Martin Red Bear, Hehaka Gleska – Spotted Elk, is an enrolled member of the Rosebud (Brule) Sioux Nation.
He currently resides in Rushville, Nebraska near the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Red Bear currently works as an Associate Instructor of Art at the Oglala Lakota College in Kyle, South Dakota, where he also teaches art at the Little Wound School.
Red Bear holds a M.A. in Art Education from the University of New Mexico, a B.A. in Visual Arts and Education from the College of Santa Fe, an A.F.A. in Two Dimensional Design from the Institute of American Indian Arts and a two year certificate of completion in Fine Arts from the Rocky Mountain School of Art in Denver, Colorado.
He has lectured extensively on various aspects of American Indian art, both traditional and contemporary.
Red Bear works in acrylics and watercolor on canvas, paper and tanned hides. He combines the pictographic or hide painting style of his ancestors with contemporary painting techniques and materials. He feels his work encompasses his American Indian culture and values.
The artist’s first public showing was in 1972 at the Sioux Indian Museum in Rapid City, South Dakota. This exposure led to other showings across the country. Over the course of his career, Red Bear has compiled an impressive list of awards. In 1988, Red Bear’s painting, Northern Plains Warriors, was chosen to represent the Northern Plains Tribal Arts Show.
Many of Red Bear’s works are on display in colleges, museums and private collections across the country.