Native Sun News: Rolling Rez Arts van makes a stop in Rapid City

Guss Yellow Hair, left, and Jeremy Staab bring the Rolling Rez Arts Van to downtown Rapid City. Photo by Ernestine Chasing Hawk

Rolling Rez Arts Van makes Rapid City appearance
By Ernestine Chasing Hawk
Native Sun News Editor

RAPID CITY –– The extraordinary Rolling Rez Arts Van, embellished with a strikingly brilliant buffalo herd pictograph, graced the corner of Seventh and Main streets in downtown Rapid City on May 18.

According to Program Manager Jeremy Staab, First People’s Fund was demonstrating the capabilities of the mobile arts space and introducing it to the Rapid City community.

Rolling Rez Arts Van, a first-of-its-kind mobile arts classroom and alternative bank, was developed through collaboration between First Peoples Fund, Artspace and Lakota Funds for the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

“We are able to bring various art instructors to the nine distinct districts on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. We are bringing the resources to the people,” Staab shared. “Not only arts classes, but we are talking about arts marketing, branding, packaging, and finishing art projects.”

Conversations, about quality of materials and how that affects pricing, the art of business thinking and business planning and how artists can utilize different art tools to manage their businesses, also take place.

Traditional artist Warren “Guss” Yellow Hair, Oglala/Northern Cheyenne, who doubles as a driver for the Rolling Rez Arts Van, is actively involved in this one-of-a-kind classroom on wheels as a Project Manager.

“I am here to represent Rolling Rez Arts, taking art out into the nine districts on the Pine Ridge Reservation. What I do is contact some of the established artists and utilize some of their skills and their talents to be able to teach the younger generation,” Yellow Hair said.

As an artist, Yellow Hair is considered one of the Culture Bearers and is proficient in many traditional arts including hide tanning, drum making, winter count pictographs as well as storytelling.

According to the Rolling Rez Arts Van website, the new state-of-the-art mobile arts space, business training center, and mobile bank made its first appearance on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the fall of 2015. It was the result of a group of people who came together “to infuse new energy into the creative economy” of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Read the rest of the story on the all new Native Sun News website: Rollin Rez Arts Van makes Rapid City appearance

(Ernestine Chasing Hawk can be reached at

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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