Tipi Info

CLICK HERE for info about the "Painted Tipis" and to camp overnight in a tipi for a once in a lifetime experience for you and your family or scout group.

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Experience the great outdoors like a true Native American.  Spend the night in an authentic tipi.  Check in  is 3:00 PM and check out is noon.
All Tipis sleep 3-4 people.
Cost is $79 per Tipi
per night.

2011 Special
Tipi Camping will be available Thursday - Sunday Night, July 14th - 17th, 2011. Thursday, July 14th and Sunday, July 17th Tipi Camping is half price. Call and make your reservations now, space is limited!!!
Reservations can be made by calling 815-946-3817.
Reservations will be made on a first come first serve basis.
Each family will receive a welcome gift including smores, coffee, games and more.
All Tipis will be located on Festival Grounds at the Lowden State Park. Camping is free if you bring your own Tipi.

Painted Tipis
If you paint it, they will come
There is a new slogan being used by the festival committee for the Oregon Trail Days - if you paint it, they will come. The committee is hoping to put Oregon, Illinois on the map this summer with a new twist on the theme of the famed "Parade of Cows". The painted cow statues were a hugely successful public art display with over 300 creatively painted and decorated fiberglass cows placed throughout Chicago in the late 1990's.
The theme of the Oregon Trail Days Festival, which will be held this summer on the 3rd weekend in July, will be centered around the region's rich Native American heritage, especially that of Chief Black Hawk and the statue that stands on the banks of the Rock River in his honor. There is an Indian encampment planned at Lowden State Park with the hopes of having upwards of 40 tipis for everyone to enjoy, explore, learn about, or even camp in, over that weekend. Twenty of these tipis will be unique in a way that no one has seen before. They will be on display as art. Instead of painting cows, or huskies, (like Northern Illinois University did recently), they will be painted tipis. Many of the artists currently signed on are planning historical renderings, but the design and imagery will be left up to the imagination and creativity of each artist.
Oregon's history is interwoven with both Native Americans and the arts. In the late 1800's there was a well known artist's colony, the Eagle's Nest, established on the very land where the Black Hawk Statue currently stands. For years, artists escaped the stifling heat and confinement of Chicago to spend their summers in this beautiful area. Lorado Taft, the famous sculptor who created the statue was a member of the colony.
Committee members are busy on two fronts, contacting local businesses, schools and individuals to encourage them to purchase the 14' tipis, and lining up local artists to paint them. Once painted, they will all be debuted at the festival. Some of the tipis will be auctioned off as a fund raiser for the festival. A percentage of money raised will be donated to the restoration of the statue which is currently underway. After the festival, the owners will decide where there tipis will be placed as their permanent residence. They may end up in front of a business or in one of Oregon's many beautiful city parks or even the state parks. There will be a map created with the locations and visitors will be able to enjoy the Oregon Trail of Tipis throughout the year.
Some of the Sioux style tipis, which have been chosen by the committee to be painted, are already on display throughout town. See the pictures below to see where they are located - we will continue to update these pictures as more tipis are placed.

If you are interested in purchasing a tipi they are $1,495 for a 14' tipi.


Design Inspiration:
I had recently returned from Sanibel Island in Florida and had started painting pictures from the trip. It had been a long time since I had been at the ocean and our escape from the icy weather in Febuary was too short.  Walking along the beach barefooted felt so good. When the Tipi project came up I was still in the Tropical Beach state of mind and thought it would be fun to share walking along the beach with other people.  It is amazing to explore what washes ashore in the morning and to watch the white featherd longlegged Ibis digging in the surf for their breakfast buffet.  So take a walk along my beach, discover what there is to find and stay as long as you want to.

Bio/Artistic Pursuits:

I would say that I love to paint people, water scenes, and large flower 'portraits'.  Painting is a way to revisit a place or think upon a persons life.  Water just amazes me.  It can have so many facets, from calm and delicate to raging brutalness.  Painting large areas for stage scenery or backdrops has been fun to do for school plays and for murals on walls.  The Tipi project was too good to pass up.  It is a large area but it is round and it decreases as it goes up.  The shape presented challenges as well as ideas.  I enjoy taking things and looking at them from different points of view.

