Nathaniel Ruleaux | LUX Center for the Arts | Art Gallery, Classes, Summer Camps & Outreach

Nathaniel Ruleaux

Nathaniel Ruleaux

Profile Location
Omaha , NE

Nathaniel Ruleaux (he/him) is an award-winning artist and culture worker currently located on unceded land of the Umónhon & Očhéthi Šakówiŋ in Nebraska. A partner, father, and member of the Oglala Lakota Nation, his work combines modern art with traditional Indigenous imagery. He is a founding member of Unceded Artist Collective, and sits on the board for the Omaha Area Youth Orchestras. Recently, he created work for the national Indigenous Futures Survey 2022 campaign and the Natives Vote 2020 campaign. In addition to creating visual art, he is a classically-trained actor and educator. He received his MFA in Theatre from the University of Houston’s School of Theatre and Dance after receiving a BA in Theatre Performance at the Johnny Carson School of Theatre & Film at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Artist Statement

I’m a storyteller. In the traditions of my people, the Oglala Lakota, storytelling is not only part of life, but how we’ve survived. I’ve spent my life telling stories as a visual artist, actor, writer, activist and educator. As a visual artist, my portfolio is filled with acrylic and watercolor paintings, original stencil creations, ceramics, sculptures and a wide range of drawings and handmade prints. As I’ve grown as an artist – regardless of medium or platform – my work has become more focused on political action, family, and heritage. The stories I tell through visual art span a range of indigenous peoples’ narratives, especially how they continue today. They also are the stories of my family and heritage: from the plains, to the reservation, through indian boarding school, up to the modern world & protesting in the street today. By combining traditional and modern elements, I can speak out about the genocide and atrocities committed against Native Americans in the past as well as the current abuses and challenges faced today. I want to cement our place in the modern world, while still honoring our heritage and culture. I’m often influenced by the work of my late grandfather, Donald D. Ruleaux, an Oglala artist and educator. My work often includes images of bison, as did my grandfather’s. My bison are a symbol of the Lakota spirit, the power of our endangered natural world, and a righteous, powerful force for decolonization. When I lived outside Nebraska, I felt increasingly further away from my heritage and home. To the people I studied with and worked with in Houston, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C., Native Americans were Indians, and Indians didn’t exist anymore. That is why it’s important to me to use art to promote Indigenous issues while raising awareness about one of our nation’s most abused and most resilient people. I want to tell these stories for my people, my family, and our futures.

Print / Paper

Exhibitions Featuring this Artist

Una Scott
Kestutis Vasiliunas
Wesley Kramer
Nicholas Wilson
Wuon Gean Ho
Nikki Barber
Ximena Medina Sancho
Kristin Boyer
Kim Fink
Madilyn Anderson
Brady Nichols
Mara Cozzolino
Ben Bohnsack
Marga Galins
Tenjin Ikeda
Merlyn Chesterman
Nathaniel Ruleaux
Christopher Thomas
Normandie Syken
Michael DalCerro
Rich Fowler
Art Hazelwood
Savannah Crawford
Nina Jordan
Shealagh Pope
Colin Denney
Johanna Mueller
Susan Marie Brundage
Josh Winkler
Tanushree Vachharajani
Katrina Dienno
Tom Virgin
Kelly Hanning
Carol Acquilano
Cynthia Back
Holly Berry
Claire Bowman
Donna Brown
Art Brown
Christa Carleton
Gino Castellanos
Bernhard Cociancig
Ben Darling
Danielle Dewees
Gil Dickinson
James Ehlers
Ian Huebert
David Johnson
Brian Kreydatus
Jim Monson
Alexandra Motiu
Claudio Orso
Andy Owen
Agata Perzynska
Endi Poskovic
Alyssa Ringler
Catherine Rozmarynowycz
Aric Russom
Adrian Tio
Donald VanAuken
6/3/22 to 8/26/22
Print / Paper

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