“A Man’s Worth” Apsáalooke Scout White-Man-Runs-Him, 2022
Oil, acrylic, India ink, Inkjet print on paper, antique ledger paper
24” x 36”
Identity, as taught through community and family, is an invaluable gift. As a traditional member of my community and an artist, my work is continually working on fleshing out an equitable co-existence for the two. “Groundedness” comes as a by-product of cultural and social symbiosis. I will forever know how it feels to be home on our traditional lands with my family and friends buzzing alongside me. I am a fortunate person to know my lineage and doubly lucky to be able to teach our history to our youngest generations. Nothing is more powerful to me than hearing my children say the names of our land in the language that has been here since before they were here. Featured in this painting is my great-great-grandfather, White-Man-Runs-Him or Morning Star.
Chief Bell Rock, 2021
Ink on cold press
5.5” x 4.25”
Speaking with tribal elders combined with countless hours of research has led me to know more about the path and trajectory of the people who have given me life. In this effort, I've experienced moments of pure beauty and pain captured in combing catalogs of a disappearing people, a "vanishing race." My search for understanding only reinforces that our humanness is resilient and our beauty is powerful, especially in the face of adversity. The "Indian," as the western world once knew it, is dead. In its place stands the People, those who love, laugh, and live. A people endowed with knowledge, grounded and gathered from thousands of years of humanness had on the land.
Ben Pease was born in 1989 in Missoula, Montana. He was the youngest of three siblings and grew up on the Crow Indian Reservation. Ben attended Minot State University on a football scholarship and was awarded the Twyman Art Scholarship. At MSU he studied under Walter Piehl, a protégé of world-renowned artist Fritz Scholder. After meeting his wife at Minot State University and having their first son, Ben and his family moved to Bozeman, Montana. He left football behind and continued his pursuit of art and creativity at Montana State University where he studied under Rollin Beamish and Sara Mast.
Ben’s work has gained national and international attention. His work has been featured in scores of magazines, books, online publications, and social media networks including Western Art Collector Magazine, Southwest Art Magazine, Mountain Living Magazine, Big Sky Journal, Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine, Cowboys & Indians Magazine, Montana Women’s Magazine, National Geographic, University of North Carolina Press, and various international periodicals in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Stuttgart, and Frankfurt.
Ben was commissioned to participate in a large group exhibition at the Chicago Field Museum, University of Chicago’s Neubauer Collegium, titled “Apsáalooke Women & Warriors,” which opened March of 2020. The exhibition traveled to the Museum of the Rockies in 2022 and will be at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2023. He was named Artist-of-the-Year by the Yellowstone Art Museum’s Board of Trustees in 2019. Ben, his wife Malisha, his sons Laetus and Quannah, and his daughter Aluute, currently live in Billings, Montana. For more information, see: benpeasevisions.com
Watch an Interview with Ben Pease