"Tropical Horizon"

Painted by Ellen Ebert of Polo







The tipi design by the painting students at Oregon High School was inspired by the Momoyama Period screen painting, "Birds and Flowers of the Four Seasons" from the Kano School in Japan. The students wanted to utilize the idea of the four seasons by representing the Rock River and local landscape in a continuous seasonal narrative.  They chose to depict the river and surrounding landscape in simplified, stylized graphics.

"Allegory of Time"

Painted by OHS Students in Cheryl Bunton's art class

Tipi owner:  Oregon Education Foundation




Design Inspiration:

Most of my painting since 2000 has been plein air  (painting directly from nature and life).   My inspiration for the
"Prairie Palette" tipi is for my favorite time to paint which is early in the morning and standing under a sky of sunrise colors.  
Sunrise is even more magical when you see both the sun and the moon in that colorful sky. Lorado Taft's  "Black Hawk Sculpture" faces sunset and watches the last light of day and  my "Prairie Palette"  tipi reflects light of dawn bringing the past to the present.

"Prairie Palette"

Painted by Charlotte Rollman, art professor at NIU

Bio/Artistic Pursuits:

As a Professor of Art at Northern Illinois University (teaching  watercolor and painting),  I have lived in DeKalb County since 1989. Having recently returned from a three month painting adventure in Costa Rica,  I will be having a solo exhibition in San Jose, Feb 2011.




The opportunity to paint a full size tipi has been very meaningful to me. I have thought so much about painting a tipi that I had a dream about this project.

Design Inspiration:

At the top of my tipi I saw black and a dark color at the bottom with horses running around the middle of the tipi. I used yellow circles at the top. To the Indians this means the night sky, the moon and the coming sun. At the base I used dark brown for the earth, the dark green peaks are the western mountains. The horses have always meant a great deal and represent loyalty and friendship to me. The Indians thought of the horse as strength, stamina and mobility.

"Running Spirits"

Painted by Jeff Kerr, Maquoketa, Iowa


Bio/Artistic Pursuits:

Art has been a part of my life ever since I can remember. I can recall drawing crude pictures of road equipment working in front of our house during WW2. During the same time period I remember coloring  a book of Jeeps, planes, ships and fighting men. One early recollection in Kindergarten was drawing a picture of a man urinating along side the road. At the time I did not understand my teacher's reaction to it (a bit of a smile and commenting, "That's interesting"). I got about the same reaction from my folks when I proudly took the picture home. Except the fact my folks seemed very interested in what my teacher had to say about it. But to me (a budding 5 year old) peeing along side the road was just as normal as getting together for Sunday dinner. In later years I have been able to look back on the occasion and enjoy it over and over as a piece of innocence lost. As I got older I won first place in the student division of the Phidian Art Show in Dixon when I was a senior in high school. Forty years later I decided to enter again and this time I won the 50th Anniversary award for a pencil drawing in 1997.

"Yesterdays Warriors"

Painted by     Marv Kunde, Oregon, IL.

Design Inspiration:

Beth Henderson and I have been working together for some 20 years now and I can't remember the last time I said no to one of  her requests. This time, it was the intrigue of yet another challenge. After all, when would I ever get another opportunity to design and paint a tepee. The hard fact is that this was the first offer to do the same I had received in the last 71 years and had no idea when another might come along. Thought I'd better grab it. I have always perked up when primitive or early native American art and or artifacts hit the news. At the very offset, I wanted to bring some of that primitive decorative flavor to my design. Hopefully I have done that.


Design Inspiration:

Beth Henderson had asked me to do a tipi for the White Pines State Park I thought this design I found in a gourd book suited perfectly. I used the faux method to make the background look like deer skin with the hide rolled over the top. I asked my husband , Ron to help me and he did a great job rolling the background and paintng in the areas I had drawn. It was our first art piece together, and it was a , fun and challenging venture and took us 20hours to complete. He has been my best critique and encouragement through the 30 years..  Our tipi now stands on White Pines Rd near Ace hardware in Oregon, Il will be there til the July festival at Lowden, then will be at the White Pines State Park. I belong to Eagle's Nest Art Guild, and Rock River Valley Painter's Guild and exhibit my work at Next Picture Show Gallery in Dixon and Pine Crest Community Center in Mt Morris, IL.


