Rhonda Holy Bear: Artist and Story-Keeper

Rhonda Holy Bear: Artist and Story-Keeper

August 30, 2022 - December 31, 2022

This exhibition highlights the work of Rhonda Holy Bear (Cheyenne River Lakota). Renowned for her exquisite sculpture, Holy Bear engages in the indigenous tradition of dollmaking, using painstaking micro-beading and other meticulous processes to create her intricate, highly detailed works. These pieces convey far more than technical virtuosity, they are also visual storytellers. Rhonda Holy Bear observes that storytelling is key to her practice, stating “Stories have always played an integral role in the preservation of our native culture.” From the use of indigenous materials and techniques to her choices in visual imagery, Holy Bear’s art deeply engages with family histories, and each aspect of her work conveys significant meaning. This exhibition explores the artist’s creative practice through an intimate selection of her works throughout the past 30 years of her career. 

Guest Curated by Sara Woodbury

The Barry Art Museum is grateful to artist Rhonda Holy Bear, the Exhibition Advisory Committee, the Brinton Museum in Big Horn, Wyoming, and Susan and David Goode for their generosity and collaborative spirit in creating this exhibit.

Monthly Virtual Lecture Series Featuring Rhonda Holy Bear: “The Work of the Hand, The Weaving of Story”

Youtube Page.


Related Programming:

U-Nite After Hours Programming, November 11, 2022 from 5PM-8PM

U-Nite: Story & Craft

November is National Native American Heritage Month. Join us on November 11 for U-Nite: Story & Craft at the Barry Art Museum. This evening focuses on indigenous craft traditions employed by Rhonda Holy Bear in her process of making the works on view. Attendees view demonstrations and get to experience processes with their own hands. Guest curator, Sara Woodbury gives guided tours of our exhibition Rhonda Holy Bear: Artist & Story-Keeper, featuring hand-beaded dolls and intricate quillwork worthy of up-close investigation. Enjoy refreshments & edu-tainment at the museum as we celebrate indigenous craft tradition.


Exhibition Advisory Committee:

Keith Anderson, Assistant Chief of the Nansemond Indian Nation

Rhonda Holy Bear, Featured Artist, Lakota Nation

Steven Grafe, Curator of Art, Maryhill Museum of Art

Charlotte Potter Kasic, Executive Director, Barry Art Museum 

Drew Lopenzina, Professor of Early American and Native American Literature, Old Dominion University

Sara Woodbury, PhD candidate at William and Mary