Impressionism with tribal themes. These four words describe the artistic creations of JoAnne Bird. Beginning in 1968 her professional career has taken her to national and international acclaim as a multi-talented artist with a passion for her creative artistic endeavors.
Bird's painting depicts her Native American heritage, mainly portraying the rich traditional way of life, and blends them in a contemporary, modern way. Many are spiritual in nature and timeless, at times employing rich bold colors in a fluid motion presenting images of warriors and horses that seem to be approaching the viewer straight off the canvas, or wintry scenes that make the viewer feel the chill of the wind and snow, or the movement of the dancers. Her technique and mastery of handling a paint brush with such precision is a quality that is unique, a technique that she creates through a combination of controlled paint throwing and palette knife.
In addition to painting, Bird is an accomplished sculptor working in bronze. Her sculptures, many larger than life, can be found throughout the United States and Europe. Among them are commissions of the Indian leaders: "Shakopee" located in the Minnesota State Capital building, and "Sleepy Eye" located in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. In recent years Bird began to make prints of her original work on canvas or watercolor paper, utilizing an increasingly acceptable popular technique known as 'giclée prints', derived from the French verb "gicler" meaning "to squirt", which gives the quality of an unsurpassed appearance as compared to other forms of printmaking.
JoAnne Bird has won numerous awards and honors for her work and has been inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame. Her paintings are represented in many museums and private collections throughout the United States and many foreign countries.
Prices of work for sale can be obtained from The Journey Museum Store at 605-394-2201. After the exhibit closes, contact JoAnne Bird at PO Box 487, Brookings, SD 57006, or at www.joannebird.com
The Sioux Indian Museum, managed by the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, U.S. Department of the Interior, is located in the Journey Museum at 222 New York Street, Rapid City, South Dakota. For admission fees and hours of operation call 605-394-6923. For more information on the artist featured on this page, please contact Sioux Indian Museum SIM@journeymuseum.org.