More about my artwork
Marlena Myles’ work has been shown at All My Relations Gallery, Red Cloud Heritage Center, the Sioux Indian Museum elsewhere in the region.

Uŋčekhiha Wins the Great Race | Skin(s) Exhibition

Location: Intermedia Arts Center, Minneapolis, MN | Date: October 2016
Part of the Rosy Simas’ Skin(s) exhibition where I painted a 24″ mural (in less than 10 hours, by myself!).  The mural illustrated the traditional Dakota/Lakota creation story, Uŋčekhiha Wins the Great Race.

When the Great Spirit created the earth and all living things upon it, the people and animals lived in peace. Neither people or animals ate flesh.  One day though, the Buffalo people decided they would be at the top of the animal hierarchy, and begin to eat the other animals.  Humans disagreed with them and asked for a race to determine the order of society.  So, for the race, every animal painted themselves in their special color (which is why every animal today looks the way it does).

Humans said having four legs was unfair, so the winged animals stepped for humans in the race.  The buffalo chose Running Slim Buffalo Woman as their contestant. She was a young cow who was the fastest of all animals and had never been beaten in a footrace The human beings chose four birds to race for them: a hummingbird, a meadowlark, a hawk and a magpie.

During the race, each bird slowly fell behind and humans for sure thought they had lost.  But at the very last second, magpie raced ahead.  Today Dakota/Lakota people still recognize the magpie as the champion!

Horse Nation of the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ Exhibition

Location: Various locations (SD, MN) | Opening Date: September 2016
I created three pieces for this exhibition, inspired by my people's connection to the horse nation.

Inspired by the voices and perspectives of the Šúŋka Wakȟáŋ Oyáte (Horse Nation) gathered through community informed processes, we respectfully called on the Artists of the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ to represent their culture, relatives, homelands, and Oyáte by contributing original, compelling artworks purely inspired by aesthetic, not commerce, in relation to and inspired by the “Horse Nation” of the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ to be exhibited on behalf of the Ikčé Oyáte (Common Nation) of the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ.

The exhibit will expand on the (2014) film made by Keith Brave Heart titled We Are A Horse Nation, about the Horse Nation of the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ. It will present an authentic voice and positive perspective regarding the people of the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ and their cultural relations and philosophies of the “Horse Nation.” It will also transform current curatorial processes; from a top-down institution-led practice to a grassroots, community-influenced process.

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