Artist Media Series
Kevin and Valerie Pourier are Oglala Lakota. Their home and studio are located on the Pine Ridge Reservation – Medicine Root District, just on the northern edge of the Badlands area of the reservation. The inspirational and material source of the Pourierʼs work is rightly ascribed to what also happens to be the Lakota Peopleʼs first name, Pte Oyate kin, the Buffalo People. As partners, they are pleased to cultivate the idea that their work not only comes out of the lifeways of the People but is, moreover, a new cultural artform. Each piece is hand-cut from buffalo horn, which is then carved and inlaid with stones. This is a pair of monarch butterfly wing earrings that are carved and then inlaid with local sandstone and mother of pearl shell to create the coloration.
So why the monarch butterfly design? Kevin says:
“There is a picture of Sitting Bull which is probably the thing that inspires me most of all. This is a very famous photo. There is a monarch wing in his hat band. Lots of people never even noticed the wing until I point it out. That photo alone shows me that he knew of the power and the beauty of the butterfly. Looking at the time that the photo was taken, a time when we were having everything taken from us our way of life, our land, our buffalo, spirituality and our people were being killed, one has to understand what kind of turmoil a leader would be going through, but yet he had the awareness and understanding of all things even the little things like butterflies.”
They are signed on the back, “KP”. Kevin’s jewelry and sculpture can be found in museums throughout the US. He has won numerous awards for his work, including “Best of Show” at the Santa Fe Indian Market in 2019. We are pleased to represent his work at our galleries in Santa Fe and Scottsdale. The last photo is of a buffalo horn which he uses as the material for his artwork.