Kevin Red Star celebrates a half century of art-making

Art Beat

“Snapping Turtle” by Kevin Red Star

Kevin Red Star shows recent works in July at Depot Gallery in Red Lodge, and shares the signature-artist spot with noted emerging artist, Susan Spero, and sculptor David McMasters on July 12 during the 41st annual Art in the Beartooths. Along with 30 other artists, Red Star will paint live, in quick-draw fashion, and talk informally with patrons during this day-long event, , sponsored by the Carbon County Arts Guild.

Red Star was born on the Crow Reservation in Lodge Grass. He was raised in a family that valued art and culture and where he developed an early love of drawing and music. This exposure and encouragement sustained him during his years in grade school when Crow students were denied association with their language and cultural heritage.

Later, he was one of 150 students chosen to attend the newly established Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was here he was encouraged to explore his history and culture through modern art. After graduation, Red Star attended the San Francisco Art Institute where he was exposed to the avant-garde and political and social concerns of post-modern art.

Since embarking on his professional artistic journey, Red Star is considered a visual historian and ambassador for his native Crow culture.

Red Star recently concluded a half-century celebration of his work as an artist with “Art of the Native American: Kevin Red Star and His Friends,” at the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art in Kentucky. The exhibit showcased the contributions of contemporary Native Americans to our country’s cultural history from the last decades of the 20th century to the present.

To continue his 50-year commemoration, Red Star is releasing his biography, written by Daniel Gibson with photographs by Kitty Leaken, in hardcover format. The coffee-table-style book premieres at Art in the Beartooths. For more information, visit