Dyani White Hawk

Dyani White Hawk (Sičáŋǧu Lakota) is a visual artist based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. White Hawk earned an MFA from the University of Wisconsin–Madison (2011) and BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico (2008). She served as Gallery Director and Curator for the All My Relations Gallery in Minneapolis from 2011-2015.

Support for White Hawk’s work has included 2020 Carolyn Galsoe Bailey Foundation Minnesota Art Prize, 2019 United States Artists Fellowship in Visual Art, 2019 Eiteljorg Fellowship for Contemporary Art, 2019 Jerome Hill Artists Fellowship, 2020 and 2019 Forecast for Public Art Grants, 2018 Nancy Graves Grant for Visual Artists, 2017 and 2015 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Fellowships, 2014 Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant, and 2013/14 McKnight Visual Artist Fellowship. She has participated in residencies in New Orleans, Santa Fe, Australia, Russia and Germany. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Denver Art Museum, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Walker Art Center, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Akta Lakota Museum among many other public and private collections. She is represented by Bockley Gallery in Minneapolis.

As a woman of Sičangu Lakota and European American ancestry, I was raised within Native and urban American communities. I strive to create honest, inclusive works that draw from the breadth of my life experiences, Native and non-Native, urban, academic, and cultural education systems. This allows me to start from center, deepening my own understanding of the intricacies of self and culture, correlations between personal and national history, and Indigenous and mainstream art histories.

My painting and sculptural works reflect these cross-cultural experiences through the combination of influences from modern abstract painting and abstract Lakota art forms. Some are executed strictly in paint on canvas while others incorporate materials such as beads, porcupine quillwork, and buckskin, weaving aesthetics and concepts from multiple yet intertwined histories.

Recent work in performance, video, and photography focusing on issues of Indigenous language, women’s rights, and the necessity of nurturing cross-cultural relationships, has further developed the driving force of my practice; to encourage conversations that challenge the lack of representation of Native arts, people and voices in our national consciousness while highlighting the truth and necessity of equality and intersectionality.


Nancy Marie Mithlo
blue and brown acrylic on canvas with diamond pattern

She Gives (Quiet Stregnth VII)

acrylic on canvas
84″ x 120″