Kevin Red Star was born on the Crow Indian Reservation in Lodge Grass, Montana, and raised in a creative family that values art and culture. During his second year in high school in 1962, he was part of the first group of students at the lnstitute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 1965 Red Star was awarded a scholarship to the San Francisco Art lnstitute, where he won both First Prize and the Governor’s Trophy Award at the Scottsdale National Indian Art Exhibition. After attending Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, and Eastern Montana College (now MSU Billings), in 1975 he was invited back to the lnstitute of American Indian Art as an artist-in-residence.
Since embarking on his professional artistic journey, the acknowledged master artist is considered a visual historian and ambassador for his Crow (Apsalooka) culture. Throughout his career, he has received major accolades and honors. Most recently, at the Autry’s 2018 Masters of the American West, Red Star received the James R. Parks Trustees’ Purchase Award for his painting Strikes the Enemy.
A biography of the artist, Kevin Red Star: Crow Indian Artist by Daniel Gibson with photography by Kitty Leaken (Gibbs Smith, 2014), won the Multicultural: Non-Fiction Category of the 2015 USA Best Book Awards. He has also been the subject of many biographical films.
Red Star’s work can be found in the Smithsonian lnstitution’s National Museum of the American Indian; the United States Department of State; the National Portrait Museum; the Denver Art Museum; the C. M. Russell Museum; the Heard Museum; the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art; the Whitney Museum; and the lnstitute of American Indian Arts. He has been featured in special exhibitions in France, Belgium, Germany, China, and Japan. ln the world of museums and private collections, he is equally respected for the content of his unique imagery, for his artistic productivity spanning the past 50-plus years, and for the enduring value of his work.
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