Kakwirakeron R. Montour
When he was nine years old the artist’s family, as many Mohawk families did, moved to Brooklyn, New York in order to pursue economic opportunity. It was in New York City that Montour began his studies in art at the High School of Art and Design and afterward at The School of Visual Arts, where the young artist was awarded a full scholarship. Later, as he matured, Montour married his love of his own Mohawk heritage to his artistic impulse. Montour has illustrated books of legends, traditional Mohawk teachings, language, history and sport and has won numerous awards for editorial cartoon works over the past 35 years.
In 2004 he fulfilled a longtime dream and traveled to the southwestern United States and it was while combing the many galleries in Santa Fe, Taos, Sedona and Scottsdale that his love of painting was rekindled. Until the founding of Rapid Water Gallery in January of 2013, Montour worked in his home studio in the community of Kahnawake, the historic home of Mohawk saint Kateri Tekakwitha located along the shores of the St. Lawrence River across from Montreal, Quebec. The rich heritage and history of Kahnawake and the Mohawk people provides the artist with his deepest inspiration. Montour’s work is in numerous private collections in Canada and the United States.
“After nearly 400 years of pressure to assimilate as a people, we Mohawk remain. A major goal of my work is to do my part to honor the traditions and history of my ancestors.”
High School of Art and Design, New York
School of Visual Arts, New York
Parson’s School of Design, New York
Manitou Community College, Canada
Exhibitions and Awards:
* Tahawus Lodge Center for Culture and Community Gallery, Ausable Forks NY (Mohawk of the Adirondacks- Group Exhibition) 2012
* The Museum of Contemporary Native Art, Santa Fe 2011
Soul Sister: Reimagining Kateri Tekakwitha (Group Exhibition)
* Ronathahonni Cultural Centre, Akwesasne (Solo Exhibition) 2011
* Woodland Cultural Institute, Brantford, Ontario (Art of Iroquoia: Group Exhibition) 2010
* Kanien’kehaka Raotitiohkwa Cultural Center, Kahnawake (Solo Exhibition) 2010
* Gary Farmer Gallery, Santa Fe (Art of the Eastern Woodlands 2005
* American Indian Community House Gallery, New York
* Museum of American Indian, New York
* Massey Hall, Toronto, Ontario 1980
* First Place Award Quebec Newspaper Award (The Eastern Door), Best Editorial Cartoon 2006, 2005 (second place), 2004 (second place).
* $10,000 Working Grant Award, Kanienke’haka Funding Association Kahnawake 2010