"Prancing in the Pines"

Painted by Jan Harvey, Polo

Bio/Artistic Pursuits:

I had just retired from nursing when on the streets of Polo was an artist demonstrating "rub outs".. I signed up for her classes and I was hooked. A few years later and a move to Prescott, Az, I enrolled in classes at Yavapai College. This began a whole new love and learning in art. including watercolor,acrylic, oils and now palette knife. My palette has been from paper, canvas, sawblades,wood, gourds,and now of all things, a "tipi".


Bio/Artistic Pursuits:

Cindy has been the driving force behind how this tipi looks since she is probably the one person with the most background in art and design in our group.  She studied fine arts at NIU and can work in any medium. Barb's background is in interior design so she is  trained in rendering techniques which includes watercolor. The rest of our group started as a painting class at Lake Court Center here at Lost Lake and continued to meet after their instructor moved away.  They meet three Thursday afternoons a month and paint whatever strikes their fancy, listen to music and share snacks.  Some of our members also belong to Eagle's Nest Art Group which is how they got involved in the tipi painting.

"Starry Night

Painted by the Lost Lake Art Group

Designer: Lucinda Winterfield

Artists: Barb Lundeen, Barb Stewart, Connie Schiltz, Barb O'Rourke, Margie Holzer, Jill Aigner, Pat Bendery


Design Inspiration:

An Indian village at night inspired by Van Gogh.


Rock River Valley Painter’s Guild

The Rock River Valley Painter’s Guild was founded in 2008 and is made up of members from the Sauk Valley.  The function of the guild is to assist artists in helping one another to grow and develop their skills as well as to provide opportunities for artists to interact with the community.  Community involvement has included such projects as working with a local nursing home providing art activities and discussions, taped art appreciation round table discussions for high school students and the general public as well as painting a backdrop for a local church bible school. Artist’s growth opportunities have included painting and drawing workshops presented by nationally recognized artists such as Richard Johnson as well as workshops presented by local artists. Monthly meetings provide opportunities for sharing ideas and general art discussions.

Educational backgrounds of the members vary widely. Many of the members are self taught while others have studied under professional artists. Some of the members have degrees with extensive educational backgrounds.  The variety of backgrounds contributes greatly to the success of the guild. Members range from brand new to the thrill of painting to those with many, many years of experience.

Meetings are held on the first Saturday of each month.

Email for the guild is: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Design Inspiration:
The title ìCircle of Lifeî was chosen to reflect the significance of nature in the lives of the American Indians. The use of the circle as a foundation for the paintings represents the ongoing sustenance necessary for survival. The base of the tipi itself makes a circle which forms the foundation of the protective family housing unit. The individual circles progress around the tipi starting with the buffalo and ending with the buffalo bull dance. We chose to do this because the buffalo represents the single most important element for survival.  We designed the tipi to include the buffalo, the full moon, the canoe and a ceremonial dance which work together to represent much of the American Indian life.

The Buffalo:  The buffalo was used completely. The meat was used for food, the bones for tools and jewelry. The hide was used for clothing, tipis, moccasins and shields. The buffalo droppings were even used to start fires.

The Full Moon:  Indians named the full moons to keep track of the seasons.  Some variation appears in the names by tribes but in general the names were very close.
January:  Full Wolf Moon
Feb.:       Full Snow Moon
March:    Full Worm Moon
April:      Full Pink Moon
May:       Full Flower Moon
June:       Full Strawberry Moon
July:        Full Buck Moon
August:   Full Sturgeon Moon
Sept.:      Full Corn Moon
Oct.:       Full Harvest Moon
Nov.:      Full Beaver Moon
Dec.:      Full Cold Moon

The Canoe:  Canoes were used for transportation by Native American Tribes living near rivers, lakes and oceans. Although styles varied they most often were dugout and bark styles.

Ceremonial Dances:  The Buffalo Bull Dance is an example of a hunting ceremony which was developed from the economic significance of the buffalo herd.

"Circle of Life"

Painted by Rock River Valley Painters Guild, Polo

Artists: Bob Tower, Marilyn Tower, Stuart Roddy, Jan Harvey, Betty Kryger, Joyce Frasher






































I wanted to represent many of the plant forms useful to the Indian way of life:

Trees and vines that provide fruits and nuts.
Plants used for healing and medicinal purposes.
Grasses, branches and wood for making tools, baskets and weapons.

