About

Marlena Myles
A Native American artist (Spirit Lake Dakota, Mohegan, Muscokee Creek) and designer who takes great care to create visually stunning designs, Marlena has the talent and ability to quickly understand clients’ requirements and has the experience to provide clients with the best solutions to their needs.  She’s a hardworking artist who is willing to go above and beyond to exceed expectations.

When she’s not working on art, she is a student of philosophy, avid Timberwolves (NBA) and Tennis fan.  She believes in a healthy body leads to a healthy mind. She believes that with effort, intelligence, and consideration, nothing is impossible. Creating Art for All

“Books for parents to read to their children, to teach them about their native heritage and reclaim the language as their own, Marlena makes art that belongs to all.”

Kikta wo/Kikta ye
Written by Ryan Dixon and Vanessa Goodthunder.
A Dakota language children’s book.
Published July 2018 by the Lower Sioux Community.

Thanku: Poems About Gratitude
An illustrated picture book anthology of poems for children centered around many ways to be grateful, and many things to give thanks for. Includes more than 30 contributors.
Published September 2019 by Millbrook Press (Lerner Publishing Group).

  • 2019 Northern Plains Indian Art Market, Division X: Digital and Computer Generated – 1st place
  • 2019 Northern Plains Indian Art Market, Division VIII: Mixed Media-Fine Arts – 3rd place
  • 2019 Red Cloud Art Show | 1st place, Division: Photography/ Digital Art
  • 2019 Tiwahe Foundation Family Empowerment Grant
  • 2018 Native POP: People of the Plains | Special Award, 2-Dimension Division
  • 2018 Red Cloud Art Show | 1st place, Division IV – Photography/ Digital Art
  • 2018 Red Cloud Art Show | Br. CM Simon, SJ Award, Publicity Award
  • 2017 First Peoples Fund Fellowship
  • 2017 Native POP: People of the Plains | Best of Award, 2-Dimension Division
  • 2016 Native POP: People of the Plains | Innovation Award
  • 2016 Crazy Horse Memorial Continuing Education Grant

Publications

Yellow Medicine Review: A Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art & Thought
SPRING 2017, Cover Art
“Otter Spirit” is featured as the cover art for the 10th anniversary of this prestigious journal.

We Are a Horse Nation Documentary
JULY 2014, TIWAHE GLU KINI PI
A digital piece featured in the documentary film, piece is a tribute to the 38 Dakota warriors who were hanged in Mankato, MN in 1862 on orders signed by President Lincoln.

Indigenous Message on Water
FEBRUARY 2014, INDIGENOUS WORLD FORUM ON WATER AND PEACE
A poem about my Dakota homeland published in the multi-lingual book focusing on the sacredness of water to the Indigenous people of the Americas.

Interviews / News Articles

Community Art Experience:

Creating lessons, art activities and exhibitions with large institutions to engage with diverse communities and social backgrounds in all age groups with a focus on teaching Minnesota Indigenous history, Dakota oral traditions and arts. Reclaim Indigenous history and connecting it within the larger arena of voices.

  • Narrative Murals (Public Service Building) / Selected Muralist
    JANUARY 2019 – PRESENT, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
  • If This Bluff Could Talk (Community Placemaking Exhibition) / Selected Artist
    NOVEMBER 2018 – PRESENT, RED WING, MN
  • Northern Spark Festival / Instructor, Lead Artist
    JUNE 2018/JUNE 2019, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
  • Migizi Communications / Visiting Artist Instructor, Designer
    NOVEMBER 2017 – JULY 2019, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
  • Hennepin County Library / Franklin Library artist-in-residence
    JULY – AUGUST 2018, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
  • Minneapolis Institute of Art / Art in the Park Instructor
    JULY 2017 – PRESENT, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
  • Minneapolis Institute of Art / Native American Fellowship
    JULY 2017 – JUNE 2018, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
  • Oscar Howe Summer Art Institute / Visiting Artist Instructor
    JUNE 2017, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH DAKOTA, VERMILLION, SD

Leadership and Committee Experience:

Helped establish a strong local working network, engaging and building productive relationships with regional leaders of organizations while promoting the arts and cultures. Plan and execute events to create a sense of community and healing.

  • Freeborn County Arts Initiative / Board member (Vice President)
    SEPTEMBER 2018 – PRESENT, ALBERT LEA, MN
  • Open Streets: Franklin Ave / Planning committee member & artist
    AUGUST 2018, ST PAUL, MN
  • Dakhóta Omniciye / Planning committee member & graphic designer
    MAY 2017 / MAY 2018 / MAY 2019, FORT SNELLING, ST PAUL, MN
  • All My Relations Arts / Gallery Attendant & designer
    FEBRUARY 2016 – FEBRUARY 2017, MINNEAPOLIS, MN

Extended information

Franklin Library / Artist in Residence
JULY – AUGUST 2018, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Worked with youth to create horse bike puppets in conjunction with the Horse Nation exhibition.

Minneapolis Institute of Art / Artist Instructor | Water Is Life
JULY 2018, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Taught a week-long watercolor class to 6-7 year olds. Drawing inspiration from artworks found at Minneapolis Institute of Art, we explored different techniques using conventional and non-conventional tools as well as reflect on the many ways water is life. Also studied and painted using natural pigments including green tea, coffee, spices and red cabbage. Using these organic materials, we analyzed the health of water to not only create new pigments to paint with, but to also learn about pH levels and healthy water.

