“We know the tensions that are out there—there’s this built up urgency to get that expression outward. How do you do that? Not everybody has a medium to channel that through, so some people have different ways, and maybe they aren’t always totally positive outlets. Art is always going to be a positive outlet,” said BraveHeart. “Even if the expression shapes itself as aggressive or confrontational. Pure art is just being honest.”

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. He recently delivered the annual Oscar Howe Lecture at USD this fall.

“When you become an artist, there is no such thing as time. There’s no schedule. You’re creative all the time. If you’re truly a spirited artist—you have to be ready for any moment that might strike," BraveHeart said when discussing the creative process.

BraveHeart’s recent 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).”

Credit Hour is the University of South Dakota’s podcast highlighting the achievement, research and scholarship of its staff, students, alumni and faculty. Follow Credit Hour on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and www.usd.edu/podcast.

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