I harvested materials from my land to use in this project. Wild Grapevine, Mulberry tree, Rasberry vines, Wild Plum trees, a variety of grasses, Shagbark Hickories, Sumac, Burr Oak trees, Willow and Compass Prairie are a few of the plants employed as images. The work is layered over time to evolve and build the composition. The ghosting of the forms suggests the passage of time.

I prefer to work outside on my property and use natural materials. I have partnered with the wind in my work on many occasions, but this time the rain brought help. It’s been a rainy spring and trying to work outside on dry days was a waiting game. I took a chance and placed the 50 lb. tipi canvas in my wheel barrel along with my painting supplies and set out to my back sanctuary to begin my painting. Once I had set up and smoothed out the canvas, I started to paint. I covered a quarter of the tipi with my base color when the skies darkened and the wind picked up speed. I tried to beat the impending rain. To my chagrin, I realized that I had not mixed enough base color to lay over the entire area. Darn. I began to frantically mix up another batch of color to match. Hurry, hurry, hurry. Too late – suddenly it began to pour. While asking the rain to stop, I picked up one side of the unpainted canvas and pulled it over to protect the painted surface. I yelled out loud H  E  L  P. . . Suddenly the rain stopped. When I opened it back up, the rain had mixed the paint, thinned it and applied it to the unpainted surface. The rain finished applying my paint. My fretting turned to joy. I think God/Nature has a sense of humor.

Artist Statement~

Plants of the prairie and Native Illinois landscape have been the subject of my current work. I prefer to work with natural materials, on site-specific locations. My tools are the plants themselves in a variety of forms and stages. Sumi ink-made from burnt pine trees, concentrated juice extracted from plants, tea and ashes are my mediums of choice. I have developed a sequence of techniques in my art-making that employs the elements  and forces of nature such as wind, ice, snow, fire and decay. And now rain.

To work on canvas required some modification of my materials and techniques. The tipi painting must withstand sun, wind and rain, so acrylic paints were used.

"Sacred Dwelling"

Painted by Yvonne Beckway

This is the name I have chosen for the tipi I have painted. Harmony and oneness with nature are what came to mind in considering this project. First Americans (as Native Indians are often called) were also first environmentalists. They appreciated and used what they needed without wasting or defiling the land. They observed and studied the processes/cycles of nature and dwell in harmony with them.

A reverence for the natural world manifested in a symbiotic relationship with the land is reflected in Native American Indian culture.









Beth Henderson asked Dennis and I to paint a 15 foot tipi for the Oregon Trail Days Festival. Den and I spent 18 hours painting together and I put in another 12 hours by myself. Next the tipi went to the Village of Progress and the consumers there put their hand prints on it. (See the pictures and story about them)
Dennis & I have never done any artistic painting before and certainly have not painted anything on this large of a scale before. It was exciting to work on the tipi but definitely a challenge.
The design of the tipi represent a village and all the hands that it takes to make a village successful. The spirals throughout each of the design elements represents the continuation of life.

"Hands of Progress

Painted by Dennis & Michelle Knodle


Design Inspiration:

I was paired with the Midwest SOARRING Foundation and asked to create a design for Joseph Standing Bear Schranz and Janet Seville. They had asked for the design to incorporate their logo (a medicine wheel with hawk and burial mound), an eagle, a standing bear, and seven buffalo. I wanted all components of the design to create a continuous flow and thus I decided to use the soaring eagle as the backdrop of the design. The bear and eagle are done in a style similar to tribes in the northwest; I also was influenced by the stone and wood carvings of the Cherokee. The buffalo, which represent the seven buffalo in the SOARRING's herd, are very stylized. I needed to create a bridge between the geometric bear and the realistic hawk found on the logo. The logo is a combination of abstract and realism. The hawk again, is realistic, but the medicine wheel and burial ground are visually closer to SOARRING's graphic. The black lines that wrap around the wheel's four colors (representing the four peoples) are meant to depict quill work.

