Wesley May

 As an artist I have grown through many trials and tribulations and thank the Creator for helping me become a stronger American Indian Individual. My experiences have led me to where I am today, allowing me to honestly share my story through art.

Project Video 1
Project Video 2

Project Video 3 Harding High School

I am a Native American from the Red Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota and a First Peoples Fund artist. I believe that an artist’s role in the community is to bring awareness of the voices that are rarely heard, not to lead the charge of any cause, but to unleash the potential of others through art. I travel around to art shows, powwows, and other community events and empower others through Live Exhibition paintings. Expressing truths as the paintings are created. I encourage children, youth, adults, and elders to share with me, their knowledge of art, to become part of a kindred energy in the creation of each piece. Bringing awareness of art in our lives from the first brushstroke, to building confidence in those that choose to include their voice.

 At these exhibitions, I demonstrate, with all the care and concern of love, my craft and technique and explain how it shows in each brush stroke. I speak of how we approach a blank canvas, is similar to how we approach life, either we step up and just do it, or we stop, hesitate not wanting to make a mistake. As we move through a painting, what we thought might have been mistakes disappear as we continue to work on the painting, and the more beautiful the paintings become, the same with life, what we thought were mistakes, we can fix them and move on, and the more beautiful people we become. I feel that sharing truths while creating images is visually expressing that which is in the heart and creates an experience of art with resounding ripples. I am spiritually grounded, I walk my talk, and I lead by example. Using Creator given talents to serve others, I demonstrate the simplicity of life through paint, utilizing the four colors of the medicine wheel as my starting point, where our roots grow, to swirl outward to be more inclusive of all races, all emotions, and all parts of being.

As Anishinabe we have always been inclusive and non-judgmental, always encouraging and doing our best. This is the way I live, the way I paint, the way I use my talent to serve people and the Creator.



Self portrait of you







Contemporary Best of Show, Bemidji State University/Leech Lake Technical College Spring Art Expo, Bemidji, MN, for “Sustenance” 2009

Best of Show/First Place, Red Lake Nation Fair, Red Lake, MN, for “Kindred Spirits” 2008

First Place, Bemidji State University/Leech Lake Technical College Spring Art Expo, Bemidji, MN, for “Founding Fathers-Muffled Voices” 2008

Third Place Bemidji State University/Leech Lake Technical College Spring Art Expo, Bemidji, MN, for “Kindred Spirits” 2008

Honorable Mention, Bemidji State University/Leech Lake Technical College Ojibwe Art Expo, Bemidji, MN, for “Story of a Rainbow” 2007

Featured in June 2001 issue of “Native Peoples” Magazine for “Let Me Tell You a Story”

Peoples’ Choice for Best of Show, Bemidji State University Ojibwe Art Expo,
Bemidji, MN, for “Let Me Tell You a Story” 2000

Best Representation of Women and Children, Red Cloud Art