Julie Buffalohead, born in 1972 is an enrolled member of the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1995 and her Master of Fine Arts from Cornell University in 2001. Buffalohead is a recipient of the McKnight Foundation Fellowship for Visual Arts, a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant, and the Fellowship for Visual Artists from the Minnesota State Arts Board.
Buffalohead lives and works in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She has exhibited both locally and nationally. She has been in group exhibitions at the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art in Indianapolis, the Carl N. Gorman Museum in Davis, California, The Plain’s Art Museum in Fargo, North Dakota, among others. She has had solo exhibitions at Carleton University in Northfield Minnesota, St. Thomas University in St. Paul, St. Johns University in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and the Bockley Gallery in Minneapolis.
Buffalohead’s work has focused thematically upon describing Indian cultural experience through personal metaphor and narrative. In a July, 2003 article of Cornell Alumni magazine, she is quoted as saying “My imagery is so personal it’s hard to think about the viewer, but I try to be provocative. I use stereotypes because Indians didn’t have a hand in creating them. It’s my way of saying ‘This is not who we are. This is your invention.'”
Just as frequently as the work has been evocative of animals, anthropomorphism and nature, it has been a critique of the simulacrum of the Old West, and of the prejudicial commercialization of Native culture. The work juxtaposes (constantly evolving) representations of animal spirit and Coyote motifs.
Buffalohead has employed an eclectic pallet of traditional and natural materials, such as birch bark, porcupine quills, and rawhide. She has blurred the boundary between drawing, illustration, painting, bookmaking, sculpture and installation formats.