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Alfreda Beartrack-Algeo

Tribal Affiliation: Kul Wicasa Oyate

Born: 1954, South Dakota

Known for: Artist, author, storyteller, poet, illustrator and videographer

"Much like the nature of life, a painting can't be forced but must emerge and evolve naturally. I try to capture the elusive moments of beauty I see in nature. When someone responds to my art and sees some of the joys of life in them, then the circle is complete for me." - Alfreda Beartrack-Algeo

Alfreda Beartrack-Algeo was born in central South Dakota. She is an enrolled member of the Lower Brule Lakota Nation and spent her childhood on a cattle ranch on the reservation.

Beartrack-Algeo’s involvement in fine art began at an early age, with direct influence from her father, Alfred Ziegler. He is a noteworthy artist that has inspired her work in sculpture, painting, and drawing throughout her life. Beartrack-Algeo designed her first art logo at the age of 14 for the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. They are still using the logo today.

“I really can’t remember not being fascinated by art,” says Beartrack-Algeo. Drawing from a multi-faceted background in theater, filmmaking, video graphics, dancing, and creative imagination, she believes that art is the reason and basis to see, look and appreciate the world of vision.

She tributes her life to her parents, grandparents, and Lakota Tiyóšpaye for their shared teachings and stories, which instilled in her core values and a collective and creative lifestyle. With encouragement from her family and friends, Beartrack-Algeo forged the path of higher education, earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, a Master of Arts Degree from the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD, and a Doctor of Management Degree from the University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ.

She paints on canvas, leather, paper, and wood. Her technique makes use of acrylics, watercolors, oils, pastels, enamel, and natural pigments.

As a student, she learned about color, pigment, design, and composition. As a working artist, she discovered that no amount of instruction could teach so well as hours of firsthand experience.

Beartrack-Algeo’s ambition is to immortalize a way of life she genuinely loves. Her unique works and her prints and cards awaken feelings of nostalgia for the Dakota prairies. They capture the vitality and mystery of both people and animals, which causes them to live again within the spirit of their own time.

Beartrack-Algeo and her husband Dave reside in Palisade, Colo., where they own and operate Mato Nunpa LLC, where they raise and market earth-healing plants and essential oils. As an author, Beartrack-Algeo recently published her first children’s book released in 2022.