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The following artists have been chosen as the 2006 Custer Stampede Artists by a jury of their peers.  There are 22 artists in total.  Twenty life-size buffalo will be painted as well as 10 tabletop buffalo, all to be auctioned Saturday, September 30, 2006, in Custer.

We are excited about the artists that have been chosen, each bringing their unique ideas and style to our event.  This year eight artists have been chosen to be Artist in Residence in Custer during the months of February, March and April.  A detailed list of these Artists in Residence can be found on the Events Calendar page. 



Sandee Achterling

769 492nd Street West


Stanchfield, MN  55080 


Drawing from my experience at the Buffalo Roundup in Custer State Park, I will paint a herd of bison moving across the hills.  My vision remembers the vast herds that once roamed the land and honors those who are restoring the bison to our land.


Table Top Buffalo



Carrie Andersen

1204 W 28th St.


Minneapolis, MN  55408                              


My vision for the buffalo is to paint it to look like antiqued and burnished bronze, a solid and majestic treatment for such a proud and beautiful animal.  I also intend to etch small, faint scenes of life on the plains and in the hills to show the rich tradition and heritage of southwestern South Dakota.  These will be done in faded silhouette and will blend in with the antiqued treatment of the statue.  It is a subtle and beautiful approach.


Table Top Buffalo



Pat Baird

25344 Blue Skies Road

Custer, SD  57730                                    


My vision is for a buffalo named “Community Pride Buffalo”.  The buffalo would be painted in subtle tones, and then on an advertised weekend, the buffalo would be available to the Custer area people.  These people would be invited to write on it. They could write a ditty, a poem, a favorite quote, etc., something inspirational or thought-provoking.  It would be open to all ages of citizens.  There are so many literarily gifted people in this community, and this would give people a chance to “make their mark”.




Mike Bray

584 101st St NW


Monticello, MN  55362                               


My vision is a buffalo painted in acrylic paint and accented with leather, reflecting  images of the past.



Mitch Brown

13134 Big Bend Road

Rapid City, SD  57702                        


Being a sculptor of many years, and many mediums, I have most recently been working with a material I feel has a lot to offer for your exhibition.  I plan on creating a buffalo, which will have the look and texture as if it were real stone.  This will not have a carved, sculpted or chiseled look, but will appear as if it were a natural formation itself.  The high strength grout I use is ideal for exterior applications.  Combined with a thermoplastic sealer, it provides a coating tougher than concrete, with UV protection to maintain its color and integrity.




Karen Cade

1917 Bobby Dr.

Milliken  CO  80543                                   


My vision for the life-size buffalo is a buffalo roundup in a realistic prospect depicting a cowboy on horseback, towards the rear of the fiberglass buffalo.  Towards the rear you will see the herd in the distance, then increasing in size as the herd emerges to the front.  At the front the fiberglass buffalo will be leading the herd, surrounded by other buffalo to each side.  I want to capture the feel of being in the middle of a roundup.  Buffalo are such strong animals; I want the viewer to feel the pounding of the herd as they draw near.  The material I will use is enamel paint; I have been able to create realistic murals using enamel.  It has the blending capability of oil with a faster dry time like acrylic, and is weather proof.



My vision for the table top fiberglass buffalo is a buffalo with gold and copper inlay, emerging from the copper and gold leaf will be a montage of wildlife from the area.  Wildlife would consist of buffalo, eagle, bighorn sheep, deer, mountain lion and antelope.


Watch Karen's progress at:   under his psuedo name: Rufus


Betty Czarnek

1020 Paul St.

St. Paul, NE  68873                                                          


My preliminary vision of the buffalo is to keep the natural likeness of the buffalo, incorporating the importance of the buffalo to the peoples of the region, specifically Native Americans, through the use of the Medicine Wheel and other Native American symbols.




Joe Halko

309 12th Ave. NE


Choteau, MT  59422                                  


My vision of the buffalo I would like to paint for the Custer Stampede is as follows:  I would use the landscape of Custer State Park as background with a herd of stampeding buffalo on each side of the “canvas”.



Karen Henneck

3841 Cynthia Dr.

Casper, WY  82609                                   


Since Deadwood and Wild Bill Hickok are important parts of South Dakota’s rich history, I would like to make my image a tribute to them.  On one side I would put a large hand of playing cards.  It would be the famous “Deadman’s Hand” that Wild Bill had the day he was shot.  They would be splayed out as when they are held, and would fill about three-fourths or half of the side.  Behind them I would make a sepia-toned image of Jack McCall with Wild Bill as he was shot.  The sepia tones would make it look like and old-fashioned photo.  On the other side, I would make cards as they look today in a winning poker hand.  They would be bright and the background for it would be Deadwoods' skyline as it looks today.  Brightly colored poker chips and playing cards would go up all the legs, and on the forehead I would put an old, yellowed newspaper, the Black Hills Pioneer August 2, 1876, and the headline of “Wild Bill Hickok Killed Last Night at the Saloon # 10” and a detailed story of the killing. 



