Award-winning artist, author and illustrator Donald F. Montileaux will be the guest speaker at the May History and Heritage Book Club meeting. The program will begin at noon CDT on Thursday, May 7, at the South Dakota State Historical Society’s Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.
This program is free to the public and everyone is welcome to join Montileaux in discussion about his work and writings.
“Well-known for his art and, now, his traditional Lakota stories, Montileaux has three books for youngsters published by the South Dakota Historical Society Press. He will speak about his titles with the Press and the inspiration for his artwork,” said Michael Lewis, president of the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation. “Time at the end of the program has also been set aside for him to autograph copies of his books.”
Montileaux, who lives in Rapid City, is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Nation. He attended workshops under noted artist Oscar Howe and received his formal art training at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, N.M. His artwork has been featured in galleries throughout the United States. He illustrated “Tatanka and the Lakota People: A Creation Story,” “The Enchanted Buffalo: A Prairie Tale” and “Tasunka: A Lakota Horse Legend,” all published by the South Dakota Historical Society Press.
“Tatanka” tells how the buffalo came to live with the Lakota so that they would have life-sustaining food, shelter and clothing. “Tasunka,” which Montileaux also wrote, details the story of a young warrior, his discovery of the horse and the power this new creature brought to the plains people. Both books have received multiple national awards, including the Western Writers of America Spur Award for Best Western Storyteller. “The Enchanted Buffalo” was written by L. Frank Baum, of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” fame, during his time in Aberdeen. The book conveys a tale of good and evil, treachery and bravery, pride and wisdom set during the heyday of the bison on the Great Plains.
“All of Montileaux’s books are sold at the Heritage Stores in the Cultural Heritage Center and South Dakota State Capitol as well as online at sdhsf.org,” said Lewis. “We encourage people to take advantage of this opportunity to meet a well-known artist, learn more about him and his work, and to have him sign copies of his books.”
The South Dakota Historical Society Foundation is the nonprofit fundraising partner of the South Dakota State Historical Society, which sponsors the History and Heritage Book Club. Since the program takes place over the lunch hour, people are welcome to bring their lunch with them to eat while the program takes place. For more information, call (605) 773-6006.