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

Hello, I’m Marlena Myles and I’m a Native American graphic designer and fine artist in St. Paul, MN.  I specialize in vector illustrations and portrait art; I also design flyers, logos and websites for organizations and companies of all shapes and sizes.  Feel free to contact me if you’d like to work together on your next project!


  • 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


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
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
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.


My exhibition experience began in the online community Cosmosys, where I worked with international artists and designers to refine my digital art skills.  Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum was home to my first exhibition in 2014.  My first solo exhibition was in Rapid City, SD at the Sioux Indian Museum, Journey Museum in 2016.

In 2016, I worked on the Horse Nation of the Oceti Sakowin exhibition as a core artist. This exhibition represented an authentic voice and positive perspective regarding the Dakota/Lakota people; during the creation process, I traveled to different tribal communities in Minnesota and South Dakota listening to the voices of the people as inspiration for my art. The exhibition debut at the Heritage Center on the Pine Ridge reservation before traveling to various galleries in South Dakota; Summer 2018 it will open at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and All My Relations Gallery.

Also in 2016, I created an 18’ x 24’ mural at Intermedia Arts Center for Rosy Simas’ Skin(s) Exhibition, which revealed the power and diversity of urban Native artists. The mural illustrated the traditional Dakota/Lakota creation story, Uncekhiha Wins the Great Race. As a separate project, I created Mni Hdathanin (Water Makes Its Own Appearance), rain-activated indigenous sidewalk art that is only revealed when it rains. This project debut at last year’s Open Streets Minneapolis.

2017 begins with various shows exhibiting illustrations from my upcoming children’s book.

“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.”

Children Books

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.
Coming 2019, published by Millbrook Press (Lerner Publishing Group).

Powwow Day
Written by Traci Sorell.
A traditional powwow as seen through the eyes of a girl whose illness keeps her from participating.
Coming Spring 2020, published by Charlesbridge.


  • Adobe Illustrator 100% 100%
  • Adobe Photoshop 88% 88%
  • WordPress 95% 95%
  • Web Hosting 80% 80%
  • Design Strategy 75% 75%
  • Painting / Drawing 95% 95%
  • 3D Printing 60% 60%
  • Social Media & Digital Marketing 80% 80%
  • Content Management 75% 75%

Interviews / News Articles

Freelance Artist & Designer
Responsibilities include working with clients to access their needs, create logo, website branding.  Clients include Indian Health Board, Minneapolis and Bloomington Park & Recreations Boards, New Native Theatre, Two Rivers Gallery.

Franklin Library / Artist in Residence
Worked with youth to create horse bike puppets in conjunction with the Horse Nation exhibition.

Minneapolis Institute of Art / Artist Instructor | Water Is Life
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
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
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
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
Introducing different techniques in art technology to Native high school students.

Nawayee Center School / Visiting Artist
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
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
Creating sidewalk art using stencils and original Indigenous art to bring awareness to Indigenous relationships with water/nature.


Native POP: People of the Plains

July 2018Native POP: People of the Plains
Rapid City, SD | July 21, 2018.

Native POP: People of the Plains

July 2017 | Main Street Square
Rapid City, SD | July 14-15, 2017

Grantmakers in the Arts reception

October 2016 | Harriet Island Pavilion
Saint Paul, MN | October, 2016

River Balcony Art Market

September 2016 | Mississippi River
Saint Paul, MN

Native POP: People of the Plains

July 2016 | Main Street Square
Rapid City, SD | July 15-16, 2016

3rd Annual Gathering of People, Wind and Water

July 2015 | Main Street Square
Rapid City, SD | July 17-18, 2015


Aŋpétu Wí (Arts of the Americas gallery)

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

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

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.


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.


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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