Jane Hinrichs

32040 201st St.


Harrold, SD  57536                                    


The buffalo symbolizes many things in South Dakota.  It symbolizes the strength of the American Indian and their way of life.  It reminds us of our roots.  It also reminds us of the struggles that have taken place on this land.  I want to take the meaning of the buffalo – its strength and its history as the basis of my vision.  Our people’s past struggles and strengths are the root of present day South Dakota.  American Indians and Whites are finding strength to bring transformation to the present and to the future.  The struggles are bringing out a new beauty in us all.  And this is why my vision for the buffalo project is butterflies and wide-open spaces.  Butterfly medicine traditionally represents courage, change, transformation, freedom.  It takes courage to make great changes.  I will paint a flock of butterflies on the buffalo’s head and back.  They will be the heaviest around the head and front.  As they travel down the back their numbers will grow less and less.  The back half of the buffalo will be green plains with South Dakota native wild flowers coming up the buffalo’s legs and rump.  Underneath the butterflies in front, it will be painted like the blue skies over the Plains.  The butterflies I paint are patterned after real butterflies, but they are of my own creation.  The butterflies on the buffalo will be of all colors.  This symbolizes all the different kinds of people who call South Dakota home.



Watch the progress of Butterfly Medicine at  under his psuedo name: Earl.



Sonja Huff

404 N Huber Dr.

Casper, WY  82609                                    


This past year has a life of its' own and I seen to be drawn to the theme of Sunflowers.  I've done many such paintings and decided to keep with the idea.  I plan on painting a landscape featuring sunflowers on the one side and the other side will feature a variety of other flowers.  Sunflowers speak to happiness and joy and I hope this buffalo does too.




Jerry Jessen

1108 Ninth St.

Rapid City, SD  57701                                 


My preliminary vision is to paint a Badlands landscape on the fiberglass bison.  I envision a landscape of lines, shapes and colors.  On the dorsal side or backbone of the bison, I may mold clay (stoneware) slabs of Badlands formations.  These slab forms would be in low relief as not to detract from the basic form, and yet make it more interesting as a mixed media piece.  The stoneware slabs would be fired in a kiln and attached with a very permanent glue or perhaps with screws and glue.  The sections would be finished with glazes and stains or with acrylics.




Ilona McDill

24730 Saginaw Rd.

Custer, SD  57730                                 


My creation would be that of a white buffalo.  According to Indian legend, the birth of this rare animal was an omen of good luck.  I envision him as powerful and mystical.  The theme of his being would be to bring good fortune to all who view him.  I would fashion the ruff area of his coat, chest and legs of white quartz.  His horns and hooves would gleam of crushed black granite.  A garland of horseshoes, accented by native flora, would encircle his neck.  Perhaps, a gold ring in his nose?  Maybe a dreamcatcher on his hip?  Or, a sprinkling of “gold” or mica at his feet.  The possibilities are so exciting.  It has occurred to me that not everyone who views my buffalo will know the story of the white buffalo.  I would propose painting scenes along both sides of the animal depicting a herd of buffalo welcoming the white new-born calf.


Table Top Buffalo



Mark W. McGinnis

12962 Lady C Ranch Rd.

Hot Springs, SD  57747                           


My proposal is to create not a single buffalo but a herd of buffalo to symbolize their return to the plains that we are now experiencing and that will hopefully continue into the future.  To accomplish this, I propose to add a herd of small, three-dimensional bison that will run from the head to the tail on top of the bison’s back.  These small bison will be made of plastic and be firmly adhered to the bison’s back with a technique I used in the 1980’s.  Both my herd of small bison and the large fiberglass bison will be painted in the same manner.  They will first be primed white, then sponge-coated with a mixture of acrylic gel medium and modeling paste that I have used for decades.  This will give all the surfaces a “tooth” to receive the paint.  The palette I plan to use is the color of the southern Black Hills – ochres, greens, earthen reds, browns and blacks.  The paint will have a flowing effect running, bleeding down the sides of the bison.  I hope the overall look to be like the wonderful glazed ceramic horses of Tang dynasty China.


