Minnesota Made – Frank Big Bear
By Emily Anderson
Apparently, I'm not the first person to highlight great Minnesota artists. Public television has created MN Original, a brand new show dedicated to telling us about artists that live and work among us. We all know that Minnesota has a vibrant arts community, but poking around the show's website I was blown away by the depth and breadth of work by artists who call Minnesota home.
I was instantly drawn to the vibrant work of Frank Big Bear. Abstract and colorful, his art is a reflection of his culture. Whether inspired by a family member or a memory of his years driving a taxi cab, every piece has a strong concept and a connection to his life. He says he has to draw and paint everyday to stay grounded.
As a Bush Foundation Fellow, Big Bear's biography is highlighted on their website:
"Painter Frank Big Bear (Minneapolis, Minnesota) was born in Detroit Lakes and spent his early years on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota. Though largely self-taught, he began his art in earnest while a student at North High School in Minneapolis and later studied with George Morrison at the University of Minnesota. His colorful, intricate, Prismacolor pencil works provide a personal account of both the recent history and present-day experience of American Indians. Big Bear’s works have been seen at the Bockley Gallery in Minneapolis, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Heard Museum in Phoenix, and Institute of American Indian Arts Museum in Santa Fe. His drawings are in the collections of the Walker Art Center, the British Museum in London and the Frederick R. Weisman Museum, among others. In September 2008 the Tweed Museum in Duluth will show a retrospective of Big Bear’s work. Big Bear was a Bush Artist Fellow in 1998." - Bush Foundation Website
View a clip from MN Original's website. MN Original airs Thursday nights at 7:30pm on TPT2.
Become inspired by Minnesota's own: Frank Big Bear
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