~~~ The Art of Donald F. Montileaux ~~~

Montileaux's Warriors rarely move left to right, the majority move right to left. This movement is the same direction that the early warriors used to gather other warriors to defend their homeland against their enemies.  Four times around the camp and then to victory.  This movement resembles the strength and power of the whirlwind on the plains; gathering strength and power and removing all in its way.

War horses, buffalo, and warriors are the primary subjects of Montileaux's art, all telling a story through the use of movement, color, positioning of the subject with colored pencils and India ink, he makes all the subjects come to life. 

A Master ledger artist who gives back his richness of history and art to students through workshops and training be his students artists or students of art all are given a gift, the gift to express themselves in an artistic way.

Donald Montileaux is a man who has always aspired to devote his life to creating artwork that tells the world what kind of a person lingers behind many faces.  Born in Pine Ridge, SD, Don is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.  He attended the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, NM and Black Hills State College in Spearfish, SD, then worked for 22 years at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City, SD before becoming a full time artist.  Once he made that decision, his artwork began to take on a new vitality. This new meaning reflects the true, honest feelings of the strong spirituality of the Lakota people. Montileaux has received numerous awards and commissions as well as participated in many major art shows and featured in galleries in NM, MN, AZ, MT, IL, CO and SD.  His work is represented in numerous private and public collections. In September 2014, Montileaux was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame as a Champion for Excellence, Arts & Entertainment/Artist.

Montileaux has built a reputation steadily working and creating a style that is very unique.  His signature horses are not unlike those created by Herman Red Elk, his mentor and friend.  Montileaux attended workshops taught by world-renowned artist Oscar Howe and it was there he met Herman Red Elk, a hide painter from Ft. Peck Reservation in MT.  To this day he says, "I have to acknowledge these two gentlemen and give them credit for where I am today, because they are the ones who gave me a sense of belonging, of who I was as a Lakota person".  They also gave me my Lakota name, Yellowbird.

Montileaux has established a strong reputation and rapport in the Indian community, acceptance by his Lakota elders and peers is a great honor for him.

"Looking Beyond One's Self"

In 1994, Montileaux was pleased and honored with an invitation by the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology's SKILL Program to create a work of art that eventually became a part of the payload aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

This orbiter is named after the British HMS Endeavour, the ship which took Captain James Cook on his first voyage of discovery 1768-1771. Endeavour is the fifth and final spaceworthy NASA space shuttle to be built, constructed as a replacement for Challenger.

Astronaut science operations and observations aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour were an integral part of two 1994 Space Radar Laboratory (SRL) missions. The crews performed three major functions in support of the radar and atmospheric pollution experiments: (a) maneuvering and pointing Endeavour to cover the hundreds of planned science targets; (b) managing the flood of science data produced by the radars, generated too rapidly for immediate downlink to Earth; and (c) documenting through visible and infrared photography the environmental state of each science site, capturing "ground truth" for comparison with the other mission data sets. Earth photography was planned specifically to enhance science return from SRL's instruments: an advanced imaging radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) and a tropospheric carbon monoxide sensor (MAPS).

The crew captured over 20,000 images of Earth, complementing the unprecedented perspectives on geology, hydrology, oceanography, ecology, and the global carbon cycle gained from SRL radar imagery and pollution measurements. This imagery constitutes a unique data set on the global environmental state during two seasonal extremes, April and October 1994, validating the title of Don's artwork "Looking Beyond One's Self". In 2007 this original work was gifted to the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC by the South Dakota School of Mines.

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Donald F. Montileaux, 1317 West Boulevard, Rapid City SD 57701 Phone: 605.718.2600