Biography: Hillary Davis Kempenich relocated to Grand Forks, North Dakota, from the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Reservation located in Rolette County. The many talented artists within the Turtle Mountain community and her own family influence Hillary Kempenich. The artist now resides in Grand Forks, where she raises her young family while continuing to expand her emerging career as an artist. Inspiration from Hillary’s family, culture, and nature all can be seen in the work Kempenich creates. Kempenich embraces all influences, genres, and mediums, allowing creativity to continuously flow.
Artwork Description: “Walk Me into the Arena” is inspired both by my young daughters and by reflections on my own experiences as a child dancer. My memories of raw emotion and the desire for protection in a new experience in the world are portrayed in this piece. I recall my sense of vulnerability as I stepped foot into the space and also remembered those same feelings as my daughters walked into the arena without their mom at their side. Reassurance came quickly, however, as women stepped up beside them, letting them know that it was safe and that we are all family looking out after one another. The bright colors represent the dancing spirits of our elders, and the grass portrays the wide world that we are exposed to