Kevin Red Star paints a sacred site for a literary festival

Cory Walsh

When Kevin Red Star was asked if there was something significant that he wanted to produce on canvas, the celebrated Crow painter thought of Crown Butte.

His family has a ranch close to the foothills of the Pryor Mountains and its buttes.

“They’re significant, but they’re hard to reach,” he said in a phone interview about his new painting, “Crown Butte,” which will be auctioned off for the In the Footsteps of Norman Maclean Festival.

It’s a destination for “people that want to find spiritual direction, pray and fast” for days, whether seeking a spiritual connection or “peace from everyday life.”

The butte is lined with trees and bands of rock, against a pure red sky. (He said there’s “Certain times of day you can capture that, with the sunset or the sunrise” or outside after a storm.)

In the foreground, he painted a grouping of four tepees, whose nestling of poles draws the eye upward to the sky. In the distance, horses of all colors roam freely. “Every family has a horse that lives in the country, like ourselves,” he said.

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