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"I would tell Cleve I didn't want to do it anymore," she said. "Every day we argued about it a lot."

The picture shows a young girl with long, flowing hair. The girl's mouth is agape, a tear streaming down her cheek. The drawing's title: "Feather Screams Insanely."

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The graduation rate at Wyoming Indian is staggeringly low. In 2011 12, 22 of 55 students, or 40 percent, graduated on time, according to the Wyoming Department of Education.

After a moment of silence she pulled her cellphone from her pocket, flipped through several of her pictures and stopped on one of her drawings. Harding was introduced to Japanese animation around the time she has 11 and has been drawing in that style since.

Feather Harding is a shy sophomore with a faint voice. For the exhibit, Harding made a bas relief plate of two Cree water birds and a ceramic mask with long, swirling cheek bones, large nose and narrow eyes.

The exhibit's official purpose is to showcase the students' talents while introducing them to the professional art world. Their work will be sold; 90 percent of the proceeds will go to the students.

"That's why I do art," she said, "so I don't have to say it."

"It shows people that I am not scared to show who I am," she said, looking over the piece.

Cowboy is a freshman, but her concerns are those of an older person. She worries about money, finding a job, her little brother and keeping her grades up enough to get a college scholarship. Her uncle, Vince Cowboy, taught her to draw. She took after him, but he died recently.

was to describe it as "real ugly." Atop the piece is the head of a woman with long, flowing hair. Two arms form the sculpture's sides, creating a sort of bowl. It is glazed blue green. Ugly is not a word that comes to mind.

"I look forward to coming to this class," Aragon said, stopping for a moment to regard his work.

Torri Cowboy does not like to admit she is American Indian. When she looks at the reservation, she sees alcoholism and drugs, abandoned houses and trash. She spent most of her youth bouncing between relatives' homes in Montana, New Mexico and Wyoming. Her parents have played little role Nike Cortez Nylon Vintage Buy

Aragon might have well joined the number of high school dropouts. He has not. On a day in early May, he sat in Cleve Bell's art classroom here, a clay eagle placed on the long workbench before him. A pair of round pupils stared from two hollows in its head, giving the bird an inquisitive look, like it was sizing you up for a meal.

"As an artist, knowing artists, those that supersede everyone else have been through the most," Bell said. "Out of great tragedy come great things."

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Aragon's eagle is one of 30 ceramic pieces and 20 prints to be featured in "Resurgence of Native Spirit," an exhibit opening Saturday at the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center in Casper. The pieces were made by 36 Wyoming Indian students. They spent one semester making the prints, another making the ceramics.

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"They're great kids. Some of them have been through difficult times," Bell said. But that cannot be an excuse not to work, he said. The challenge is turning those difficulties into something positive. Art offers a potential outlet, he said.

"In my eyes there is Nike Cortez Womens Nz nothing to be proud about where I come from," Cowboy wrote in her artist statement. "I know it is not only Natives that live like this but that is my personal view and perspective around here."

Wyoming Indian students find outlet in art

in her life.

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But the exhibit's impact may be greater than an art show. For some, art offers an escape from the bleak and difficult realities of life on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

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He pointed to Aragon as an example. The young man has started to blossom this semester, Bell said.

When Derek Aragon looks at the mural hanging in the foyer of Wyoming Indian High School, he does not see the old man or sweat house depicted in the painting. He sees his uncle, Nike Cortez Premium Forrest Gump

Cowboy's contribution to the exhibit is a print of three corn maidens and a sculpture entitled, "Sorrow with a Tear." Standing over the sculpture in Bell's classroom one day, her first impulse Nike Cortez Grey Leather

"His work speaks for itself," Bell said. "He's excited about his art. He's surprising himself."

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That's not to say art is easy. Cowboy described art as frustrating and something one cannot "ease into." She broke her first sculpture in a moment of artistic angst.

In May, the plate hung in the hallway outside Bell's classroom. Harding is Cree, making her a minority on a reservation that is mostly Shoshone and Arapaho.

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The sculpture was Aragon's first. Using a wooden knife, he smoothed its rough edges until no wrinkles remained. He talked as he worked.

Art remains a refuge for Cowboy. She doesn't think when she's working on a piece.

Howell died of cirrhosis in March. He was 37.

"I just feel relaxed," Cowboy said.

the man who painted it. Sterling Howell was a saddle bronc rider and an artist of some repute.

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