Julie Buffalohead

Julie Buffalohead

Fellow: Awarded 2019
Field of Study: Fine Arts

Competition: US & Canada

My work has focused thematically upon describing Indian cultural experience through personal metaphor and narrative, drawing from the substance of traditional stories while contextualizing motifs of cultural identity. In pictorial terms, the works tend to evoke animals or anthropomorphism within a painterly field, who are caught within the human condition, often tragic and comedic. Using an eclectic pallet, my painting juxtaposes evolving representations of animal spirit, deer, and coyote forms, and speaks to issues of commercialization of Native culture.

I am a member of the Ponca tribe, and I was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I am formerly a figurative oil painter. Since 2008 when I became pregnant with my daughter and could not work with materials containing solvents, I began working with handmade paper, gauche and water based media, lithography, screen printing, and various forms of collage. In recent years I have ventured back to larger scale oil painting.

Native American cultural knowledge is transmitted through story telling, which I reference in the work. Instead of being illustrative, my intent is to recontextualize characters from traditional stories, to exist in a world of my own present day experience. In my work, animals and humans – interact together weaving a personal narrative within an American and Indian cultural framework.

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