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Native Sun News Today: Artists bring Great Plains history to life






Traditional artist Rick Gerlach (Yankton Sioux) exhibits a finely crafted and finished buffalo horn spoon beside a rough buffalo horn. Photo by Aly Duncan Neely

Traditional artists talk shop at Racing Magpie Studios
By Aly Duncan Neely
Native Sun News Today Correspondent
nsweekly.com

RAPID CITY –– Rick Gerlach and Ryan Hunter bring Native American history to life with their artistic interpretations of items once used on a daily basis by indigenous people of the Great Plains. Gerlach and Hunter describe their work as replicas, but their unique talents are evident in their creations made from the materials the nature provides.

Hunter, who is of Mohawk heritage and a student at Oglala Lakota College, hails from upstate New York and has been in Rapid City for three years. His beautifully knapped obsidian spear points and arrowheads, which he now manufactures in his shared Racing Magpie studio downtown, are a testament to the years of practice he has spent perfecting his art.

Among the intriguing diorite and obsidian stonework Hunter displays along the rear wall of the studio, are a finely crafted cedar wood atlatl and spear, polished with boiled linseed oil. The atlatl, allowed hunters to gain momentum in their spear throw by adding a fulcrum to the method.

In addition to spear points and hunting gear, Hunter also makes game pieces and what he calls, “doodles.” His doodles consist of stone and wood carvings of animals and other things found in nature, ranging from wearable art and decorations to figurines.

Hunter stated, “Stone is part of the ancient world. If man never worked with stone, none of us would be here. Stone is life.” Picking up a delicately handcrafted buffalo bone spear point, Hunter explained “Rick uses the stone tools I makes for making buffalo horn spoons, the old way.”


Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: Traditional artists talk shop at Racing Magpie Studios

(Contact Aly Duncan Neely at kestreldancer@gmail.com)

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