The Grand Entry
Starting the school year 2017-2018, the September artist of the month is Robert Gopher (Chippewa Cree). He presents the piece, The Grand Entry, (acrylic, 24” X 30”). This is a scene that singles out four dancers entering an outdoor powwow. Because of the yellowish and orange tones, it sure gives the impression that the entry is taking place in the evening, at the real time of a grand entry in a powwow.
Gopher said that he dedicated several months to this piece, “matching the regalia to the dancer’s posture required some adjustments and patience. As I loosely applied the basic shapes with an ochre colored wash, I thought that this painting might get interesting. I had many ideas to draw from. The connection with nature was important to me.”
He adds that color, composition, and lighting are the source of his work. Gopher says he continues to admire the post-impressionist era and its contribution to modern art, “Edvard Munch once said, [he was a Norwegian artist and printmaker] Anybody who perceives color can become a painter. It’s simply a question of whether or not one has felt anything and whether one has the courage to recount the things one has felt.”
Gopher holds a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from Eastern Montana College (now MSU Billings). He currently lives on the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation and has been painting for over 30 years. While primarily a painter, Gopher has worked in mixed media as well and has exhibited nationally and internationally.
The MSUN Office of Diversity Awareness and Multicultural Programs (ODAMP) invites local and regional artists to exhibit their pieces, preferably those that have some link to multicultural themes. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (406) 265-3589.