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USD Welcomes Keith BraveHeart as 31st Annual Oscar Howe Memorial Lecturer

Keith BraveHeart standing in the University Art Galleries in front of his paintings. Keith BraveHeart is this year's Oscar Howe Memorial Lecturer. The lecture will be held Sept. 24 from 7-8 p.m.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota will host Keith BraveHeart, Oglala Lakota, as the 31st Annual Oscar Howe Memorial Lecture on Sept. 24 from 7-8 p.m. in Farber Hall located in Old Main on USD’s campus.

BraveHeart will discuss the importance of Oscar Howe’s legacy to his creative practice and the importance of Howe’s voice to the Northern Plains in his lecture titled “Continuum: My Place in the Oscar Howe Legacy.”

The lecture is free and open to the public, and safe, social distancing practices will be honored. The Oscar Howe Gallery will be open from 6-8:30 p.m.

BraveHeart is a multidisciplinary artist, filmmaker, changemaker and educator. He grew up on the Pine Ridge reservation, in the community of Medicine Root in Kyle, South Dakota, and is a citizen of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Titonwan; Oceti Sakowin. BraveHeart attended the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexcio, and received his MFA from USD. He is a former student and director of the Oscar Howe Summer Arts Institute held annually at USD.

BraveHeart’s work includes, “We are a Horse Nation, Buffalo Nation: Creating Community” and his current project, "Creation.Story," that shares these narrative beginnings and introduces the Wakan Tanka through visual art forms. Eight Oceti Sakowin artists have been invited to create their representations of each Wakan Tanka relative to accompany a body of work by BraveHeart, "Wakan Tanka" (2018).”

The annual Oscar Howe Memorial Lecture was established in 1989 by USD to help perpetuate Howe's message that Native American art is a vital cultural force in today's world and to promote cutting-edge Indian art on the Northern Plains. Past Howe Memorial Lectures have featured leading scholars and artists, including Frederick Dockstader, John A. Day, Bill Anthes, Christina Burke and Tahnee M. Ahtone.

Oscar Howe, Yanktonai Dakota, served as USD artist-in-residence and art faculty member for 25 years, bringing international recognition to both the university and the state of South Dakota. Over his 40-year career, Howe earned many honors and awards, including numerous grand and first prizes in national competitions. He was designated artist laureate of South Dakota, awarded the prestigious Waite Phillips Trophy for Outstanding Contributions to American Indian Art and was recipient of the first South Dakota's Governor's Award for Creative Achievement in the Arts.


USD's College of Fine Arts encourages students to pursue their chosen professional field in art, music or theater through their study with nationally recognized faculty who are working professionals. Students learn and grow to be professional fine artists with great job potential anywhere in the country. The college offers opportunities for additional real-world experiences through work with guest artists, study tours abroad and opportunities at the National Music Museum and the University Art Galleries on the Vermillion campus and the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park. The college brings more than 80 guests artists to campus annually to work with students.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News