Keith BraveHeart

Pronouns: he/him
Tribal Affiliation: Oglala Lakota

“There is No Lakota Word for Art. I am only doing what I was born to do.”

BraveHeart was one of 28 Lakota artists from around the country to be selected as part of an exhibit at the Journey Museum & Learning Center in Rapid City in March. Hosted by the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies (CAIRNS), the exhibition will show works about the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre.

BraveHeart grew up in the small town of Kyle, South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation of the Oglala Lakota. He developed a passion for art in high school. From there, he went to the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he received his bachelor’s degree. He finished his master’s of fine arts in painting at University of South Dakota (USD).

BraveHeart calls himself a contemporary or modern native artist. His art takes a strong influence from his Native American cultural background. It is important for him to see what happens during that process, leaving it open for things to shift or change around, allowing time for chance to happen.

BraveHeart has spent his time working with young Native American artists through the Oscar Howe Summer Art Institute, and annual art program at USD. Native American students in grades 11 through 12 are given the chance to demonstrate their skills and work with professionals from the area, going on field trips to local museums and cultural facilities.