Table Top Buffalo




Alan Moeller

13182 Kit Carson Trail

Piedmont, SD  57769     


The buffalo would be painted as a realistic buffalo, with scenes around the buffalo including: a rider on a horse, shooting with a gun, bow and arrow or a spear at a herd of buffalo; two Indian hunters in wolf skins sneaking up to a herd of buffalo; and an Indian village.


Table Top Buffalo


Paula Ness

HC 52 Box 170P

Hot Springs, SD  57747                             


The American Bison has long been a victim of man’s lust for violence and greed, both in history and in modern times.  It is only under the darkness and quiet solitude of night where they can find true peace, as it was meant to be, under the Bison Moon.  My vision is of a painting of the herd resting under starry skies with the aurora borealis and on the other, the Bison Moon.




Shelley Stoltenberg

125 Vermont St.

Spearfish, SD  57783                                


My goal with the painted bison project is to show the inner strength and beauty of Tatanka.  In the Lakota culture the bison is represented by the color red.  Red is the color of the direction North and it symbolizes sacrifice and purification.  I believe that when people see the red Tatanka, they will instinctively feel the power and honor of this great animal.  Red is not the only color I will use, but it will be dominate. 


Table Top Buffalo


Margaret Wilson Sink

272 Cedarwood Dr.

Lexington, NC  27292                                     


Since I am not a resident of South Dakota, I have an “outside, looking in” point of view.  My idea for the buffalo would be entitled, “Pieces”.  The entire sculpture would be divided into pieces of a puzzle.  Each piece would either be a solid color or a scene depicting the landscape or point of interest of South Dakota.  The pieces to be a solid color would be a color associated with the west such as turquoise or golden orange.  The pieces with a picture would be scenes such as sunset in the Badlands, a young buffalo jumping, a prairie dog or gold pan.




Angela Thorson

PO Box 1393

Rapid City, SD  57709                                    


My vision, titled “Survivor” depicts the female bison (cow) weathering the storm in her thick, woolly coat as she shows the strength and courage to stand face first into the winter wind while protecting her family.  A colorful spin on the female version of this intelligent, beloved animal.


Table Top Buffalo



Paula Tonemah

306 Thompson

Hot Springs, SD  57747                               


The design that I am envisioning will be “Honoring Women”.  All too often, I feel, we forget to honor the women veterans, grandmothers, mothers, and caregivers that are so important to our society.  This buffalo will be painted (in oils) depicting women in different roles.  On one side, the main body will be painted with a woman veteran riding a horse across the sky.  The other side will have a grandmother surrounded by children.  The legs and hind quarters of the buffalo will display symbols such as a pink ribbon for breast cancer.  Since the White Buffalo Calf Woman is one of my cultures most important woman the background will be painted white.


Table Top Buffalo


Eve and Gary Wallinga

3123 Alder Lane

St. Cloud, MN  56301                                


Just as the Aboriginal people of Australia saw no distinction between the spiritual and the physical, Native Americans considered the buffalo, which was so central to their way of life, as having spiritual significance.  We would like to extend the Aboriginal way of illustrating this connection between the earthly and the spiritual to this important Native American symbol.  Our painting tools are sticks, just as used by the Aboriginal people, with which we apply dots of acrylic paint. We work simultaneously, usually sitting on the floor with the painting between us.  We move between abstract and representational art, while always trying to maintain the mystical quality of Aboriginal art. Almost all of our paintings have been inspired by nature.  Nature is full of patterns and the use of dots in our painting lends itself to the creation and replication of patterns.  A beautiful example of natural pattern is the Lake Superior agate.  Our vision for this buffalo project would be to create an “agate-like” pattern or effect of different earth tones, over much of the buffalo.  On the back of the buffalo will likely be tones of black and blue, representing the heavens, and towards the bottom of the buffalo will be more red tones representing earth and the human body.  The buffalo head will be covered in patterns of larger dots in red and black representing the prayers of man.  Imbedded within the “agating” will be various circles, symbolic of the power of the world which makes itself known to us in circles of various forms (the earth, the moon, the sun, the life process, etc.).  A red “road” (the road of good or the straight and narrow) will traverse the length of the buffalo on which will be symbols representing the four ages of man (rock, fire, pipe and bow).




"Bringing the Arts and Custer Together, Creating Growth for All"

The Custer Stampede is a joint venture of The Custer Area Chamber of Commerce and The Custer Area Arts Council
Located at 615 Washington Street in Custer, South Dakota 57730
The oldest city in the Black Hills!
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