Dwayne Wilcox


Dwayne Wilcox


Born: 1957 – Kadoka, South Dakota
Home: Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota
Current Residence: Dog Hat Studio, Rapid City, South Dakota

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“Time to Put Down the Peace Pipe and Pick Up the Lead Pipe"
(click to enlarge)

Dwayne “Chuck” Wilcox is a master contemporary Plains ledger artist. He began his artistic endeavors in high school and although he considers himself to be self-taught, he cannot overlook the multiple mentors he has had along the way. He continues to be inspired through research and often consults historical examples to gain further insight into his works. In 1987, Chuck began his professional career as a full-time artist. His ledger art emphasizes the contemporary life of Native peoples, not a life of the past – although he often does like to revisit ‘older subjects’ with poignant sarcasm and wit. He focuses his subject matter on vignettes of Indian life infused with humor and favors depicting scenes of pow-wows, social dances, families and everyday mundane activities.

Throughout his career, Chuck has won numerous prizes and placement ribbons across the country. His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries both nationally and in Europe. His most recent awards include the 2010, 1st Place Mixed Media award and the Honikle Humor award at the Red Cloud Heritage Center.  Recent exhibitions include shows at the Hood Museum of Art in Dartmouth, NH and the Harwood Museum in Taos, NM.

Chuck’s own words best describe his approach to the ongoing tradition of ledger drawing – “I’m alive now. Our time today is just as important as the past.”

Artist Statement

"I am just an ordinary guy who grew up on the Pine Ridge Reservation in southwest South Dakota. I'm an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota People.

For most of my life, I drew pictures because it was a way for me to get by when times were tough or good. I don't have a deep wisdom on ledger, or a desire to change it; that's something better left alone. What I like to do is to hear what my friends say and try to put a pictograph of a story they told. Some may be humorous or just a common saying.

I use a stylized drawing technique because as an artist you have to have a look to your work that makes it original to one’s style, yet hold the background of the people who gave this tradition. We, the people who make our living at art, many times have to ask ourselves, "Is this good for a sale or to hold our integrity and make our statement?" Pride is the enemy for an artist trying just to pay their bills, but nobody wants to hear that; that's the sad reality. So, with that fact, some art gets filtered in order to pursue a financial future.

Growing up there wasn't an art magazine stand near by to find out what was hot, so for a self-taught artist all my schooling was watching others around me who had that talent. As for my own curiosity, I would look through museum archives wherever I was allowed to. I don't consider myself to be an expert; I know there is so much more to learn.

One of my first influences was Amos Bad Heart Bull (1869-1913) Oglala.  After seeing how his ledger pictures advanced in time throughout his life, I always assumed that ledger drawing should advance with the culture and stay with the times. Another influence was Ed Defender (1953-2000) Sioux.  The first time I met Ed, I laughed instantly and got his work. His work made me feel comfortable with who native people are. His titles were real and didn't lack imagination. After that awakening, I thought to myself, "his work at least made me feel alive and happy." The list does go on, but it was these two artists who brought art to life for me. 




  • University of South Dakota, Vermillion SD 2017

  • Philbrook Museum Tulsa OK Oct.2 – Jan.8 2017

  • Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian New York Feb.- Sept. 2017

