Arthur Shortbull

Arthur Shortbull

Oglala Lakota


Being raised in a traditional family on White Clay Creek gives me some insight into the history, culture and spirituality of the Oglala Lakotas. My great-grandfather was Grant Short Bull, uncle to Amos Bad Heart Bull and younger brother of He Dog. Although I have no formal training in painting, I have been working in watercolor since 1991. I soon discovered that painting as a creative outlet served as a vehicle for me to express my desire to document the history of my people as well as a way of expressing my emotions.

After much study and experimentation, it became clear that the truths I learned from the old masters from Cezanne to Andrew Wyeth became more true. One of the masters, Robert Henri, has been a model for me. I read and reread his book, 'The Art Spirit' and as the years passed I became a testament to his truths. I learned that my style was there from the beginning, and as the years passed my style came to be recognized -- that I could not deny my style.

Painting I learned was an art of faith. The more I painted, the more true to myself I became, and that I am an artist and am truly myself. Hopefully, I have contributed to the legacy and traditions of the Oglala Lakotas, as my great uncle Amos Bad Heart Bull did through his ledger documentation and my paintings.

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2024 Artists-In-Residence

2023 Artists-In-Residence