Migizi Communications / Graphic Design Instructor
NOVEMBER 2017 – FEBRUARY 2018, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Help create an anti-smoking campaign working with high school students, teaching them about graphic design in Photoshop.

Minneapolis Institute of Art / Native American Fellowship
JULY 2017 – JUNE 2018, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Develop Native art lesson plans and resources for K-12 students and adult learners. Research in depth background information on artists and pieces in the collections.

Minneapolis Institute of Art / Art in the Park Instructor
JUNE 2017 – PRESENT, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Developed an art activity that is mobile; taught on various locations throughout the Minneapolis park system.  Working with low-income children to connect them with Native American art (Dakota artwork in particular).

Oscar Howe Summer Art Institute / Digital Art Instructor
JUNE 2017,  UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH DAKOTA
Introducing different techniques in art technology to Native high school students.

Nawayee Center School / Visiting Artist
APRIL 2017 – MAY 2017,  MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Working with the middle/high school students to lead a community art project at the Mde Maka Ska festival.

All My Relations Arts / Gallery Attendant and Designer
FEBRUARY 2016 – FEBRUARY 2017,  MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Maintaining gallery, assisting the curator in setting up exhibitions and gallery events, updating social media and designing promotional material.

Mni Hdathanin: Rain-activated Indigenous Art / Director
AUGUST 2016 – PRESENT,  TWIN CITIES, MN
Creating sidewalk art using stencils and original Indigenous art to bring awareness to Indigenous relationships with water/nature.

Exhibitions

Haŋyétu Wówapi Thípi (The Night Library)

June 2019 | Franklin Library
Minneapolis, MN | June 14th – 15th, 2019

51st Annual Red Cloud Art Show

June 2019The Heritage Center
Pine Ridge, SD | June 2nd- August 11th, 2019.

Art Lives Here

June 2019 | Saint Paul Downtown Alliance
Saint Paul, MN | June – August 2019.

Rosedale Art Hunt – Animation

April 2019 | Rosedale Center
Roseville, MN | April 12th – 20th, 2019

The Horse Nation of the Ochethi Sakowin

June 2018Minneapolis Institute of Art
Minneapolis Institute of Art, All My Relations Gallery, Two Rivers Gallery.
Minneapolis, MN | June 9th, 2018 – February 3rd, 2019

Aŋpétu Wí (Arts of the Americas gallery)

July 2017 | Minneapolis Institute of Art
Minneapolis, MN | June 9th – December 2018.

50th Annual Red Cloud Art Show

June 2018The Heritage Center
Pine Ridge, SD | June 3rd – August 12, 2018.

Buffalo Nation: Creating Community

June 2018Northern Spark Festival
Minneapolis, MN | June 15-16, 2018.

Indigenous Now

April 2018 | John H. Salter Gallery.
University of Wisconsin – Barron County | April 2 – May 4, 2018.

Artists in the Kitchen exhibition

March 2018 | Textile Center – A National Center for Fiber Art
Minneapolis, MN | March 21 – May 19, 2018.

The Horse Nation of the Ochethi Sakowin

January 2018Plains Arts Museum
Fargo, ND | January 25th, 2018 – May 14th, 2018.

Aazhoomon

December 2017 | Miikanan Gallery / Watermark Art Center
Bemidji, MN | December 2017 – January 27th, 2018.

The Horse Nation of the Ochethi Sakowin

September 2017 | Museum of Nebraska Art
Kearney, NE | September 5th, 2017 – January 8th, 2018.

Indigenous

September 2017 | Freeborn County Arts Initiative
Albert Lea, MN | September 14th – October 29th, 2017.

We the People

August 2017 | Minnesota Museum of American Art
St. Paul, MN | August 17th – October 29th, 2017.

Water is Life

June 2017Minnesota Center for Book Arts
Minneapolis, MN | June 9th – August 31st, 2017.

For Directions

May 2017Two Rivers Gallery
Minneapolis, MN | May 19th – July 31st, 2017.

Design Impact Series: Print Show

May 2017AIGA Minnesota / St. Paul Neighborhood Network
St. Paul, MN | May 20th, 2017.

The Horse Nation of the Ochethi Sakowin

April 2017South Dakota Art Museum
Brookings, SD | April – August 2017.

The Horse Nation of the Ochethi Sakowin

December 2016 | The Dahl Art Center
Rapid City, SD | 12.16.16 – 03.24.17

Animal Nations, Four Directions

December 2016 | 924 Hennepin Avenue (A.R.T Gallery)
Minneapolis, MN | 12.08.16 – 03.30.17

Skins Exhibition

October 2016 | Intermedia Arts Minneapolis, MN

Horse Nation Exhibition

September 2016 | Red Cloud Heritage Center

Where Purple Reigns: Minnesota Artists on Prince

June 2016 | UROC Gallery
Minneapolis, MN | June – July, 2016

Solo Exhibition

February 2016 | Sioux Indian Museum, Journey Museum
Rapid City, SD | February 5 – April 22, 2016

On Fertile Ground

September 2015 | All My Relations gallery
Minneapolis, MN | September 11-November 20, 2015

Giona Sezoha G’dakinna: We Paint Our Land

July 2014 | Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum
Warner, NH

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