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 Monte Sr. (Black Pinto Horse) Yellow Bird  (21st century)



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Lived/Active: Montana/North Dakota      Known for: Indian themed artwork

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Monte Yellow Bird is primarily known as Monte Sr. (Black Pinto Horse) Yellow Bird

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Monte Yellow Bird Sr., known in the art world as Black Pinto Horse, is a an Artist, Cultural/Educational Consultant, Presenter and Storyteller. A member of the Arikara and Hidatsa Nation from White Shield, North Dakota, he currently resides in Great Falls Montana where he served during the fall of 2007 through the spring of 2008 as the Artist-in-Residence with the Great Falls Public schools and Paris Gibson Square Museum.

When he is not performing these responsibilities, or working in his studio, Monte hardly misses an opportunity to share his insights, talents and experiences at regional events as well as pursue other short-term residencies throughout the nation as time allows.
He is devoted to a positive expression of the harmonic balance between humanity and nature.  Through his art and teaching, he offers a multitude of gifts and his optimism shines in his motto: "We are on this earth for such a short time, if you're going to shine, shine brightly".

Rife with symbolism, his visual expression honor his spiritual roots, Indigenous heritage and both Modern and Contemporary art traditions through a bold use of color and design combined with a pictorial narrative that activates the viewer's imagination.  He is motivated by a passionate desire to build connections between the past and the present with a hopeful eye toward a brighter future built around empathy and understanding between diverse communities in which the nation is comprised.

As an artist he best expresses himself through the use of a collection of vibrant colors, shapes and symbols of his traditions. His love of color, the faith he learned from his mother and images from his First Nation heritage are all influences helping to create his artwork.  His focus on collaborating “First Nation” Images with 20th century “Expressionism” has given him a better understanding of himself and has been the key to establishing his own style of works.  His work is a reflection of pride for his people and a respect for life. 

Beyond his own artistic pursuits, Black Pinto Horse is a highly affective advocate for the arts, community building and First Peoples concerns.  His reach stretches across the plains as though he were a contemporary nomad following meandering trails to deliver his message to communities of all sizes and ages.  His ability to integrate his spiritual, aesthetic and First Nation heritage into his work and convey that experience to a broad audience is profound.

In addition to his visual work, he conveys his cultural wisdom through apt storytelling abilities.  He has refined this heritage into a focal point for his life and art.  His visual narratives express the dualities of the past and present along with reminders of the the incongruities that have occurred between the U.S. government, mainstream populace and Indigenous Nations in a compassionate, thoughtful and positive manner that reminds us all of our responsibilities to our communities and the people they serve.

Black Pinto Horse attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico at the age of fifteen and furthered his Art studies at North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota majoring in History Education with an Art minor. In 2002, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts from Minot State University, North Dakota.

Among other things, he provides team building workshops to corporations, educates teachers about First Nation traditions and culture and attends art shows across the United States.

With experience in many different capacities, he also works with at-risk youth and is trained in the Boys Town behavioral modification system where he served as a cultural consultant for the Native American students and staff at Boys Town in Nebraska.

He travels with his spouse and partner Emily Yellow Bird (also a visual artist and educator) providing hands-on art making opportunities to eager communities.

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Minot State University, Minot ND, 2002
Education Program, North Dakota State University, Fargo ND, 1997-1995
Carpentry Certificate, Fort Berthold Community College, New Town ND, 1994
General Studies/ Fine Arts, Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe NM, 1975-1977
Boy's Town behavior modification Model, Boy's Town - Nebraska
Reality Therapy - Dr. W. Glasser

1st place, Painting, Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis IN, 2011

2nd place, Drawing, Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis IN, 2011

2nd place, Graphics, 40th Annual Trail of Tears Show, Cherokee Heritage Center

1st place, Pekin Days Art Show, Pekin ND, July 2010

3rd place drawing, Red Earth Art Market, Oklahoma City, OK, June 2010

RARE Residency, Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis IN, 2010

First Peoples Fund, Artist in Business Leadership Fellow, 2009

2nd place, oils, Cherokee Indian Art Market, Tulsa OK, October 2009

Honorable mention, oils, Eiteljorg Indian Art Market, Indianapolis IN, June 2009

3rd place, mixed media, Great Falls Indian Art Market, Great Falls MT, March 2009

