Lakota students at St. Joseph’s Indian School decided to put their creative talents to use in hopes of earning a little bit of extra cash during Youth Art Month. All students had the opportunity to paint any picture in art class using an oil pastel, or watercolor technique.

Hannah, St. Joseph’s Indian School art teacher, explained she chose this technique and project so students could be more independent while working on their paintings.

“I was trying to find something that was simple enough where they could be more creative and I wouldn’t have to guide them through every step — so it would show more of who they are,” said Hannah.

The students’ paintings were put on display at the Aktá Lakota Museum & Cultural Center during the month of March. Visitors, staff, and community members had the opportunity to view the student art gallery and purchase a student painting. St. Joseph’s Indian School students were extra excited about this event because if their art piece sells, 100% of the sale goes directly to the artist!

Wanda, Aktá Lakota Museum Historical Coordinator, said the event created excitement and a love for art in the community and on campus. Giving an excellent incentive for kids to get creative and learn new skills, this Youth Art Month event is something the students have enjoyed and put extra effort into.

“A lot of kids would run to the museum after school to check and see if their art had sold,” said Wanda.

Flooding her heart and soul with happiness, Persais, a sixth grader at St. Joseph’s, had a huge smile on her face after discovering her art piece had sold at the museum for $6. Frequently staying after school to work on art, Persais loves the craft dearly. She usually creates pictures for her friends, but this was the first time her art was publicly for sale.

“This was the best thing that ever happened to me because I had never sold my art before!” said Persais.

 As this is the first year for this type of event, Hannah already thinks it would be a great thing to do again next year for students. As a newer teacher at St. Joseph’s, she explained her hopes to build more trust with her students, which will allow them to have more freedom with art mediums and styles.