A Native American woman with brown skin, brown eyes, and shoulder-length brown hair looks off to the right at a 3/4th profile view. Her shirt and the background share the same colorful pattern, a comic book-style print of her own design, featuring a Native American woman flexing her arm with the phrases "We can do it" and "Land back."

Marlena Myles is a self-taught Native American artist and enrolled member of the Spirit Lake Dakota tribe living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Myles's art brings modernity to Indigenous history, languages, and oral traditions while using the land as a teacher, helping the public to understand the significance of Native land, oral traditions, and history. Her professional work includes children’s books, augmented reality, murals, fabrics, and animations, and she has exhibited her work at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, The Museum of Russian Art, Red Cloud Heritage Center, and the Minnesota Museum of American Art. Her first permanent site-specific augmented reality public art installation, Dakota Spirit Walk, is available on the Revelo AR app. Her second augmented reality installation, Dakota Sacred Hoop Walk, is opening in spring 2023 at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Myles operates her own Dakota publishing company called Wíyouŋkihipi (We Are Capable) Productions to create a platform that educates and honors the culture, language, and history of Dakota people.





Photo by Marlena Myles

Selected Work

In a gallery with white walls and a wooden beamed ceiling, a virtual projection seems to hover in space amidst the other physical artworks. The Augmented Reality rendering depicts the Dakota moon spirit Hanwi in purple dress, in front of a large lunar calendar.
Marlena Myles, Under the Guidance of Hanwi, 2022. Augmented Reality, dimensions variable. Installation view of Creation.Story at the Aktá Lakota Museum, curated by Keith BraveHeart and David A. Meyer II.

Marlena Myles, Dakota Landmap of the Twin Cities, 2019. Vector illustration, 18 × 24 inches.

Minnesota is the traditional homelands of the Dakota people, and this Dakota land map of Minneapolis and Saint Paul teaches about the relationships and histories that are embedded as geographical data in the land by reclaiming the Dakota names to these places.

Marlena Myles, Return of Wakinyan, 2019. Vector illustration, 18 × 24 inches.