Born and raised on the Blackfeet Reservation in Browning, Montana, Neil (Tall Eagle) Parsons earned his MFA from Montana State University in Bozeman.
Upon graduation in 1964, he was recruited by director Loyd Kiva New to be a founding faculty member of the emerging Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe. While there, he taught with colleagues Allen Houser, Fritz Scholder, Charles & Ottelie Loloma and John Hoover.
In the 1970s, Parsons returned to the reservation in Montana to direct the arts program at the Blackfeet Community Free School, later to become the Blackfeet Community College.
During his long career, Neil’s work has been shown both nationally and internationally with paintings in the permanent collections of the Heard Museum in Arizona; the Cody Museum in Wyoming; the Institute of American Indian Arts in New Mexico; and the Missoula Museum in Montana. In 2004, Parsons was awarded the grand prize in painting at the Sioux Falls Exhibition in South Dakota.
The artist says the following about his work, “his new style of painting springs directly from my re-emergence into the traditional culture of the Plains Tribal Groups, specifically in a return to symmetry in design and the observance of the color combinations found in nature.”