Danielle Seewalker 

Denver Mural Artist |Native American Heritage Month

Tell us some background about yourself? (Your journey, Where you’re from, how you got started with your art?)

I am born/raised in North Dakota and am a citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.  I’ve been living in Denver since 2018 when I was relocated here for work. I moved here from South Carolina, where I had lived for a few years and prior to that was living in Pennsylvania, Illinois and Nebraska. I’ve been all over but love living in Colorado the most.  I don’t ever envision leaving!  I have been creating art since the beginning of my existence. I’ve always been a creative spirit whether it was sketching or writing stories, to painting, doing traditional Native American beadwork, to making moccasins, etc.  Most recently I got into doing murals and have been addicted ever since!

Do you have any events or projects coming up you’d like people to know about? The Red Road Project? Creative Nations? Any recent murals you’ve done?

I recently just wrapped up my latest mural project in the Denver Central Market parking lot.  I was asked by the Rino Arts District to create a mural in honor of Native American Heritage Month. I was humbled to be asked… I never ever thought I would have the opportunity to paint a piece of public art in the heart of the Rino Arts District – a dream come true!
Aside from mural work, I have been working on building up a new Indigenous arts organization called Creative Nations. The goal and mission of this is to bring opportunity and growth of Indigenous arts to the mainstream. We were very fortunate to receive space from the Dairy Arts Center in Boulder to be our home base.  In just our short time of existence, we have produced Native comedy shows, music and dance performances, an Indigenous arts market, an all-Native fashion show, a film festival and more! We plan to offer classes and do even more programming that weaves in artists living on reservations so we can provide opportunities to those really need that once chance.  I’ve also been working endlessly on my passion project of over 8 years called The Red Road Project.  This long-term photo-documentary project is in collaboration with my best friend.  We have been documenting what it means to be American Indian in the 21st century. Currently, we are focusing on the topic of “urban Natives” and how the Relocation Act of 1956 played a part in Denver being such a densely populated area for Native American people.  I don’t think people born and raised here realize that this act designated Denver as one of those relocation cities which encouraged Native American people to move off the reservations and assimilate into mainstream American populations.  It’s a very interesting history that needs to be told and I’m hoping to share this in 2022 with the local community here.  I’m also focused on starting a new body of work as I have a few solo shows coming up next year that I’m super excited about!
What neighborhood do you live in? What neighborhood is your business in?

I’m currently in Green Valley Ranch, but am relocating back to the Central Park neighborhood where I initially lived when I first moved to Denver.

Why did you choose to call your neighborhood home?

To be truthful, we chose Central Park because of the great reputation the schools in this neighborhood have.  I have two sons that are currently in middle school and their education means everything to me. I currently live in GVR because my house is just one stop away from the airport and I’m a very frequent guest of DIA! Pre-pandemic, I was on a plane once per week and it was very convenient to live very close to the airport.  However, this is a bit too far out for me and I want to get a bit closer to where our life revolves (Central Park/Downtown).

What are your favorite local places?

Tocabe is probably my favorite restaurant in town. It’s an American Indian eatery and it’s the closest to back home I can get in terms of getting traditional native foods like bison ribs, wojapi, and fry bread! I love little cafes around town too, like Crema, to bunker down and get out of the house. I work remotely from home, so it’s nice to get out of the house and catch up on emails outside of the house sometimes.  I also love popping by Twist and Shout to grab some gently used vinyls.

What do you love about Denver?

I love that I have a community of Native American people around me. I didn’t have that when I lived on the East coast, so it’s very comforting to be around my community again. The art scene here is also really great! I’ve been able to really network and meet a lot of fantastic creatives that I admire and find inspiration from.  Also, I cannot think of another place where you can live an urban lifestyle but be off grid in 30 minutes surrounded by the most beautiful mountain scenery. It’s truly the best of all worlds for me!

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