The Blackfeet Heritage Center & Art Gallery presents
David Dragonfly, Native American Artist
David Dragonfly was born in Kalispell, Montana and raised on the Blackfeet Reservation, attending Browning Public Schools and graduating from high school in 1974. Dragonfly then attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Sante Fe, New Mexico, where he studied with many prominent artists including Otellic Lolama and Larry Desjarlais. In Sante Fe, Dragonfly soon became exposed to the art of the Southwest and lived for the creation of art. Dragonfly learned jewelry making and stone carving in Sante Fe and later developed his own style of printmaking.
Dragonfly then went on to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, graduating from the University of Montana in 1988 with an emphasis in painting. While attending the University, Dragonfly took a woodcuts painting class from the late Don Bunse, founder of the collagraph technique of printmaking.
The term collagraph is derived from the word collage (glue) and sometimes requires several steps in order to complete a print. Several different materials are glued to the plate (illustration board) and some areas are peeled and taken away, depending on the design. Each print is hand pulled and inked one at a time, so, that each print looks different in color and texture.
A lot of Dragonfly's designs are from his Blackfeet and Assiniboine heritage. Several of his prints have a modern, yet primitive look and feel that is reflective of Dragonfly's life.
Dragonfly also makes traditional hand drums and war clubs carved from local pipestone. The hand drums are uniquely made by scraping the elk hide and using paints from the local area. The war clubs are hand carved out of black pipestone, indigenous to the Northern Plains.
Art shows that Dragonfly has attended include the Colorado Indian Art Market, Denver, Colorado; Great Falls Native American Art Show, Great Falls, Montana; Big Sky Indian Art Market, Billings, Montana and Northern Plains Tribal Arts, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Mr. Dragonfly can be reached through the
Blackfeet Heritage Center & Art Gallery