Michael Two Bulls, a Lakota artist, showcased his work during a visiting artist lecture in the Fine Arts building Thursday afternoon.
The presentation, which more than 50 people attended, included his works of art and the various meanings behind them.
“I kind of pull from a lot of things,” he said. “One of them being probably my family and Lakota culture, and also pop culture.”
Two Bulls participated in the third annual Northern Plains Artist in Residence on campus last June. This is a month-long residency where an artist is invited to make work using the university facilities.
Two Bulls usually works in mixed media and mixed media sculpture. He also likes to work with film and music, he said.
“To me it’s all kind of the same thing,” Two Bulls said. “They all blend together in a way. That’s how I look at art mediums, anyway.”
Two Bulls comes from a family of artists, and said he grew up making art.
“It’s like a means of survival in a way,” he said. “On the reservation a lot of people don’t have jobs so there’s a lot of artists on the reservation. That’s how they make a living.”
After participating in the annual Northern Plains Artist in Residence on USD’s campus this summer, Two Bulls was invited to give a lecture to students regarding his artwork and its meanings.
“We thought that Michael was really engaging and wanted to invite him back to give a lecture to the student body,” said Michelle St. Vrain, interim director of the University Art Galleries (UAG).
First-year art major Krissy Leitru said she liked how Two Bulls explained his art in his own words rather than just reading off of a PowerPoint.
“I loved the layering he did with his collages and also the deeper meanings behind some of the reservation and political views he had,” Leitru said.
Two Bulls won the Artist and Business Leadership fellowship from First People’s Fund in 2015. He’s also the founder of Bad Art Collective, a collection of multidisciplinary artists largely from South Dakota, according to USD’s website.
There will be a reception for Two Bulls’ work later this month in the John A. Day Gallery from 6 to 8 p.m. on Jan. 13. His work will be on display until Jan. 18.