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Artist Information

Through art, music and words, Lakota artist, Denise Giago shares a way of seeing and communicating. Takuskanskan is a Lakota word meaning that which moves. It could be said to be the name for the spirit as it moves through all living beings. In Lakota thought all is living and moving, breathing and speaking. If you watch and listen you will hear your relatives, they want to talk to you. Giago learned this through art and “making” at a very early age. “Having been raised in the Euro-centric world”, says Giago, “art kept me connected to that spirit and to my “Indianess.” It is the very essence of relatedness that helped me onto a healing path and has led me home to my people.”

Denise Giago is Oglala Lakota and German American. She was born in Livermore, California. Her artwork has shown in galleries and exhibits in California, New Mexico, Nevada and Washington State. She attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1996-98. Giago, 41, is currently living in South Dakota.

Press Release:Art Show

"Where Meet the Blue and Green"

December 10th thru January 6th

“Where Meet the Blue and Green” marks artist Denise Giago’s regional debut. Although this is Giago’s first show in Sioux Falls, she is no stranger to the art world. Her art has shown in many gallery and group shows in Seattle, San Francisco and Santa Fe.

With works encompassing the 7 months spent in Sioux Falls, Giago considers her time thus far as an opportunity to “draw upon my experiences of the past couple years to create a whole new body of work.”

Between 2004 and 2005, Giago worked on over 25 film projects as a makeup artist. The artist also spent 2005 working with her Father , Lakota writer and newspaper editor Tim Giago, on several projects. Denise did the cover design and illustration for the elder Giago’s new book “The Children Left Behind.” as well as working on a magazine with her father learning graphic design as well as publishing.

Since the magazine project, Denise Giago traveled back to the Bay Area where she lived 10 years ago and even did a little work as a nanny. “All the time doing these other things, I was always painting, always a painter, “ say Giago, “ and now in Sioux Falls these past 7 months I have been able to reflect back over the past years and all that I learned.” What else is she doing with her new found knowledge? “Making my own films now, that is really exciting- and painting…a lot! Painting is my way of telling my story, where I have been, what I have learned, how I have healed and mostly, how I am relating to the world, in my dreams, in the physical, mental, spiritual.”

“Where Meet the Blue and Green” is a collection of twelve paintings which colorfully intertwine dream imagery with the physical, natural world . The paintings tell the story of one woman’s healing and they do so using universal imagery and a strong dose of woman power, Lakota Woman Power. The show will run for four weeks at Michelle’s Coffee and Libations, beginning December 10th. The Artist Reception will be on Saturday, December 15th from 7pm- 9pm. Giago will also be showing her new short films at the reception.