Native Sun News: Artist Del Iron Cloud wins top award at show

The following story was written and reported by Ernestine Chasing Hawk, Native Sun News Staff Writer All content © Native Sun News.

Del Iron Cloud
Iron Cloud takes the show
By Ernestine Chasing Hawk
Native Sun News Staff Writer

RAPID CITY –– Each year during the Black Hills Stock Show an amazing event takes place that challenges the expertise of each competitor.

For years the Black Hills Stock Show sponsored an art auction to benefit The Black Hills Stock Show Foundation. Five years ago, according to stock show organizers, Pam Teller, Stock Show Assistant General Manager and Lemmon, S.D. sculptor John Lopez had an idea to bring more life to the fundraiser.

The result was the Western Art Quick Draw Contest, which took place this year in the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Theater Saturday, Feb. 7 at 3:30.

This year’s competition was comprised of 11 painters, two sculptors and one woodcarver. Artists who competed included Bonnie Halsey-Dutton, Del Iron Cloud, Jim Hatzell, Kurt Holdorf, Dawn Newland, Kat Thompson, Tony Chytka, Richard Tucker, Michelle Weber, Lisa Norman, Teri McTighe and Jim Whartman.

Hunkpapa Lakota artist Del Iron Cloud has competed in all but one of the annual events.

The event started at 3:30 p.m., but Iron Cloud said he was done by 3.

“I had an idea as to what I was going to do so I begin sketching a buffalo lying on a grassy hill. Some of the other artists had already sketched or even painted a portion of their artwork. As we progressed, the MC would periodically announce the time to let us know how much time we had left,” Iron Cloud said.

The public wandered from artist to artist to see what each was doing. Comments such as "What's he painting?" "What's that?" "I wish I could do that." or even "Awesome!" could be heard as the artists worked quickly on their projects.

“At the end of the hour, we had to have our paintings matted, glassed and framed, to include the hooks and wire in the back. We then placed them on easels in the front and people could get a better look and vote their favorite piece which would be the People’s Choice winner,” Iron Cloud continued.

At approximately 5p.m. Teller, coordinator for the event, announced the 2015 People’s Choice Award winner, “Del Iron Cloud.”

At 6 p.m. they begin to auction off the 14 pieces but not before each artist stood in front of the crowd to talk about the work they had created. Iron Cloud’s original painting of a buffalo also garnered the highest bid.

Iron Clouds work also won the People’s Choice award in 2010 and 2012 and went for the highest bid in 2010, 2011 and 2014.

Proceeds from the auction go to benefit The Black Hills Stock Show Foundation. The foundation was established in 1993 to manage scholarship and grant programs benefiting the communities, region and the people who support the Stock Show and the livestock industry.

Scholarships are awarded to young adults pursuing higher education in agriculture related fields of study and who plan to put their education to work here at home. Foundation grants are awarded to programs and projects that serve to bring greater awareness, information and services to regional and community interests by increasing knowledge and furthering rural social and economic well-being.

The Quick Draw Contest and Auction is sponsored by The Black Hills Stock Show Foundation, Black Hills Surgical Center and Bank West.

(Ernestine Chasing Hawk can be reached at

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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