RAPID CITY, SD (April 20, 2017) – The exhibit Wade Patton: Seasons is open at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology’s Apex Gallery through April 28, 2017. A closing reception is planned from 5–7 p.m. on Friday, April 21, with a gallery talk at 6 p.m.
The spare beauty of the prairie resonates in the work of Wade Patton. An Oglala Lakota tribal member, Patton grew up in the Black Hills surrounded by a rich culture of music and art. He obtained a BA in art from Black Hills State University and held showing at the Sioux Indian Museum in Rapid City, before moving to Boston.
Patton says it took leaving South Dakota for him to find the voice in his most recent body of work. He pursued arts and other arts opportunities in Boston, but longed for home. “Living on the east coast, I began expressing what I missed, the beauty and splendor of the Black Hills and the skies of South Dakota. I started to draw landscapes and clouds, as a reminder of home,” Patton said.
Patton’s work was quickly recognized by collectors and galleries and he started sending work back home for exhibits. It’s this recognition that helped fuel his desire to return home. “I missed my family and I needed to pursue my art in the place where I find the most inspiration,” said Patton. “That decision brought me straight into the thriving Native art scene in Rapid City that clearly wasn’t here when I left”
“Patton draws the viewer into his interpretation of the natural elements and seasonal changes of the land. His mastery of graphite evokes the subtlest of phenomenon and his sparing use of color inspired by beadwork, orchestrates the prairie grasses, stormy skies and the power of buffalo,” said Deborah Mitchell Apex Gallery director.
“He’s establishing a style of his own. There’s nothing like it right now in the Indian art world,” said Artist Don Montileaux on Wade Patton’s most recent work.