Kevin Red Star

Kevin Red Star (born 1943) is a Native American artist. Kevin Red Star was born on the Crow Indian Reservation in Lodge Grass, Montana. He was raised in a family that values art and culture, where he developed an early love of drawing and music. This exposure and encouragement sustained him during his years in grade school during the time when Crow students were denied association with their language and cultural heritage.

Later, when he was one of 150 students chosen to attend the newly established Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, he was encouraged to explore his history and culture through modern art techniques.[1]

Upon graduation, Red Star and several other Native students received scholarships to the San Francisco Art Institute. Here he was exposed to the avant garde and political and social concerns of post-modern art.

Since embarking on his professional artistic journey, the acknowledged master artist is considered a visual historian and ambassador for his Native Crow culture. In 1997, Kevin Red Star received an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Fine Art from the Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana.

Kevin Red Star has been accepted into the Russell Skull Society for the Charlie Russell Auction March 2014, an exhibition and sale to benefit the C.M. Russell Museum.



Historically acknowledged as a pivotal figure in the birth of the Contemporary Native Art idiom, Red Star's body of paintings and prints has ingrained the movement into the international mainstream.

Early life

Born and raised on the Crow Indian Reservation in Lodge Grass, Montana, Red Star's heritage and abundance of visual experiences serve as his thematic palette. Working primarily in acrylic, ink, and collage, he is known for conjuring evocative images of his ancestral Crow tribe: its culture and history – past to present.


Red Star's works are the focal point of several important museum collections, including the Smithsonian Institution: National Museum of the American Indian; C.M. Russell Museum; Heard Museum; Denver Art Museum; Eiteljorg Museum; Southwest Museum; Whitney Museum of Western Art; Institute of American Indian Arts Museum; United States Department of State; and scores of others. Pursuing a successful career spanning three decades, over 100 large-scale exhibitions have featured the celebrated artist's works on canvas and paper – some 40 of which have been "one man" shows.

Further reading

  • Red Star, Kevin; Museum of the Rockies (1995). Kevin Red Star: recent & retrospective works, 1963-1995, Museum of the Rockies, April 22 - October 22, 1995. Bozeman, Mont. (Montana State University-Bozeman, Bozeman, Montana 59717): Museum of the Rockies.
  • Gibson, Daniel; Leaken, Kitty (2014). Kevin Red Star: Crow Indian artist. ISBN 978-1-4236-3609-0. Retrieved 2016-08-24.
  • Deats, Suzanne (2005). Running Rabbit: the work of Kevin Red Star. Billings, MT: Yellowstone Art Museum. ISBN 978-0-9755185-2-6.


  1. "Show Preview | Kevin Red Star". Southwest Art. 2016-07-15. Retrieved 2016-08-24.

Article by Daniel Gibson Native Peoples Magazine November /December 2014

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