whisper received two 2nd place ribbons for her work, three 3rd place ribbons and the “Unity Plate” award.

IAI awarded her with funding for her submitted, artist portfolio which she was able to apply towards her education. Whisper said there was point – like many – where she wondered if she’d be able to attend college.

“I took my chance,” she said. “I applied to all the scholarships there, got all the funding. And with my portfolio I got a little boost on it because of who I was and how that was able to incorporate into the institute. So, with all that funding I was thankful.”

Whisper says that Lakota Nation Invitational Art Show gave her the boost she needed.

It is a collaborative and nurturing atmosphere for young artists at the showcase.

“My work has changed a lot,” she said. “I went from drawing stick figures to drawing landscapes. I’ve grown so much to where I’m very, very grateful for, like, all the moderators, teachers and the inspirations that I’ve had.”

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