21 Under 31: Young Artists to Watch in 2017: Ben Pease

Ben Pease

Ben Pease, Gifts of the Trade, mixed media, 48 x 60.

Ben Pease, Gifts of the Trade, mixed media, 48 x 60.

Art Education: From my family, with Walter Piehl at Minot State University, and with Rollin Beamish at Montana State University.

Style: Traditional contemporary. Installation and mixed-media painting using collage, photography, and digital media.

Creative Spark: I’m driven by knowing that my work is a continuance and a protection of the role of “storyteller” in my culture. A friend of mine says, “Don’t just walk in beauty; protect it.”

Second-Choice Career: Educator.

Other Passions: Family, culture, experience, land, and fry bread.

One Thing People Don’t Know About You: My first painting sold in junior high school for $400, which was close to a million dollars by my standards.

Best Advice Received: “The more you learn, the less you know.”

Biggest Fear: Our inadequacy to prepare our future generations.

Pet Peeve: Small, repetitive noises.

Quirkiest Trait: Indian humor.

Mantra or Motto: From Chief Plenty Coups: “Education is your most powerful weapon.”

Favorite Studio Music: A Tribe Called Red and the album Isskootsik (Before Here was Here).

Favorite Work by Another Artist: WALKING TO THE NEXT BAR by Fritz Scholder.

Future Goals: To aid in erasing the stigmas associated with the indigenous peoples of North America while also working toward redefining artists, who just happen to be Native American, away from the expected.

Representation: Dick Idol Signature Gallery, Whitefish, MT; Coeur d’Alene Galleries, Coeur d’Alene, ID; Stapleton Gallery, Billings, MT; Modern West Fine Art, Salt Lake City, UT; Creighton Block Gallery, Big Sky, MT; Architect’s Wife, Bozeman, MT.

This story was featured in the September 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  September 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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