Miskakeebaneesh (with gallery owner Bruce Brunette)
Ojibway artist Miskakeebaneesh 's paintings of traditional Indian ceremonies represent a kind of personal thanksgiving. Their clear, integral designs and richly textured layers of vibrant earth tones express a sense of calmness and simplicity, hidden strength and deep spiritual connection with the natural world. His artwork reflects the healing power of these ceremonies and extend his gratitude for their impact on his life.
Born on June 21, 1943 near Faribault, Minnesota, he began painting at age 19. In the late 70’s, he studied at the Art Students League in New York. While attending school, he worked at the Museum of the American Indian, where he made pen and ink drawings of the museum artifacts. After completing his studies in New York, he moved to the Lac La Croix reserve in Ontario, Canada, where he taught art in an elementary school. From Canada, Miskakeebaneesh moved to Reno, Nevada, where he taught art and eventually established his own art studio.
During his stay at Lac La Croix, he learned the history of his clan, discovered his Ojibway name, Mishakeebaneesh, and was introduced to traditional ceremonies. In 1977, for the first time, participated in the annual Sundance Ceremony at Greengrass, South Dakota. Through five years of sundancing, his spiritual development became firmly rooted in the traditional ceremonies, bringing a new understanding into his life.
The deepening influence of this involvement in traditional ceremonies also brought about a change in his work as an artist. Shifting away from his prior concentration on landscapes, still lifes, portraits, and seascapes, Joe began experimenting with the palette knife to paint traditional images drawn from his experiences with the ceremonies, using the six sacred colors--red, yellow, black, white, green and blue. Out of respect to the sacred nature of ceremonial objects such as pipes and medicine bundles, Miskakeebaneesh chooses not to use such images in his work.
Today, his work is sold throughout the United States and Canada. He lives in northern Minnesota and occasionally will agree to do a commissioned work. Contact Bruce at Native American Fine Art for details.