Native Village  Youth and Education news
February 2010 Volume 4

Artist seeks powwow dancer who inspired mural
Condensed by Native Village

Montana: Artist Greg Millar spent most of 2006 studying the face of a stranger. That stranger's image was replicated in Millar's colorful mosaic mural, "Home of the Brave," which was displayed in the Governor's mansion.

Millar has spent 3 years trying to identify the man in the brilliant regalia who danced at the Fort Missoula Powwow back in 1991. “I’ve been searching for this person since I finished the piece, and I’ve told this story to many people and I’ve had some leads, but I’ve never found the right person,” said Millar.

It’s not just curiosity that has led Millar to seek out the stranger. Millar sold the mural and now wants to donate half the proceeds - - around $3,000 -- to the charity of the dancer's choice.

“I worked on this thing for eight or nine months, and so I had a lot of time to think about what had inspired me about the picture, and what I should do if I sell it,” said Millar. “This is a promise I made to myself at the time, and now that it’s sold, I’d like to go through with that.”

The photo was originally shot by Millar’s friend, Patrick Clark. Clark said he didn’t know the dancer, and didn’t manage to get his name.

“It was one of those great moments where it was evening light on a gorgeous summer day and the great colors of the dancer,” recalled Clark. “So it turned out to be a really neat photograph.”

When Millar saw the photograph, he was immediately inspired to create a mural. “I couldn’t have done such a beautiful piece if the beadworkers hadn’t done such a great job in the first place to inspire me,” said Millar. “So I thought it’d be great if I could somehow pay back that inspiration.”

Millar has little information about who the dancer might be. “I had a person from the Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs working on it, and it was narrowed down to one of the tribes to the east of us, but that’s about it,” he said.

Millar is hoping someone can help him identify the dancer. If he can't, Miller will choose a charity to donate the money to on his own.

“I’d rather not do it that way, but one way or another, I want to honor that commitment,” he said. “I’d like to get it figured out; I think it’d be great to bring the whole thing full circle

If you can help identify the dancer, please contact Mr. Millar at 406-728-6062

Photo courtesy of

Part 1: Artist Seeks Powwow Dancer Who Inspired Mural
Part 2: Artist Finally Locates Native Performer from 1991 Powwow Featured in Portrait
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