  • UC San Diego , MCASD La Jolla 2017-2018


  • Peabody Essex Museum Salem MS tour date Jan. 2 – April 28 2016

  • South Dakota Governor’s 7 th Biennial Art Exhibition

  • Dahl Fine Arts Center Rapid City Summer 2016

  • Journey Museum Rapid City SD Mar- Jun 2016

  • Cantor Arts Center March- June 2016

  • Smithsonian National Museum Of the American Indian New York Mar. 2016-Jan.2017

  • Hockaday Museum Kalisplell Mt May –Sept 2016

  • Portland Art Museum Jun. 4 – Sep 4 2016

  • Dahl Fine Arts Center Rapid City SD Jun.- Sept. 2016

  • Red Cloud Heritage Center Fall 2016

  • South Dakota Art Museum Brookings Fall 2016

  • Pairs Gibson Museum Great Falls Mt Sept.- Mar. 2017


  • Dahl Fine Arts 6-9 May 2015


  • Red Cloud Heritage Museum Pine Ridge SD

  • PEM Peabody Museum Salem MASS

  • Paris Gibson Museum Great Falls MT

  • University Of Alaska, Anchorage Al

  • Heard Museum North Scottsdale AZ


  • San Diego Museum Of Art Alternative Accounts Cal

  • School of Art and Deign Santa Fe NM

  • Moving Walls 20 Open Society Institute Washington DC


  • Cotemporary Indigeneity Exhibition Great Plains Museum – Lincoln,NE

  • Above The Fruited Plains MAM Museum – Missoula, MT

  • De Unkiyepi-We Are Here All My Relation Gallery – Minneapolis, MN

  • Hood Museum of Art Dartmouth College – Hanover, NH

  • Moving Walls, Open Society Institute – 400 59th New York NY

  • Peabody Essex Museum Shape Shifting Native America Art – Salem, MA


  • Morning Star Gallery – Santa Fe, NM

  • National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum – Oklahoma City, OK


  • Native American Art at Dartmouth Hood Museum of Art

  • University of Arkansas, Little Rock Arkansas

  • Skipped the Light Fandango, Harwood Museum of Art University NM Taos

  • Ledger Art Exhibit, Hood Museum of Art – Hanover, NH

  • Morning Star Gallery – Santa Fe, NM


  • The Bison Exhibit C M Russell Museum – Great Falls, MT

  • Masters In Miniature C M Russell Museum – Great Falls MT


  • Nathan Cummings Foundation – New York, NY

  • Institute of American Indian Arts Museum – Santa Fe, NM

  • RE: Generations, Legacy & Tradition, Ancient Traders Gallery – Minneapolis, MN

  • Morning Star Gallery – Santa Fe, NM


  • Old Days New Ways “ Dahl Fine Arts – Rapid City, SD

  • Broken Trail” Indian Uprising Gallery – Bozeman, MT


  • Impacted Nations” International Traveling Exhibit


  • Louis And Clark Through Native Eyes”   Washington Pavilion – Sioux Falls, SD


  • Ladies Of The Plains” Indian Uprising Gallery – Bozeman, MT


  • Australian Embassy, Embassy Row – Washington, DC

  • Heart Dreams And Legends “ International Traveling Exhibit

  • Horse Play” Indian Uprising Gallery – Bozeman, MT


  • Bloomsburg University – Bloomsburg, PA




  • Rushmore Honors Award


  • First Place Ledger Art Santa Fe Indian Art Market, NM

  • First Place Ledger Art NPTAM Sioux Falls SD

  • Poster award Northern Plains Art Market Sioux Falls SD

  • Best of Northern Plains

  • First place mixed media Heard Museum


  • Smile Award Santa Fe Indian Art Market, NM


  • Smile Award- Santa Fe Indian Art Market

  • Second place- Mixed Media Santa Fe Indian art Market

  • Second Place- Drawing NPTA Sioux Falls SD

  • Second Place- Three Dimensional NPTA Sioux Falls SD

  • Best of Division –Heard Museum Indian Art Market, Phoenix Arizona


  • First place Flat Drawing, Santa Fe Indian Art Market

  • Second place Studio drawing, Santa Fe Indian Art Market

  • Best of Division – Heard Museum Indian Art Market, Phoenix Arizona

  • First Place Division Three drawing, Heritage Center Pine Ridge South Dakota

  • Frances Hornikel Humor award


  • Bush Artist Fellowship Minneapolis, Minnesota

  • First Place Division three Drawing, Northen Plains Indian Art Market Sioux Falls South Dakota

  • Oscar Howe Award Mitchell SD



  • Hensler Award Red Cloud Art Show SD


  • First place, Division I oil & acrylic, Northern Plains Indian Art Market Sioux Falls SD


  • First Place, Division XV Handmade Dolls, Northern Plains Tribal Arts

  • Best of Tribal Arts, Northern Plains Tribal Arts Sioux Falls SD


  • Jerome Tiger Award Trail Of Tears Theme, Telliquah Oklahoma