Meet the artist
Raymond Janis (Oglala Lakota Tribe) goes by the artist name of Ray Rock Boy. Rock Boy is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation. He grew up in the Medicine Root District also known as Kyle, South Dakota.
Rock Boy started his art career teaching himself how to use different adobe programs, which helped him elevate his art and knowledge in graphic design. He is currently pursing an associate’s degree in graphic design from Oglala Lakota College.
Rock Boy is influenced by his Lakota heritage and western society blending the two cultures and letting his art develop and move where it wants.
To learn more about Rock Boy, follow him on Instagram
About his art
Raymond’s art style is influenced by his Lakota heritage and western upbringing, where he dives into the past and connects it to the present. Raymond creates eclectic pieces that are inspired from his childhood, from growing up on the “Rez,” traditional Lakota teachings, Saturday morning cartoons, music from country to hip-hop and, of course, wanting to be like Mike!
On display now
Cultural transmissions facilitate how behaviors are developed and traditions are formed. During the month of November, we celebrate both Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Month. The artists of the Hennepin Theatre Trust & All My Relations Arts, We Are Still Here cohort, have created work that challenges the audience to disrupt the cultural transmissions embedded in traditions around Thanksgiving, celebrate the contemporary presence of Native American dancers and musicians, and offers a call for healing through truth and reconciliation.
In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, Ray Janis highlights two contemporary artists in his work, Hechina maka akan unko iyanpi. Hanwi Ohlate Najin Win, Marvie Ferguson-Iron Cloud, is a Jingle Dress Dancer and former Little Miss Oglala Lakota Nation. Talon Bazille Ducheneaux is a rap artist and poet from South Dakota, BAZTK.com. By showcasing contemporary, local artists, Ray highlights the present rather than the past; “Hechina maka akan unko iyanpi,” a Lakota phrase which translates to; we are still here walking on this land.
Hechina maka akan unko iyanpi
by Ray Janis
These pieces are titled “Hechina maka akan unko iyanpi” which translates to “we are still here walking on this land.” Represented in these pieces are two culture bearers. The first is a hip hop artist named Talon “Bazille” Ducheneaux. He speaks on issues of race and culture in South Dakota. Bazille continues to fight for our people to be heard and is paving a way for Indigenious people in the arts. Marvie “Hanwi Ohlate Najin Win” Ferguson is a Lil Miss Oglala Lakota Nation. She keeps Lakota traditions and culture alive by dancing and practicing Lakota Ceremonies. Her name translates to “Woman who walks under the moon.”
About the digital artists’ cohort
We Are Still Here will re-center Native voices and stories in the Hennepin Theatre District and the Native American Cultural Corridor through the work of a Native artists’ cohort working in a variety of digital and analog media, leading to a large-scale public art project by fall 2020. All My Relations Arts and Hennepin Theatre Trust have committed to this multiyear partnership to weave Native culture back into Hennepin Avenue with temporary and permanent art that engages Native and non-Native people in a deeper sense of place and share future.