Professor at Minot State Receives $100,000 Award
A longtime Minot artist considered one of North Dakotaís most highly regarded artists, Walter Piehl Jr. is one of three recipients of a $100,000 Enduring Vision Award from the Bush Foundation. The award is one of three initiatives of the Bush Artist Program supporting individual artists.
On Monday (June 9), The Bush Foundation based in St. Paul, Minn., announced that Piehl, Frank Big Bear, a painter from Minn., and Janel Jacobson, a woodcarver from Harris, Minn., were the first recipients of this prestigious award.
Piehl has been a professor of art at Minot State University since 1970. He holds a bachelor of science degree from Concordia College and masterís of arts and fine arts degrees from the University of North Dakota.
"Whether you are an art student or a professional artist, you do your best work with subjects you are most familiar with. The prairie landscape and the lifestyle that goes with it has been very important to me and my art and I encourage my students to bring their personal experiences into the classroom as subject matter or general concepts. Appreciation of this landscape and this lifestyle is important, even for the city kids, said Piehl."
Using acrylic on canvas or paper, Piehl treats Western Americana themes with modern art influences and interpretation. His work has been or is exhibited at many institutions and museums in Minot and other communities in North Dakota as well as places including the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy in Colorado, Eitelijorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art in Indianapolis and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyo.
The award is the first of its kind in the country and focuses on "propelling the artistic investigations of mature artists." The 2008 awards were considered in the visual and media arts categories.
--partially excerpted from the Minot Daily News