The burial mound is for  the work we do in repatriation.  The red tail hawk is always seen when we are doing our work and is a sign to us that we are doing it in a good way. The hawk has been with us during all of SOARRING's major  struggles.  Our logo is also registered trade mark. The four colors of people are represented in the medicine wheel, which represents the four colors of mankind and that they are all equal. The bison represent our bison herd.  We have 28 actually, but, the number seven represents the seven directions.  (North, South, East,  West, Above us, Below us and within us. The bear represents medicine and is a healer. (It also can represent Joseph) The eagle represents communication between the Creator and us.  It soars the highest and closest to the Creator and brings him our prayers. The thunderbird would represent the power of the spirit world. (These definitions may vary from tribe to tribe)


Painted by Molly Cunnigham

Bio/Artistic Pursuits:

I have always had an immense interest in the arts! As a child, I was active in the Ogle County 4-H during which one of my painting placed at the Illinois State Fair, took painting classes at the Eagle's Nest, and displayed multiple times at the youth exhibit during the Grande Detour Art Show. As an adult, I have pursued a career in the arts! I have an associate's degree in fine arts from Sauk Valley Community College and a bachelor's degree in art with a concentration in art history from Colorado State University. I am currently employed at Woodlawn Arts
Academy as registrar and art/ painting instructor. At Woodlawn, I have
taught an after school program, A.R.T.S., for talented 3rd-8th graders and have participated in a juried art show and student/ teacher art exhibit. If I do have any spare time, I love to paint!


Design Inspiration:

I started this design with the row of green plants at the bottom and as I continued I started to see that it resembled corn. With this discovery I went with an elements theme and after I finished designing the bottom row I then went to the top and drew the sun which represents fire. In the middle I combined the air and water. This theme was inspiring because of the amount of respect that Native Americans had for nature and its elements. This was the first time I have painted something of this size and the task was overwhelming at times, but I fell into a good groove as I was completing the tipi.

"Nature's Harmony

Painted by Amy Fenwick

Bio/Artistic Pursuits:

I Graduated from Western Illinois University with a Bachelor's degree in Studio Art. Her arts experience includes drawing, ceramics, sculpture, painting, metal working, and printmaking.  I teach classes at Woodlawn Arts Academy since 2008.




Design Inspiration:

The “teaching” tipi name is Saukenuk Sinnissippi Iliniwek.  The tipi’s name and art incorporates facts about Black Hawk and renderings representative of Sauk tribal history and culture.
Black Sparrow Hawk was the chief, spiritual leader and inheritor of the Sauk tribe’s medicine bag.  Black Hawk was born in the village called Saukenuk.  The Sauk tribe lived there seasonally in the spring and summer to plant corn and vegetable gardens.  Saukenuk was located on the Sinnissippi River where it meets the Mississippi River, and in the region referred to by Native Americans as Iliniwek --  meaning “tribes of superior men”.  Sinnissippi  (now called the Rock River) means “rocky" or "troubled waters”, and indeed Black Hawk lived in and led his people during troubled times.
Black Hawk or Black Sparrow Hawk's name in Sauk is Makataimeshekiakiak (Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak) "Be a Large Black Hawk".
Black Hawk was a proud descendant of the Thunder Clan , the great grandson of the legendary Sauk Chief Thunder.   Black Hawk's wife's name was Singing Bird. Together they were a family of 5, with two sons and one daughter, but later in life Black Hawk adopted a small boy.
In one of the last historical confrontations of the Native American Indians,  Black Hawk led his Sauk and other tribes across the Mississippi back into their original Sinnissippi homelands. Indian battles from April to August of 1832 occurred in the Illinois Rock River Valley and Wisconsin. In August, in what was called the Battle of the Bad Axe, Black Hawk raised a white flag to surrender.  Black Hawk's people, including other tribes, women and children, attempted to re-cross the Mississippi back to Iowa at a sight called Bad Axe. While the tribes tried  to escape to safety, many died by drowning or were shot in the water.   This scene is symbolized on the Saukenuk Sinnissippi  Iliniwek tipi with raised hands above a river.
Tribes of Iliniwek did not use the portable tipi.  Sauk used stable bark lodges that were returned to during various hunting and planting seasons. The tipi has come to symbolize traditional Native American homes.  The artists incorporate native and historical elements in Saukenuk Sinnissippi Iliniwek tipi.  These include animals and plants, as well as geographic, celestial and spiritual symbols and shapes.

