On April 18-20, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® welcomed the First Peoples Funds’ Rolling Rez Arts mobile unit to the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation. Visiting artist Wade Patton and First Peoples Fund Coordinator Bryan Parker spent three evenings with the nonprofit youth organization’s teen arts interns, providing valuable instruction in multiple mediums.
On the first evening, the interns cut up pages from a ledger book and constructed a collage. Then, they either painted or used pastels to create unique visuals incorporating the ledger paper.
“The teens blended old ledger paper with contemporary images and ideas,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “It was fascinating to see the beautiful and interesting ways they bridged the gap between the old and the new.”
“I liked using old ledger paper, which was made in 1928,” said intern Genevieve Iron Lightning. “I wanted to take some home!”
On the second and third evenings, the instructors gave the interns the choice: to work with pastels to create original artwork, or to finish their ledger projects. They encouraged the young people to use any type of medium they liked, from acrylic paints and pastels to markers and colored pencils. Many interns chose to complete both types of projects.
“The teens were very focused on completing their projects, and they asked a lot of questions,” Garreau noted. “The Rolling Rez Arts visit was a wonderful opportunity for them to learn, experiment with new mediums and techniques, and explore their creativity.”
Patton also told the interns about a U.S. Department of the Interior art contest with the theme “We Are Still Here,” which he highly recommended. As a result, young artists Dawnelle Garter and Daniel Semon, will be entering their oil pastel pieces.