Bunky Echo-Hawk is one the hottest up-and-coming contemporary Native American artists in the country. He is an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation of Washington State. He is also a member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma. Bunky attended the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico where he received an Associate Degree in Creative Writing.He has had several recent major shows in Minneapolis, Chicago, New York and Greensboro, North Carolina. He is also a featured artist on the current and highly acclaimed Impacted Nations national traveling art exhibition. Bunky has also been featured in the Chicago Daily Herald, Native Peoples Magazine, Westword, The Daily Camera, The Colorado Daily and numerous other publications. He is currently the Special Events Coordinator for the American Indian College Fund and a board member for NVision and the Denver Indian Center.
“Growing up in a non-Indian world, I was constantly faced with the responsibility of defining my identity as a Pawnee/Yakama Indian. I was always fascinated by the duality of the two worlds, and the juxtaposition of culture and identity. This is where my art has originated from: The pursuit of a true identity, and the need to share this identity with the world.”
I am a proACTIVE ARTist. I believe this is a great time to be Indigenous. There are a great number of issues facing Native Americans today, which I confront with my choice of weapons: paints, brushes, canvas, my mind and my culture. There is also a great deal of beauty and humour in our cultures, which I also render every chance I get.
I have been painting for years now, and have exhibited my work throughout the nation and overseas. I also write, mainly poetry these days, but have had some of my plays produced. I am also a freelance graphic designer and photographer.
I proactively use my art to address issues, to fundraise for various Native nonprofits, and to help Indian-owned businesses. I travel a great deal – which isn’t easy with a family – all over the country. I love public speaking and meeting people from all over.
In addition to being a full-time dad, I am also a co-founder and the Executive Director of NVision, a national Native nonprofit that focuses on Native youth development. We reach out to Native youth through multi-media arts and leadership development. It’s fresh. We’re new, but we’re already doing big things in Indian Country!
I live to paint. I live for our culture. I live to write. I live for our youth. I live for our future. I live to exchange ideas. I live to be a voice. I live to see, in my lifetime, change for the better. I live for proactive action. This is how I’m living. How are you living?