Ironhorse-Kent returns to Peru State to speak with College 101 students

Ironhorse-Kent returns to Peru State to speak with College 101 students

Peru, Nebraska– Rueben Ironhorse-Kent spoke with Peru State students on Wednesday, November 15. Students from Dr. Bill Clemente’s College 101 classes attended Ironhorse-Kent’s presentation about his artwork.

Ironhorse-Kent is a multi-faceted artist who works with writing, sculpting, and painting as well as making and playing flutes. He played for the student audience, using a Northern Plains flute that he sculpted and created himself.

Ironhorse-Kent said he always felt drawn to art because “the possibilities are endless. That’s what always appealed to me.” He referred to “creative impulses” that he had toward making art that he could never control.

“I don’t believe anyone should create their own boundaries just because society tells you to,” Ironhorse-Kent said.

After talking about his artwork and showcasing different pieces to the students, Ironhorse-Kent read from a short story entitled “Snake.” The story was about a little boy who killed a young snake and how the boy’s grandfather responds to the snake, thinking about his own encounters with snakes.

While Ironhorse-Kent attended classes at Peru State, he became good friends with Clemente.

Clemente says, “Reuben is a man of many talents and offers a perfect fit with College 101 courses for English, history, art and music—he writes prose, paints, creates beautiful sculptures and ceramics.”

“In addition, he can speak with authority about the history of American Indians. This diverse background makes him a great resource, the reason I invited him back again this year.”

Following his time at Peru State, Ironhorse-Kent had worked in construction, but he decided to enroll at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Originally, he wanted to be a cinematographer, but the Institute did not have a program for that field. He earned a master’s degree in art and creative writing from the Institute.

Some of Ironhorse-Kent’s artwork has appeared in collections at the Smithsonian American Indian Art Museum, the Heritage Museum at Pine Ridge and the Southern Plains Indian Museum. Recently, Ironhorse-Kent has also won awards for his abstract paintings, including the Joelle and Nicolas Rostkowski Award at the 2015 Red Cloud Indian Art Show for Ironhorse-Kent’s abstract painting entitled “Coyote Thoughts Dragonfly Dreams.”

For more information on Reuben Ironhorse-Kent’s artwork, contact Dr. Bill Clemente at


Ashley Peiman contributed to this release.