1st place sculpture, 2nd place mixed media, Northern Plain Indian Art Market, Sioux Falls SD, September 2006

3rd place, mixed media, Nelson County Art Show, Pekin ND, 2005

Minot State University Art Show Merit Award, Honorable Mention, Minot ND, 2001

Mary Show, Poudre River Art Center, Fort Collins CO, December 2010

B.E.S.T of First Nations Juried Competition, Blue Horse Gallery, Bellingham WA, October 2010

Harvest Moon Ball, Glacier National Park, East Glacier MT, October 2010

Fall Art Show, Bismarck Arts and Gallery Association, Bismarck ND, October 2010

Viridian Artists Juried Competition, New York City, July 2010

Nelson County Arts Council Juried Competition, Pekin ND, July 2010

Jamestown Art Center Juried Competition, Jamestown ND, May 2010

Hot Springs Juried Art Competition, Hot Springs MT, June 2010

Nelson County Winter Art Auction, Pekin ND, February, 2010

Missoula Art Museum, Missoula MT, winter 2010

Paris Gibson Art Auction, Great Falls MT, winter 2010

Yellowstone Art Auction, Billings MT, winter 2010

Black Pinto Horse, A Vision of Color and Tradition, Memorial Union Gallery, NDSU, Fargo ND, November 2009

Harvest Moon Ball, Glacier National Park, East Glacier MT, October 2009

The 70’s: The Revolution Continues, Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe NM, August 2009

Viridian Artists Juried Competition, New York City, July 2009

Holter Art Auction, Holter Museum, Helena MT, June 2009

Hope: A Local Response to Hate, Paris Gibson Square Museum, Great Falls MT, July 2009

Story Time with Black Pinto Horse, Urban Art Project, Great Falls MT, February- May 2009

The Dahl, Rapid City SD, January- April 2009

Impressions de Provence, Paris Gibson Square Museum, Great Falls MT, January 2009

Harvest Moon Ball, Glacier National Park, East Glacier MT, October 2008

Paris Gibson Square Museum, “High Spirits: Black Pinto Horse”, Great Falls MT, August 2008

Teacher’s Exhibit, Paris Gibson Square Museum, Great Falls MT, August- May 2008

North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame, Wild West Show and Sale, Medora ND, May- October 2007

Taube Museum of Art, One man show, “Keepers of the Mystery REE-Applying paint”, Minot ND, May 2007

Lake Region Heritage Center, One man show, “Keepers of the Mystery

REE-Applying paint”, Devils Lake ND, February 2007
James Memorial Center for Visual Arts, One man show, “Keepers of the Mystery

REE-Applying paint”, Williston ND, January 2007

Jamestown Art Center, One man show, “Keepers of the Mystery, REE- Applying paint”, Jamestown ND, November 2006

NDAGA, “Offerings of the Heart” Traveling Show , MT, ND, SD and MN, 2006-2003

Lewis and Clark Exhibition Traveling Art Show, North Dakota, Montana Locations, 2006 - 2002

Selected works in the ND Governor's and First Lady's Office, Bismarck ND, 2005

Five Nations Arts, Featured Artist, Bismarck ND, April 2005

Plains Art Museum, Metamorphosis, Fargo ND, 2002

Minot State University Gallery, “The Struggles, Love and Reflection of Black Pinto Horse; A Tribute to White Corn Tassel”, Minot ND, 2001

Public Library Gallery, “Images of an Arikara”, Minot ND, 2000

Institute of American Indian Arts, Alumni Contemporary Art Show, Santa Fe NM, 2000, 1999 


Biography from Missoula Art Museum:
Black Pinto Horse is Monte Yellow Bird’s ceremonial name and how he signs his artwork.

He studied art at North Dakota State University, Fargo, and earned a BFA from Minot State University, ND.

Among Yellow Bird’s many achievements, in 2010 he was Artist in Residence at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art- Indianapolis.

In 2011 he was part of the exhibition Expressing Montana hosted at MAM.

Yellow Bird lives in Great Falls.

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