Arts Association

Bennett Brien

Bennett Brien started drawing at the age of six years old and has continued to create awesome works of art that are located throughout North Dakota and beyond. He is the son of Dallas and Theresa Poitra Brien, he is the father of five children and six grandchildren. A few of his grandchildren are showing a strong interest in art, which makes their papa very happy. During his early life he attended school in Belcourt and South Dakota. While in South Dakota he became aware of the artist Oscar Howe, who would become an inspiration and idol of sorts. After graduating from the Belcourt High School in 1975, he headed to Santa Fe New Mexico to attend the SantaFe Art Institute for Native Americans, he graduated from there with an Associate of Fine Arts. In 1984 he graduated from UND Grand Forks North Dakota with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and in 1988 graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from UND. He has done a few artist in residencies while in Grand Forks and also taught art classes during that same time. During his time at UND he was asked to create a logo for UND's Fighting Souix sports team. That logo was used for sports uniforms and many items such as t-shirts, hooded sweat shirts, caps, bumper stickers, coffee mugs and a number of other items that have been sold by UND and other retailers in and around the state. He is also well know for his rebar (reinforcing bar/steel) sculptures. A beautiful rebar buffalo and pony grace the land surrounding the state capitol building in Bismark, ND. On the UND campus Grand Forks sits a beautiful eagle sculpture, Other rebar sculptures have been created for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, University of Crookston Minnesota, Grand Forks Police Station courtyard, ND scenic highway near St. John and Lake Metigoshe and a bronze bust of Pope John Paul II located in St. Ann's Catholic Church, Belcourt, ND. Returning to Belcourt ha sbeen a wonderful coming home story, surrounded by family and friends. He has built a studio/home in the woods near a lake where he is able to continue creating and sharing his artistic knowledge and gift with everyone. Stopping in at Ben's place for a visit is always filled with awe and amazment on the artistic talent that is present. Most recently Ben has been working on a large rebar sculpture that will be placed near the entrance to the new Sky Dancer Casino located a miles miles west of downtown Belcourt.