The Museum of the Plains Indian to feature Terran Last Gun, William “Bill” Brien, and David Dragonfly in a Special Exhibition



Last edited 06/08/2023

May 25, 2023

BROWNING, MONTANA: The Museum of the Plains Indian, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Indian Arts and Crafts Board, announces the opening of a special exhibition, Summer Showcase, featuring Terran Last Gun, Bill Brien, and David Dragonfly.  The exhibition will run from June 1, 2023, to August 11, 2023.  On Friday, June 2, 2023, there will be an opening reception from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Terran Last Gun, an enrolled member of the Piikani (Blackfeet) Tribe of Montana, is an emerging visual artist working across mediums that range from ledger drawing, printmaking, painting, murals, and photography. Terran received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Museum Studies and Associate of Fine Arts  in Studio Arts from the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in 2016. He currently lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 

Terran’s work is created from inspirational influences that stem from his own research on Blackfoot painted lodges, attending IAIA and from his father, who is also a Blackfeet artist. Upon researching and studying Blackfoot painted lodges, Terran began referencing these visual masterpieces of the Great Plains in his artwork.  He describes the lodges as depicting the world and cosmos, nature, animals, and the above world that connects Native American people to the Sun, Moon, and Morning Star.

Terran’s work bridges the ancient to the contemporary.  His art centers around the process of color exploration and visual documentation of nature, cosmos, cultural narratives, and recollections of home. Often employing geometric aesthetics, he is contributing to an ancient Indigenous North American narrative through various media that include ledger drawing, printmaking, painting, and photography.

William “Bill” Brien, an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians in North Dakota, is a talented artist who creates contemporary digitized art with a Native American influence.  Bill graduated from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota, in 2011 with a degree in history with minors in philosophy and geography. Bill is also from the Spirit Lake Dakota Nation also in North Dakota and resides in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Bill’s work is greatly influenced by life experiences combined with his rich Native American heritage and combined lineage of Lakota, Dakota, Chippewa, and Metis roots. Bill is a self-taught artist. He calls himself "a digital cell phone artist." His chosen medium is digital art, using his cell phone as his canvas to create all his work. This process allows Bill to create anywhere, when inspired.

In 2016, Bill found his love and passion for art because of his wife, Geri, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014. In early 2015 Geri was cancer free but by the end of 2015 the cancer had returned and spread. Geri fought the cancer with courage, hope, and love and that inspired him to share her story through art. His dedication to her has become a great influence in his artistic expressions and images, which he devotedly continues to create and share. 

David Dragonfly, an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Tribe, is an accomplished artist who uses his art to share the culture and history of the Blackfeet Indian people.  David attended the IAIA in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he learned to make jewelry and carve stone.  Afterwards, he enrolled at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting in 1988.

Inspired by his diverse Native American cultural background, David began painting and drawing at a very young age.  Now, as an accomplished artist, he specializes in various artforms, such as linocut, ledger and collagraph paintings, and three-dimensional art including hide and woodwork.  These different media types allow him to express his creativity by capturing the vibrant colors and designs that radiate from his interpretations of life among the Blackfeet people. David’s time spent with University of Montana art professors Mr. Don Bunse and Mr. Jim Todd has also inspired him further.

David also developed an interest in pictographic art, which is a historic form of Native American expression used by many Plains Indian tribes.  This historic art form utilizes pictograph images, which were often drawn on stone throughout the vast areas that Native American people traveled and often told stories of important events.  Today, contemporary Native American artists have chosen to maintain this historic art form passed down from their ancestors.

The Museum of the Plains Indian is managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Indian Arts and Crafts Board.  For admission fees and hours of operation, please call the Museum of the Plains Indian at (406) 338-2230.

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