College of Fine Arts University Art Galleries

Contemporary Native Arts Program

Oscar Howe Curatorial Fellowship

The Oscar Howe Curatorial Fellowship is a semester-long project for American Indian students currently enrolled at USD who are interested in learning how to curate Native American art exhibitions. Each spring, two fellows will be selected to produce a professional, museum quality exhibition utilizing the Oscar Howe permanent art collection. The fellowships include opportunities to travel, research, and learn more about exhibition curation under the direct guidance of the University Art Galleries' staff, Native arts curators throughout the United States, and the Oscar Howe Curatorial Fellowship selection committee. Fellows receive stipends of $3,000 each, and will be expected to work 10–15 hours a week during the spring semester on the creation of an exhibition. The exhibitions will be displayed in the Oscar Howe Gallery, located in historic Old Main, during the following fall semester.

Eligible applicants will be enrolled at USD during the fellowship semester and must be a registered member of a tribe in the United States. Students from any major or minor concentration are encouraged to apply. The application deadline is January 23, 2015 by 5 p.m. Two students will be selected to participate in the fellowships.

For more information, please contact: 

Michelle St. Vrain (
Director - University Art Galleries


Northern Plains Indian Art Residency

This year's inaugural Northern Plains Indian Art Resident is Megan Yellow Boy.  The residency will take place June 1 - 30, 2015.  Please view the NPIAR brochure for more information.

The Contemporary Native Arts Program (CNAP) at the University of South Dakota (USD) seeks applicants for the first Northern Plains Indian Artist Residency (NPIAR). Artists who are registered members of a tribe in the Northern Plains region are eligible to apply for the residency. The artist-in-residence will spend the entire month of June living and working at USD, located on the banks of the Missouri River in Vermillion, South Dakota. The artist will be expected to work on a new or ongoing visual arts project. 

This prestigious artist residency includes a generous stipend package, including a general living stipend of $3,000, a materials stipend of $3,000 and a technology stipend of $3,000. All food and lodging is covered by the CNAP program for the artist's four week stay. The artist will use the USD art department facilities to work towards the completion of their visual art project. The goals of the CNAP program at USD is to support Native artists from the upper Midwest, including those interested in combining traditional native arts practices with new media approaches, technology-based methods, or artists wishing to broaden the distribution of their art using technology and/or social media. The purpose of the Northern Plains Indian Artist residency is to encourage Native artists to access and use technologies for the preservation, dissemination, and enhancement of their artistic work. The CNAP program also encourages emerging and mid-career American Indian artists from the upper Midwest to recognize their audiences  and develop a career path that is successful according to their own assessment of artist purpose and wellbeing. The residency will offer guidance on how to develop career plans and trajectories in either commercial or nonprofit sectors.

To download the application form and learn more about the residency, please view the application form.  Applications must be postmarked by April 3, 2015. Completed applications should be sent to:

Michelle St. Vrain, NPIA Residency Committee
University Art Galleries
414 East Clark St.
Vermillion, SD 57069.
For other questions, please contact Michelle St. Vrain (

NPIA Residency operates under two assumptions:

  • Many Native artists learn to work in media such as painting, drawing, ceramics, and photography at art programs throughout the United States, but few receive training and exposure to traditional Native art practices at many schools.
  • Emerging and midcareer Native artists desire more guidance to develop a career plan in tourist art markets and/or nonprofit art sectors

The Northern Plains Indian Artist-in-Residence will be selected by a review and selection committee that will change every year. So far, this year's NPIAR selection and review committee members are:

  • Dyani White Hawk
    Dyani White Hawk currently resides in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is Sicangu Lakota, an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. Dyani earned her MFA in studio arts in 2011 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her BFA in 2-dimensional arts in 2008 from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is currently the Gallery Director and Curator for the All My Relations Gallery in Minneapolis, Minnesota. White Hawk has been widely exhibited throughout the Midwest and New Mexico and was on view in 2013 at the University of Venice, Italy.  She is a recipient of the 2013/14 McKnight Visual Artist Fellowship and the 2012 Southwestern Association of Indian Arts Discovery Fellowship.  White Hawk is an award-winning artist earning Best of Division and first place prizes at the 2012 Santa Fe Indian Art Market and Best of Classification (Painting, Drawing, Graphics and Photography) at the Santa Fe Indian Art Market in 2011. She is a featured artist in the 2012 book "Contemporary Native American Artists" published by Gibbs Smith, and the 2010 book "Art in Our Lives: Native Women Artists in Dialogue" published by the School for Advanced Research Press. White Hawk's art is accessioned with the Tweed Museum, Akta Lakota Museum, the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Wisconsin Union Art Collection and the Robert Penn Collection of Contemporary Northern Plains Indian Art of the University of South Dakota. She is represented by Shiprock Santa Fe and the Bockley Gallery in Minneapolis. 
  • Miranne Walker
    Miranne has enjoyed a rewarding affiliation with First Peoples Fund since 2004. As the Fund's Program Officer, Miranne is responsible for all facets of grants management and administration to include the provision of technical assistance and support to various grantees. She is responsible for the coordination of associated program training and training curriculum, which are key aspects in meeting programmatic goals. Miranne participates in resource development, research of non-profit opportunities as well as program strategies, and the improvement of evaluation techniques. She continues to provide technology leadership that has been an invaluable resource for the organization. Miranne has family roots on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Her goal is to provide eligible Native artists and community spirit treasurers the means to share and deepen the native art experience in sustainable profound ways and to frame success in a manner that reflects cultural expression at its best.
  • Michelle St. Vrain
    Michelle was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. She received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of South Dakota in 2013 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Murray State University in 2010. Michelle's artwork has been exhibited nationally and featured in prominent portfolios. She actively participates in visiting artist programs, workshops and panel discussions. Currently, she serves as Interim Director of University Art Galleries at the University of South Dakota.
  • Barry Lebeau
    Barry is an important contributor to a number of visual, musical, and theatrical projects in the state of South Dakota and in the upper Midwest. A South Dakota actor, Barry has worked in theatre since the 1980's and provides voice talent to documentaries and commercials, including for the award winning short film "Ghost Dance" and the films"America's Great Indian Leaders" and "America's Great Indian Nations." He is a consultant and narrator for the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra's Lakota Music Project. Barry also helps coordinate the annual Northern Plains Indian Art Market in Sioux Falls, now in its 27th year. Barry is a consultant for United Sioux Tribes and works in Pierre. 
  • Donald F. Montileaux
    Montileaux (Yellowbird) is a modern-day storyteller, rekindling the images of the Lakota lifestyle by painting the people as they were. Donald regards himself as having a mission: "To portray the Lakota, the Native Americans, in an honest way. To illustrate them as people who hunted buffalo, made love, raised children, cooked meals, and lived". A world-renowned artist and illustrator, Donald is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe. He has received nearly 20 awards and commissions and attended over 25 major art shows throughout his artistic career. His art is illustrated on the covers of six books and is included in numerous public and private collections. Montileaux has been a featured artist in art galleries in New Mexico, Minnesota, Arizona, Colorado and South Dakota. 
  • Joseph D. Horse Capture
    Capture is a curator for the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian. He is a co-author of Warrior Artists (1998). Capture is a prominent curator and advocate for Native made objects and art from the northern plains tribes. Horse Capture belongs to the A'aninin Indian Tribe of Montana.



War Dancer, 1959
Skin Painter, 1968