"Saukenuk Sinnissippi Iliniwek"
A Teaching Tipi

Painted by Andrea Raila & son Christopher Rohrbeck, Age 13

The "teaching" tipi will be located at the White Pines Ranch in Oregon, Illinois to be enjoyed by many scout groups and children during the horse camping seasons.  Mother and son artists have an art studio in Oregon, IL called the White Rabbit.   Artist web site   ArtWorkAndreaRaila.Com
























Design Inspiration:

When  I heard of the project I could not resist, I've always wanted to do something similar to the murals surrounding my community.  Something that would be on permanent display where the public may view and get a taste of what my style is.  All the pieces fit... I have a great admiration, respect, and love for the Native American Indian culture and people.  I myself am a descendant of "Indios" of Mexico.  To paint on a Tipi was even better. I've always wanted to see one up close, my wish came true since I was able to take one home to work on.  To be a part of a great cause like refurbishing the Black Hawk Statue is something you cannot put a price on.  I've been participating, performing, and supporting the Arts for most of my life and I see this event as one of many Highlights.  Here I give my thanks to the Oregon Trail Days Organization for hosting and producing this event. Woodlawn Arts Academy for inviting me to participate in painting one of the many great Tipi's created this year of 2010.  To St. Mary's Elementary School for providing me the space to create one of many visions  onto a great canvas.
The design came to me after floating through research on what is out there already, I liked what I saw, the Native American Indian Style is very distinctive and beautiful.  Although the idea is to create my own take with respect to the culture, audience, and purpose.  I was told red and yellow would fade quickly over time, so I went with shades of Brown, which matched nicely to the canvas and leather pieces of the Tipi.  Browns also give me an earthy feeling that goes well with the environment since they are outdoor use.  Also allows me to add a nice contrast of lights and darks throughout the piece.  I wanted a free flowing design, something not so straight, but organic, almost like the free spirit of the culture...I thought of wind, a bird, the long flowing hair, my roots, the horns of a Buffalo, my style of using curvature lines to a point, simple yet graceful, life of what a beginning family would be like, the bond between a man and a woman and there home, which is strong and beautiful.  In the end I paint until the piece is something I would like to keep, and then I know it's finished.

"Peaceful Bird

Painted by Camilo Quintana

Bio/Artistic Pursuits:

Camilo - Named after Camilo Torres, minister in Latin America turned revolutionary leader tragically assassinated fighting for the people of the land.
Quitze - After 1 of the 4 created in the beginning according to the bible of the Mayans "El PopeLVuh".

Born and raised in the city of Sterling Camilo bean drawing cartons for himself and classmates at the beginnings of Elementary school. Participating in as many art classes allowed by the public schools. Sold his first art piece at the age of 15 to a local school administrator. Since he has bee the student, the working artist and musician, painting for relaxation, the joy of creating, and the occasional clientele, and gallery collaberations.


Design Inspiration:

The Tee-Pee Drive In is an Oregon memory from the 1950's that had nearly faded away. We had searched the local newspaper archives at the library and inquired at the Ogle Historical Society for photos or information, but none surfaced. When a request for help was published this summer in the Oregon newspaper, a lone response filled in the picture for us. Lifelong Oregon resident Dixie Bruce came forward with several photos and a personal history of the Tee-Pee. In 1953, at 15, her first job was carhopping there for owner Bill Martin, the man who moved up from Florida to build the plywood covered, tipi shaped building. It was originally named Blackhawk’s Drive In, but people soon referred
to as just the “Tee-Pee”. He had a separate cooler for frosting the mugs, and brewed his own root beer on a stove in the Tee-Pee. Dixie’s shift was 4:00 pm until midnight and she recalls the Route 2 location across from Maxon’s Manor as being pretty dark and a little spooky at closing time.
Martin sold the Tee-Pee in 1954 and began Martin’s Drive In and then the Top Hat Drive In along route 64 in East Oregon. New owners ran the Tee-Pee each summer up until at least 1958. After it closed, the plywood based structure did not survive the weather for long and after a few more years the Tee-Pee disappeared from the Oregon landscape, but not from many people’s memory. I was originally searching for photos to base a small watercolor painting of the old drive in on, never thinking that I’d be painting the “Tee-Pee” on an actual tipi. Many thanks to Dixie Bruce for making this possible.

