Throughout the winter months, you may have caught a glimpse of Bear Spirit making its way across White Bear Lake through different venues. The digital artwork was created by Marlena Myles, a self-taught Native American (Spirit Lake Dakota/Mohegan/Muscogee) artist located in St. Paul. Her art brings a modern approach to Indigenous history, languages and oral traditions, using the land as a teacher. She has dedicated her art career to educating “Minnesotans of all backgrounds [on] the Indigenous history of this place we call home,” Myles writes in her artist statement. Bear Spirit captivates the viewer through its structured beauty of color and shape, influenced by traditional art of the Dakota Nation. The piece is also futuristically bold, utilizing a digital crispness and captivating, symmetrical design. More of Myles’ inspiring work and public art projects can be seen on her website (marlenamyl.es), along with prints and patterns for sale on her online shop.
Karna Holub is the gallery coordinator at White Bear Center for the Arts. Learn more about its offerings and events at whitebeararts.org.