Blackfeet Artist's Work Sold In Dillard's

MONTANA - For Montanans who took to the mall for their holiday shopping this year, they may have seen a local Blackfeet artist's work in a major department store. 

Lauren Monroe Jr.'s work is selling off the shelves in Dillard's.

His artwork starts out as canvas paintings with bright colors and imagery. Then, he gets those images made into items like blankets, throw pillows and handbags. 

His goal for his art is pretty simple. 

"I just hope they like it," Monroe said. "Everything speaks to different people all the time and if they see something that I may not, if they see something different, I hope they enjoy it. That's all it is, is enjoyment and to find a piece of themselves in it. 

Monroe got connected with Dillard's through a friend and is now receiving shout outs on social media. 

His work is currently being sold through their Montana Shop line, so it's only sold in Montana Dillard's. 

The store's management said they're receiving calls from people out of state to order and had to order more just this week because of sales. 

Monroe said it's a big deal to see his tribe showcased in this way. 

"I think it’s not just make space for us, but make space for everyone that’s different and respect those differences," Monroe said. "A lot of those differences is what makes America the country it is and I think that’s really what it comes down to at the end of the day.” 

He added the response has been surreal. He expressed gratitude for the opportunity and said he's looking forward to continue making more art. 

As of this week, the Missoula Dillard's stock was limited, but management said that next big order should arrive in Missoula and Billings within two to three weeks. 

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