(Neb.) - Memorial Day weekend brings longer hours and Sandy Swallow-Morgan to Agate Fossil Beds
Harrison, NE – Starting Memorial Day Weekend, May 26 – 28, longer hours
of operation for the visitor center at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument are 8 a.m. until 6
p.m. daily and the trails are open from dawn till dusk. Sandy Swallow-Morgan will be the first
Traditional Cultural Demonstrator for the 2012 season. She will be available to the public from
9 a.m. until 5 p.m. during the weekend.
Internationally-renowned Sandy Swallow-Morgan’s artistic passion began in mid-life, as she
experimented with oils and watercolors while living on a ranch in South Dakota. Virtually self-
taught, Swallow-Morgan longed to create art capturing her spiritual connection to nature, home,
and family. She discovered the painstaking medium of hand-pulled block printmaking, providing
her with the ability to create dramatic pieces saturated with deep earth and pastel colors which
evoke traditional Native American symbols and images from the natural world. Many of her
prints depict images of home, as with tipis, which symbolize family, security, and love.
An enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux tribe, Swallow-Morgan’s fascinating life history
enriches her artistic vision. Her parents, Woody and Ethel Mills Swallow, resided on the Pine
Ridge Oglala Sioux Reservation when she was born. Swallow-Morgan has always felt an
intense spiritual connection to the Black Hills. She delights in her family history; both her great-
grandfathers were present at the historic signing of the 1868 Treaty at Fort Laramie. Chief
Red Cloud was a close friend and associate of her great-grandfather Ben Mills, an Englishman
who married a full-blood Lakota woman with whom he had several children. Another great-
grandfather, Eli Swallow, joined the confederate army as a “galvanized” soldier and was ordered
west to Fort Laramie, where he met Sandy’s great-grandmother, Lizzie Iote, a Rosebud Sioux.
Sandy’s father, Woody Swallow, served in the U.S. Navy and survived the bombing at Pearl
Harbor. Intensely proud of her rich cultural heritage, her life history reinforces her identity, lends
purpose to her life, and inspires her art.
Sandy Swallow-Morgan currently resides in Spearfish, South Dakota, where, with the support
of her family, she pursues art full time. She operates her business, “Sandy Swallow Gallery,”
in Hill City, South Dakota through which she markets her original art, block prints, and
handcrafted items as well as items made by other artists in the area. Her website is http://
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument is located just 22 miles south of Harrison, Nebraska or 34
miles north of Mitchell, Nebraska on State Highway 29, then east on River Road for three miles to the visitor center. Agate Fossil Beds National Monument is a free park.
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