Someone You Should Know: Mitchell artist sharing his culture and educating others

Published: Apr. 6, 2023 at 8:42 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Lyle Miller Senior is an artist in Mitchell who has decades of experience creating work focusing on his culture that educates and moves people.

“When I was a young boy I was very withdrawn, I was in class and I didn’t speak much. A lady came into our class who helped me with that. Her name is Val Pugsley. She taught me that by using visuals you can express yourself,” said Lyle.

Lyle is an army veteran combat engineer and taught art for twenty years at Crow Creek Tribal schools.

“The artwork is very important, in that people need that visual to understand what you’re talking about. If you’re trying to tell them the people of the Lakota people. They want to know what do they look like. In my journey as an artist, I studied that and researched our people from long ago. What their lives were like,” said Lyle.

Val Lyle’s teacher 52 years ago and saw something special from the beginning.

“I remember as clear as if it was today. Walking in and seeing this gorgeous little boy across the room. He was the cutest little kid. He was very, very timid. I couldn’t get near him for quite a while. It was his artwork that allowed me to be able to get closer to him to get to know him,” said Pugsley-Tischler.

Lyle’s artwork is shown and sold at Q Jewelry in Mitchell.

“I have several paintings of his in my house. If anyone knows me at all, they know about Lyle,” said Pugsley-Tischler

His son Kenneth shares his passion for art.

“I have to carry him on someday, so that’s why my purpose is to take my father’s legacy on. I do that every single day I wake up. I am very proud to do that. It helped me find myself, who I am today,” said Kenneth.

Lyle and his son both want to make people happy with their work and carry along the stories of those who made an impact.

“This is a gift. What we do and create something out of nothing. This is a gift, some people call it a talent. It is nourished every day. Every day you’re always thinking about that next painting or next ledger piece,” said Lyle.

Being a leader in his home and community, Lyle’s artwork connects those interested in learning more about his culture and where he is proud to come from.

“I think he is very, very connected with his culture and I know that he is a role model to his whole family and a lot of other people. The leader of his extended family and he passes on those cultural beliefs and knowledge,” said Pugsley-Tischler.