"The Tee Pee Drive In

Painted by Craig Carpenter














"Runaway Canoe"

Painted by Glenda Carver



Painted by John Gragert & son, Kylon 12

Bio/Artistic Pursuits:

I've had a passion for art and all that entails since I was a child and
watched my older sister, desperate for a drawing utensil, light, blow
out and draw with a wooden match, a scene that was suitable for any
museum wall. My family have always supported me and saw to it that I
was surrounded by paint, pencils, canvas, clay and any other medium so
that when inspiration came along, I could express it to others.

I work currently as a monument designer helping people find closure
when losing a loved one by designing a memorial that represents their
loved one through hand engravings and sculpted images. I also have a
website at that I utilize to show my Sign Designs,
Glass Engraving, Custom Artwork and soon will be showing short video
clips of my sons and I designing Steel Plasma Cut Signs and Art. I look
forward to designing my next project with great anticipation.


Design Inspiration:

My inspiration is easy to see. Just take a drive out to White Pines State Park - As soon as you cross the Pine Creek you take a step back to a simpler life. Beth asked if I would like to paint a tipi. I figured it would be fun.


Painted by Kelli Haub & Kayla Haub

Bio/Artistic Pursuits:

I paint for fun. I work full time as a mechanical designer, so in a way I draw every day.


Design Inspiration:

This tipi, oh my goodness, is a monster. I have never seen so much canvas.  A monster tent had to be framed around the tipi to paint all hours of the day.  There is even a "monster" on the tipi with flowers and foliage and whatever else time will allow to put on it. I am grateful for the opportunity to share some of my sketches and flowers with other people. Indian folklore has many legends. This monster dragon on the tipi represents this. Flowers and herbs used medicinally are also portrayed.

"Dragon's Garden"

Painted by Michael Olson

Bio/Artistic Pursuits:

Michael Olson, a sign painter, has drawn  sketches and pictures way too numerous to mention,  for my children grandchildren  and  many other children.  For miles on the train from Chicago to Minnesota - I would draw pictures for children, who were lined up in the aisle waiting for their personalized drawing.   While drawing, explaining to them facts about the "artwork" was fun for both of us.

EX: interest in butterflies, flowers, frogs, ships, astronauts, dinosaurs, weather, clouds - you name it.  With the end game simple and straight forward to help the kids feel special and to give them something to do.  To color or uniquely embellish their sketch giving them a feeling of accomplishment as they learn. They get an "A" in their own minds for creativity. I have personally been drawing from a very young age and  I try to draw some everyday. Someday I hope to get good at it.


Design Inspiration:

Illustrates a story told by Chief Black Hawk. In part of this story Black Hawk explains how corn first came to be according to Sauk and Mesquakie tradition. The following is the exerpt from the Project Gutenberg eBook of Black Hawk's Autobiography. It comes from a section titled "Black Hawk's Tower" and was the inspiration for my tipi design. When our corn is getting ripe, our young people watch with anxiety fo the signal to pull roasting ears, as none dare touch them until the
proper time.  When the corn is fit for use another great ceremony
takes place, with feasting and returning thanks to the Great Spirit
for giving us Corn. I will has relate the manner in which corn first came.  According to tradition handed down to our people, a beautiful woman was seen to descend from the clouds, and alight upon the earth, by two of our ancestors who had killed a deer, and were sitting by a fire roasting a part of it to eat.  They were astonished at seeing her, and concluded that she was hungry and had smelt the meat.  They immediately went to her, taking with them a piece of the roasted venison.  They presented it to her, she ate it, telling them to return to the spot where she
was sitting at the end of one year, and they would find a reward for their kindness and generosity.  She then ascended to the clouds and disappeared.  The men returned to their village, and explained to the tribe what they had seen, done ad heard, but were laughed at by their people.  When the period had arrived for them to visit this consecrated ground, where they were to find a reward for their attention to the beautiful woman of the clouds, they went with a large party, and found where her right hand had rested on the ground corn growing, where the left hand had rested beans, and immediately where she had been seated, tobacco.

"Coming of the Corn"

Painted by Stasha Hayes















Design Inspiration:

After researching Native American symbols, they created a nature themed design. The mustang horse was incorporated to represent Morrison's mascot, this was the only element I helped draw.

