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Brookings Artist Makes Ideas Come To Life



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While some of us can hardly draw a stick figure, others truly have a gift. From the time she was a little girl, a Brookings woman knew exactly what she wanted to be when she grew up. Not only has she found a way to make it work, she’s using the latest technology to fine-tune her craft.  We think JoAnne Bird is Someone You Should Know.

As Beethoven's dramatic melodies play in the background, ideas come to life. The  masterpiece she’s painting is still a work in progress but each stroke has a purpose and attention to detail is a must.

JoAnne Bird chuckles, “When I went to school they told me I had no sense of color. I'm glad I didn't let it bother me.

She's no stranger to the world of art. JoAnne Bird was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of fame in 1992 as Artist of the year.

As a Native American, her culture plays a vital role in her work. From horses, to warriors, each piece has significance. And her talents aren't just limited to canvas, you can also add sculpting to her list of skills. Her pieces can be found throughout Minnesota. The huge monuments she built are on display in Shakopee, Wabasha, and even the state capitol building. But as technology changes, Bird continues to challenge her artistic abilities. She's spent the last 6 years learning how to mold clay using a computer program and a special pen-like tool.

“I mean you actually feel the clay or whatever you're doing, you can feel it and then you put it on a disk and they see it and can materialize what ever you are making,” says Bird.

Bird says the program is mainly used by companies like Mattel to build dolls and toys, but she feels the 3-D images are a transition into a "new age" of art. And while she's comfortable expressing her creativity from behind the computer, sometimes she still prefers the simplicity of her painting studio. Either way, Bird says having the courage to let her imagination take flight, is the greatest accomplishment of all.  

Bird says, “All I can think of is I did what I wanted and that was my biggest reward I think, that I got to be free and do what I love.”

If you would like to see more of JoAnne Bird's art, you can visit her website http://www.joannebird.com/
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