Vic Runnels – Oglala Lakota

Published on January 11, 2013 by Amy

Love this article and want to save it to read again later? Add it to your favourites! To find all your favourite posts, check out My Favourites on the menu bar.

Painting by Vic Runnels
Painting by Vic Runnels

Inspired by the work of artists Oscar Howe and Andrew Standing Soldier, Vic Runnels began to study art in the early 1960s. Runnels’ commercial art studies at Ray-Vogue School of Design and the American Academy of Art, both in Chicago, led him to a career as a successful commercial artist.

dna testing, dna ancestry testing, ancestry, genealogy, indian genealogy records, paternity testing, turquoise jewelry, native american jewelry

After twelve year as a commercial artist-illustrator in Chicago he returned home to Pine Ridge in 1973. Since then, Runnels has devoted himself primarily to the fine arts. He gives a great deal of credit to the annual Red Cloud Art Show where he has received many awards and much encouragement.

As a prolific artist in a variety of media, his subjects are nineteenth century figures and, more recently, animals, which he presents in semi-abstract compositions reflective of people or beings emerging from a dream or vision. He also combines dreamed animals with their dreamer human figures. His use of color tends to the high intensity registers. While he knows color compositions, his works remain alarming, jarring, and raw. Runnels continually experiments with traditional tribal motifs in his work and has produced a number of offset lithograph reproductions.

Runnels is one of nine Sioux artists who were instrumental in organizing the Dream Catchers Guild. The purpose of this organization is to re-establish the importance of art in the Sioux culture, to promote art markets, and to encourage emerging Sioux artists.

“I am continually experimenting with new mediums, new ideas or old ideas done as contemporary art. . .Art was an extremely important part of the Lakota culture. Indians decorated everything: their buffalo robes, tipi liners, back rests, clothing, parfleches, war shields…everything they used. Then at the BIA schools, art was not taught or encouraged. I was told that Indians should forget about those ‘playthings’. Art is a survival process related to our aptitudes, our coping skills and our environment. Artists are the preservers of the inner spirit. We are the continuum. I believe that good art is alive and well in Lakota country.” ─Vic Runnels

Source: aktalakota Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
Cite This Source | Link To Vic Runnels – Oglala Lakota
Add these citations to your bibliography. Select the text below and then copy and paste it into your document.

American Psychological Association (APA):

Vic Runnels – Oglala Lakota Unabridged. Retrieved May 26, 2015, from website:

Chicago Manual Style (CMS):

Vic Runnels – Oglala Lakota Unabridged. Native American Encyclopedia (accessed: May 26, 2015).

Modern Language Association (MLA):

"Vic Runnels – Oglala Lakota" Unabridged. Native American Encyclopedia 26 May. 2015. <>.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE):, "Vic Runnels – Oglala Lakota" in Unabridged. Source location: Native American Encyclopedia Available: Accessed: May 26, 2015.

BibTeX Bibliography Style (BibTeX)

@ article {NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com2015,
    title = { Unabridged},
    month = May,
    day = 26,
    year = 2015,
    url = {},
You might also like:

Tags:  , , , ,

Facebook Comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.