"Nature's Path"

Painted by Stasha Hayes and her fifth grade students at Southside Elementary in Morrison, IL. There names are Taylar Wright, Shayna VanDerLeest, Katelyn Barsema, Emma Sitzmore, Rachel Spangler, and Kassidee Church.


Design Inspiration:

I was honored to be asked to create a beautiful tipi for the Restoration Project.

The inspiration came easily for me because I fell in love with Taft's statue at first glance and the story of the Art Colony. I have spent many hours walking the trails there, sketching the lovely landscape and fortunate to have taught art at the art camp with children. I was asked to create a calender in 1991 for the Byron Woman's Club illustrating some of historic landmarks in Ogle County, one being Blackhawk Statue and Chief Black. A natural extension of those illustrations was to incorporate my original drawing of The Eyes of the Rock River into the tipi project.

Rockford artist Jeanne Coe enthusiastically joined me in collaboration for this special project. A natural teacher and public speaker, Jeanne's stunning chakra colors and soft images became the perfect backdrop for The Eyes of the Rock River. Jeanne has been nationally recognized over the past twenty five years and continues to touch the lives of others with her spiritual forms and color therapy.

You may view Jeanne Coe's fabulous work at

"Eyes of the Rock River

Painted by Toni Cacciatore and Jeanne Coe

Bio/Artistic Pursuits:

Formally educated, basically self taught, I started painting for the sheer joy of creating in the years I spent at home watching my son grow. Using watercolor, pastel or pencil I specialize in portraits of children, adults and pets. My use of digital photography allows for immediate viewing in determining pose, lighting and expression. Spirit, personality and character become apparent to me as I am simply fascinated with the human face and welcome the challenge of bringing life to the work. I think that is what a portrait is for. Please view more of my work at



Design Inspiration:

I had always wanted a tipi and had done a lot of research over the years. I had collected information from library books and sent for information from tipi manufacturers. The idea kind of just fell by the wayside until I saw the tipis at the Eagles Nest. I knew it was time. The bottom skirt of the tipi represents the earth's surface or Mother Earth. Ours is a traditional Blackfoot design. The top of the tipi represents the upper limit of the physical world or Father Sky. Our design is called sky spirits. It brings to mind family members who have passed before us. The band under the sky spirits design has a traditional four directions symbol. This symbol was thought to enhance powerful dreams. We asked our artist to leave the sky spirits symbols and the four direction symbols unpainted. It creates a stained glass effect when you are inside the tipi. They show up as daylight stars. Our artist, Ellen Ebert, did a fantastic job of painting the tipi just as we asked. We named our tipi Pine Rock Sky Spirits. Pine Rock being the road we have lived on for 21 years.

Painted by Ellen Ebert

Bio/Artistic Pursuits:

I would say that I love to paint people, water scenes, and large flower 'portraits'.  Painting is a way to revisit a place or think upon a persons life.  Water just amazes me.  It can have so many facets, from calm and delicate to raging brutalness.  Painting large areas for stage scenery or backdrops has been fun to do for school plays and for murals on walls.  The Tipi project was too good to pass up.  It is a large area but it is round and it decreases as it goes up.  The shape presented challenges as well as ideas.  I enjoy taking things and looking at them from different points of view.





The Next Picture Show presents the Dream Team!

"Mississippian to Blackhawk

Painted by Ellen and Les Allen, Mary Jo Keith and Debbie Thompson

Design Inspiration:

The base coat was given a painted suede effect by first rolling out paint on the the tipi and than feathering in leather effects using a brush.   The borders were based on traditional Southwestern Native Indian designs typically found in hand woven rugs.  The river is based on the Rock River and encircles the Loredo Taft Sculpture of Chief Blackhawk.  The river than flows into the sky painted on the air flaps of the tipi.  The design pattern found thru-out the Tipi is based on Mississippian Indians of Illinois.  These early Indians lived in Southern Illinois and Petroglyphs (Rock Carvings) are abundant in this region, namely the Wet Stone Shelter located near Gorham, Illinois.  The Tipi will be sighted at KSB Clinic in Oregon Illinios.  The Next Picture Show Fine Arts Gallery is pleased to be a part of the Tipi campaign to raise awareness of our rich Indian history and raise money for the restoration of theTaft masterpiece located in the beautiful Rock River Valley.
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