Gerald Cournoyer, an Oglala Lakota from Marty, South Dakota followed in the footsteps of prominent Lakota painter, Oscar Howe to the University of Oklahoma, to pursue and eventually achieve, his Master’s of Fine Arts in painting. Previously, Cournoyer attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, where he received an Associate Degree in Fine Art in painting. He later, received his Bachelor of Fine Arts, and then a Master’s degree, at the University of South Dakota in Interdisciplinary Studies. After receiving his Master’s Degree at The University of Oklahoma, he was employed as a professor of painting. Mr. Cournoyer also holds a Master’s Degree in Non-profit Arts Management utilizing his expertise in networking and developing relationships among artists and the funding agencies who support artist philanthropy. Gerald is the current Chair of the Indian Art Department at Bacone College in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
Cournoyer is a dedicated and creative artist whose artistic boundaries were expanded under the tutelage of Professor George Hughes. Cournoyer came from a skilled background of stylized Ledger art and figurative Indian portraits. Over time, his work expanded into vibrant abstract watercolors and acrylics. This eventually led him into patterns of Lakota quillwork on canvas, including large nonfigurative expanses of color and form that offer the viewer an opportunity to explore the depth of scintillating color combined with Native patterns. These intricate patterns are based on the early quillwork of the Northern Plains quill designs and are prominent in the Lakota iconography. Gerald Cournoyer’s work is now shown in regional, national, and international venues.