Photographer Ken Blackbird

12.15.2022 – 03.25.2023

M.J. Murdock Gallery

Ken Blackbird (Assiniboine, Gros Ventre) grew up on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. After leaving the reservation at age nineteen, he worked a succession of jobs as a welder in Texas and as a forest ranger (and emergency firefighter) in Yellowstone National Park. In 1992 Blackbird graduated from the University of Montana School of Journalism and set out on an extensive internship around the country, which most notably included the Chicago Sun Times. Blackbird says he just fell into photography as a necessary part of journalism. However, his personal work comes from a different motivation:

“I’m looking for light. I’m looking for the layers of composition. I’m always looking at eyes, hands, backgrounds. I’m looking for someone doing something different. I’ve never thought of it as fine art. I just love taking photographs.” —Ken Blackbird