The second annual Northern Plains Summer Art Institute (NPSAI) is a two-week intensive art program for Native American high school and college-aged students seeking an art education that mixes fundamentals in art and a connection to their cultural identity. Students spent two weeks with their peers learning from active Native American professionals in multiple disciplines of the art world. Developed by the Creativity Among Native American Artists initiative, the program is free for all who attended, and included housing, meals, coursework and all art supplies.
The majority of classroom instruction took place at Circle of Nations School, in Wahpeton, ND with daily lessons including a fundamental drawing course, painting class, printmaking in Hannaher’s Inc. Print Studio, and Indigenous art history courses. The two-week experience incorporated a one-of-a-kind Indigenous designed mural on Circle of Nations’ outside basketball court, and included trips to Plains Art Museum.
This year’s program includes five students: Phoenix Schaan (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe), Nina Holding Eagle Bushaw (Three Affiliated Tribes), Parker Arntsen-Beaudin (Lac Courte Oreilles), Delilah Erickson (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate), and Darrell Twiss (Oglala Lakota). Each student spent nearly 13 hours a day learning and practicing art from Indigenous artists Inkpa Mani (Aztec, Tarahumara, Dakota), Laura Youngbird (Minnesota Chippewa, Grand Portage Band), Gerald Cournoyer (Oglala Lakota), as well as Kevin Bowman (Montgomery College, MD), printmaker Amanda Heidt (Fargo, ND), and Chelsea Steffes (Fargo, ND).
This program is generously supported by Windrose Fund of the Common Counsel Foundation.