Visual artist Daryl No Heart (Hunkpapa Lakota) recently conducted workshops for Lakota (Sioux) students at St. Joseph’s Indian School as part of the South Dakota Arts Council’s Artists in Schools & Communities program.
An Indigenous Hunkpapa Lakota, No Heart focused his lessons on the beauties of nature.
He believes students should be taught the importance of conservation and respect for the life-giving forces of nature.
The bulk of his work portrays animals and sacred places such as Mahto Paha – Bear Butte – near Sturgis, South Dakota and Mahto Thipila – Devil’s Tower – in Wyoming.
He also shared stories from the Lakota culture with students.
“As an elder,” said No Heart, “it’s my responsibility to pass on the wisdom that has been shared with me to the next generations. I try to give the children something they can take with them and keep in their lives. I especially tell them to continue their education and work to find balance in their lives.”
Mostly, No Heart focuses his energy on showing students they are capable of drawing anything they wish. He teaches students to make a grid, dividing their subject into four parts.
As they draw, it becomes a simple matter of filling in each grid section.
“It’s a lot easier this way,” said Dawson, a sixth-grade student who worked with No Heart at St. Joseph’s. “I’m going to try this every time I want to draw something. It’s more fun when it’s easier.”
No Heart grew up in South Dakota.
After graduating from high school, he attended college at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, California and the University of California at Los Angeles. He has done numerous professional mural paintings in South Dakota, Minnesota and North Dakota, as well as one in Oregon.
This program is sponsored by St. Joseph’s Indian School, with support provided by the South Dakota Arts Council with funds from the State of South Dakota, through the Department of Tourism and State Development and the National Endowment for the arts.