He was born in 1943 on the Crow Indian Reservation in Lodge Grass, Montana.
His family placed a lot of value on art and culture and with this introduction and encouragement he developed a love of drawing early in his life. It started in grade School however at this time the Crow students were denied association with their language and cultural heritage.
Later the American Indian Arts Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico was established and Kevin was one of 150 students who were chosen to attend and he was encouraged to explore his history and culture through modern art techniques.
Upon graduation, Red Star and several other Native students received scholarships to the San Francisco Art Institute. Here he was exposed to the avant garde and political and social concerns of post-modern art. Since embarking on his professional artistic journey, the acknowledged master artist is considered a visual historian and ambassador for his Native Crow culture. In 1997, Kevin Red Star received an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Fine Art from the Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana
Working primarily in acrylic, ink, and collage, he is known for conjuring evocative images of his ancestral Crow tribe: its culture and history – past to present.
Red Star’s works are the focal point of several important museum collections, including
Red Star’s work is featured in several important museum collections. The Smithsonian Institution - National Museum of the American Indian
CM Russell Museum
Denver Art Museum
Whitney Museum of Western Art
Institute of American Indian Arts Museum
United States Department of State
Red Star explains, “Indian culture has in the past been
ignored to a great extent. It is for me, as well as for many other
Indian artists, a rich source of creative expression. An intertwining
of my Indian culture with contemporary art expression
has given me a greater insight concerning my art. I hope
to accomplish something for the American Indian and at the
same time achieve personal satisfaction in a creative statement
through my art.”
In fall, 2007, Kevin Red Star appointed Ken Lingad to present his new works on canvas, while also establishing his winter painting studio at Legends Santa Fe.
In 1966, he returned to Montana, living at Red Lodge near Billings. Since his return to Montana, Red Star's work has increasingly expressed his self-affirmed role as historian, recorder, and ambassador for his native Crow culture. Surrounded by his extended family, his horses and his ancestral homeland, Kevin Red Star has established a unique balance between his world and his art.
Kevin Red Star's paintings are a synthesis of traditional imagery and contemporary style.
Known as “Running Rabbit” in his native Crow language, Kevin Red Star is a tall, soft-spoken man who has devoted his life to sharing his culture with the world. Born in the small town of Lodge Grass on eastern Montana’s Crow Reservation, the 65-year-old artist grew up surrounded by vast natural beauty: soaring mountain peaks, sweeping plateaus, deep canyons, sparkling streams, hundreds of alpine lakes to the west, and the mighty Bighorn River to the east. The third of nine children, Red Star has evolved from a self-taught youngster who constantly sketched scenes of his homeland to a pivotal North American master painter and printmaker renowned for his bold palette, emotionally evocative subjects, and compelling design elements